A woman sued an Illinois hospital Thursday, alleging that it pressured and bribed her to have an abortion after mistakenly giving her drugs that can cause birth defects.
Reneizha Morris, 23, filed the suit against UnityPoint Health Methodist in Peoria County Circuit Court Thursday, The Associated Press reported. According to the suit, Morris was admitted to the hospital on Nov. 1, 2017 for a psychiatric evaluation, WMBD News reported. The hospital also informed Morris at that time that she was pregnant.
Following her evaluation, a hospital employee allegedly gave Morris methotrexate, according to the suit. Methotrexate is an immunosuppressive drug used to treat cancer. It can also treat psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
“Methotrexate must not be used during pregnancy,” according to WebMD. “It may harm an unborn baby. It is important to prevent pregnancy during and after treatment with methotrexate.”
After the hospital realized its mistake, both its management and legal team pressured Morris to have an abortion, the suit alleges.
Morris understood the risks of continuing her pregnancy and wanted to carry to the child to term. “I hoped that maybe [the baby] could be normal,” she said, according to WMBD. “That something good could come out of it. But over time they were adamantly telling me that there was no way that this would be a normal child.”
“She told doctors during this meeting that she was willing to take the risk,” Morris’ attorney Thomas Mulroy III said, according to WMBD. “[S]he wanted to give this baby a chance and that she hoped that it was a girl.”
The hospital allegedly pressured her for weeks to abort. UnityPoint officials sent her $2,000 in hopes of convincing her to have an abortion, according to the lawsuit. The hospital wanted to “eliminate evidence of their mistake,” according to Mulroy, WMBD reported.
Morris had an abortion on Dec. 15, 2017.
She is suing the hospital over claims of negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and lack of informed consent among a total of five-counts, according to WMBD. Morris seeks a minimum of $50,000 for each count.
UnityPoint Health Methodist won’t comment on pending litigation, according to spokesman Fabiola Orozco, WMBD reported.
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