When the dispatcher called, Stephanie Adamson knew this might be the run she had feared. But it wasn’t until her ambulance arrived at the hospital and she saw the words “elective abortion” on the patient’s chart that she knew she had to make a choice.
“I just got a sick feeling in my stomach,” said Adamson, an emergency medical technician from Channahon, Ill.
Adamson called her boss to say she could not transport the patient to the other hospital where the procedure was scheduled.
“I just knew I couldn’t do it. I’ve never been for abortion — I’ve always been against it,” Adamson said. “I was brought up in a Christian home and always believed life was precious.”
Adamson’s supervisor fired her on the spot and dispatched another ambulance to transfer the distraught young patient.
Adamson sued the ambulance company, charging religious discrimination. But Avedon is right — who calls an ambulance just for an elective abortion? There’s got to be more to this story that Adamson isn’t admitting. Such as, what sort of medical emergency required the patient to go to a hospital by ambulance to terminate her pregnancy?
Washington Post reporter Rob Stein must’ve been asleep when he wrote this. Alarm bells should have gone off in his head that he’d better call the ambulance company and get its side of the story. Is Anderson lying when she says the patient’s chart said elective abortion? Did the chart in fact say therapeutic abortion, and Anderson either misread it or doesn’t know the difference between elective and therapeutic? Did the person who initiated the chart write the word elective by mistake? Had the patient already undergone an elective abortion but was having complications that required emergency medical treatment? If in fact the young woman was having no medical problems and simply wanted an elective abortion, who did the ambulance company expect to bill for the ambulance ride, since no insurance company I’ve ever heard of would have paid such a bill? And why didn’t she just take a cab?
I suspect Adamson just saw the word abortion on the chart and refused to transport the patient, no matter what the patient’s emergency was. In which case the ambulance company was correct to fire her.
Update: Avedon has more of the story. The patient was in severe pain, and the ambulance company fired Adamson for putting the patient in danger.