He uses the syringe twice to break the skin of her lid before squeezing hard, breaking the spot and releasing some blood.
The young woman had arrived at Wheaton Franciscan-St. She was 18 weeks pregnant, and her twin fetuses were long from viable.
She miscarried one fetus within hours of admission, but her labor stalled while the second still had a heartbeat.
Joseph, where no supervising physicians were capable of performing the common abortion procedure, Ralph said.
For more than 24 hours, the patient labored through painful contractions.
Because the hospital followed rules issued by the Catholic Church, until the patient hemorrhaged or showed at least two signs of infection—fever of 100.4 or higher, uterine tenderness, rapid heart rate, or rapid fetal heart rate—Ralph could do little except watch her sicken.
So Ralph’s team trimmed the umbilical cord from the miscarried twin as short as possible to minimize the infection risk, and waited overnight.But Ralph could not administer mifepristone, which the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) considers part of the most effective drug regimen for such cases.The Catholic hospital didn’t carry the drug, which is commonly used for medication abortions—a failure Ralph believes was religiously motivated and needlessly prolonged her patient’s labor.After about 10 hours, the patient’s temperature soared to 102 or 103 degrees, Ralph recalled in an interview with in June, a few months after the incident.Ralph and her team gave the patient medication to induce labor.‘Our scope of practice, one could say, is womb to tomb,’ Dr Lewis said.