November 18, 2022

Missouri Hospital Under Investigation for Refusing Citing Abortion Law to Refuse Care

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced last week that it is investigating Freeman Health System for refusing to provide care to a woman whose water broke months early.

Mylissa Farmer told the Associated Press that she was taken to the emergency room of Freeman Health System on August 2 when her water broke early. She said that she had lost all of her amniotic fluid, and she was told that it was unlikely her child would survive. Her child still had a detectable heartbeat. Farmer falsely claimed to the press that doctors prescribed abortion, but they were unable to provide it due to Missouri's new heartbeat law.

In truth, Farmer was never prescribed abortion. She was refused necessary health care by negligent doctors who cited the heartbeat law as their reasoning. Medical records show that doctors recommended induction of labor. Those records state that doctors told Farmer, “contrary to the most appropriate management based (on) my medical opinion, due to the legal language of MO law, we are unable to offer induction of labor at this time.”

Induction of labor is not abortion, because it is not intended to deliberately kill a child. It is not outlawed by any pro-life law. Missouri's heartbeat law defines abortion as the “act of using or prescribing any instrument, device, medicine, drugs, or any other means or substance with the intent to destroy the life of an embryo or fetus in his or her mother’s womb, or [t]he intentional termination of the pregnancy of a mother by using or prescribing any instrument, device, medicine, drug, or other means or substance with an intention other than to increase the probability of a live birth or to remove a dead unborn child.”

AP reports that Farmer eventually traveled to Illinois, where she got an abortion.