Slate: Alabama doctors “turn away” patients suffering miscarriages

Slate’s Leah Torres reports on an unexpected consequence of abortion bans: doctors, fearing prosecution, refusing to treat patients suffering miscarriages.

I was astounded by how often patients were turned away from emergency rooms and their doctor’s offices in the middle of their miscarriages. No wonder Alabama has the third-highest maternal mortality rate in the nation, I initially thought. People are denied urgent medical attention outright, which left me wondering at first if health care providers were simply negligent and not keeping up with their medical education. Or was this lack of care a reflection of discrimination? Eventually, I landed on discrimination as the cause.

But I was wrong. The reality is much worse. Instead, these medical professionals seem to know what they are supposed to do, but choose not to. … I was angry that the patient’s doctor did not just provide the standard medical treatment for a miscarriage: surgically removing the contents of her uterus, which would stop her pain and bleeding. Then I saw a different patient who was actively miscarrying, and a lightbulb clicked on: The doctors were afraid of being attacked by the state of Alabama.

Many in journalism want abortion to become an everyday traffic machine like all the others, which I guess has something to do with why we’re so greasily eager to find bent questions that poll closer to 50/50 than the 66/33 or even 80/20 that straight questions about abortion poll at. Whatever in people’s beliefs can be influenced by directing attention, there you may still find us. One editor I know calls it “shaking the nails”.

But the consequences of banning abortion is not formularized quite so neatly as the daily Trump/Elon/Main Character show. It won’t be an engagement wave the pundits can surf endlessly on Twitter, feeding their addictions and their audiences. It’s going to be horrible in ways that even the professionals can’t ignore. It’s going to be a nasty, visceral step into what a 21st century civil war looks like, sporadic and stochastic and screaming.