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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Seeking justice

Legal-aid work is a 'calling'

During Larry Harley’s first year as a legal-aid attorney in Virginia, a woman came to him claiming that a nearby hospital turned her away when she was in labor because she lacked money or insurance. The woman said theemergency-room doctor told her she could have the baby on the floor like a dog and he wouldn’t lift a finger to help her.

Harley investigated the accusation, found a witness to corroborate the event, and then took action on the hospital, which was forced to comply with all federal regulations regarding emergency care.

“Our case wasn’t a lawsuit for money but so the same thing wouldn’t happen to other people,” said Harley, a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Abingdon, Va. “When I think how courageous this low-income woman was by being willing to make her personal life public to help others, I am inspired.”


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