A Michigan pediatrician refused to treat an infant because she was the daughter of lesbian parents.
Krista and Jami Contreras tied-the-knot in Vermont in 2012. In October 2014, they were elated to be welcoming their first child, a little girl named Bay Windsor Contreras.
In preparation for Bay’s arrival, the couple found a pediatrician that had come highly recommended by their midwife. Dr. Vesna Roi at Eastlake Pediatrics in Roseville, Michigan knew that they were lesbians and initially seemed to be fine with it. However, on the morning of Bay’s first appointment, another doctor greeted them instead.
“The first thing Dr. Karam said was, ‘I’ll be your doctor, I’ll be seeing you today because Dr. Roi decided this morning that she prayed on it and she won’t be able to care for Bay,'” Jami explained, according to The Washington Post. “Dr. Karam told us she didn’t even come to the office that morning because she didn’t want to see us.”
Not only were Bay’s mothers shocked, they were hurt as well. They had set up a prior appointment with Dr. Roi and she had seemed very nice and friendly.
“As far as we know Bay doesn’t have a sexual orientation yet so I’m not really sure what that matters,” Jami said. “We’re not your patient — she’s your patient. And the fact is that your job is to keep babies healthy and you can’t keep a baby healthy that has gay parents?”
“It was embarrassing, it was humiliating and here we are, new parents trying to protect her,” Jami added. “And we know this happens in the world and we’re completely prepared for this to happen other places. But not at our six-day-old’s wellness appointment.”
Although they continued with the appointment that day, they immediately began searching for another pediatric office, bluntly explaining to each one they contacted that they were lesbian parents.
Several months after their appointment, Dr. Roi sent the couple a letter explaining why she refused to treat Bay.
“After much prayer following your prenatal, I felt that i would not be able to develop the personal patient-doctor relationships that I normally do with my patients.”
“I felt that it was an exciting time for the two of you and I felt that if I came in and shared my decision it would take away much of the excitement. That was my mistake. I should not have made that assumption and I apologize for that.”
“We do not keep prenatal information once we have our meetings so I had no way to contact you. I should have spoken with you directly that day…please know that I believe that God gives us free choice and I would never judge anyone based on what they do with that free choice.”
FOX 2 attempted to contact Roi for a statement, but she refused to comment, citing patient privacy laws.
According to CBS Detroit, there are currently no laws that protect gay, bisexual, and transgender families from discrimination.
“Under current Michigan law, a doctor has an absolute right to refuse medical treatment on the basis of sexual orientation,” Charlie Langton, a legal analysts, said.
What do you think about the pediatrician refusing to treat Bay because her parents were lesbians? Leave your comments below.
[Photo via Facebook/ Jami Contreras]