U.S. Investigators Move To Defend Abortion Access In Red States

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Following an investigation conducted over a complaint to the federal entity known as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the government has found two hospitals — one in Kansas and another in Missouri — violated federal law demanding emergency treatment be provided when both institutions refused to provide an abortion to a woman experiencing serious pregnancy complications.

Federal law demanding that such emergency treatment be given when such circumstances emerge remains firmly in place. Generally, restrictions on abortion imposed by GOP-led states since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade have included exceptions for instances when the pregnant individual’s life is in danger, but the process of determining when a suffering pregnant person is sick or endangered enough to allow for an abortion without serious legal consequences creates a dangerous waiting period. Cases involving serious complications have been emerging around the country in connection to such forced waiting periods. In Texas, a group of individuals who’d experienced complications in pregnancy recently filed a court case seeking judicial clarification on the exceptions available under GOP-backed state restrictions on obtaining abortions in the state.

The hospitals involved in this other case considered by those federal healthcare authorities were Freeman Health System in Joplin, Missouri, and the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, Kansas, per the Associated Press. The individual who’d been seeking an abortion was a woman named Mylissa Farmer, who was experiencing premature labor and who was evidently informed her fetus was no longer viable but was refused abortions at both institutions because a fetal heartbeat remained detectable. “It was dehumanizing,” Farmer said. “It was terrifying. It was horrible not to get the care to save your life… I felt like I was responsible to do something, to say something, to not have this happen again to another woman. It was bad enough to be so powerless.” She lives in Missouri and eventually received the abortion she’d needed in Illinois. Read more at this link.