Five women have sued the state of Texas after failing to have an abortion despite the risks to their lives and their unborn children.
Texas, like most states since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, allows exceptions when a doctor determines there is a risk of “substantial” harm to the mother or in cases of rape, incest or if the fetus has a fatal diagnosis has.
Two of the recently affected women plan to tell their stories on the steps of the Texas Capitol, hoping their shocking experiences will reinforce the “catastrophic damage” they faced. New York Times reported.
Of the women filing the lawsuit, some are married, already have children and all have made the difficult choice to quit because of risks to their lives.
The lawsuit alleges that the women risked bleeding or life-threatening infection and that some doctors refused to suggest options or forward medical records to other health care providers.
Five women have sued the state of Texas after they were denied an abortion despite the risks to their lives and their unborn children. Amanda Zurawski is a plaintiff (pictured)
The lawsuit is not intended to overturn abortion laws, but instead affirms that Texas law allows physicians to offer abortions when necessary and “when the pregnancy is unlikely to result in the birth of a living child.” with a long life’
Amanda Zurawski was told she was not “sick enough” to have an abortion, became septic twice and was left with one fallopian tube permanently closed when medical intervention was denied.
“You don’t think you are someone who needs an abortion, let alone an abortion to save my life,” Zurawski, 35, told the paper.
“If anyone reads my story, I don’t care where they are on the political spectrum, very few people will agree that there is something pro-life about this.”
Zurawski became pregnant in early 2022 after 18 months of fertility treatments.
In her 17th week of pregnancy, a scan revealed that her cervical membranes had begun to prolapse, with specialists telling her that her fetus would not survive.
Doctors said they could only perform an abortion if she became “acutely ill” or if her unborn child’s heartbeat stopped.
Zurawski’s water broke, but she didn’t go into labor. Without amniotic fluid, the fetus would die, but it still had a heartbeat, so she was sent home.
She and her husband considered driving to Mexico, but were told to stay within 20 minutes of the hospital in case she gave birth, and she feared prosecution.
Zurawski’s health deteriorated rapidly, but it wasn’t until she had to be rushed to the emergency room with a blood infection that the doctors finally induced labor.
She developed a secondary infection and received a blood transfusion to stabilize her.
“Every echo becomes terrifying, not just scary, but traumatic,” she said.
“The last time I heard a heartbeat inside me, I wished it would stop.”
Lauren Miller, 35, another prosecutor, had to sneak out of state to Colorado for an abortion.
Miller was taken to hospital with severe nausea and vomiting and discovered she was pregnant with twins at six weeks.
At 12 weeks, the mother-to-be discovered that one of her unborn children had a genetic defect called trisomy 18, which included a malformed brain and incomplete abdominal wall and heart.
A specialist told her to seek an out-of-state abortion to save her own life and the lives of the other twins.
Zurawski became pregnant in early 2022 after 18 months of fertility treatments. Her health deteriorated rapidly, but it wasn’t until she had to be rushed to the emergency room with a blood infection that the doctors finally induced labor.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is a defendant in the lawsuit, along with the state’s medical board and its director — last year they sued the Biden administration for advice to perform abortions if necessary
“The feeling of packing up was almost like we were fleeing Texas, which was such a strange feeling,” she said.
“I’m from Texas. I have generations of Texans. This is where we flee Texas.”
Laruen Hall was 18 weeks pregnant when it was revealed that her fetus had no skull and an undeveloped brain. She was also urged to leave the state to seek an abortion.
Hall, 28, said many of her relatives and neighbors considered themselves “pro-life” and that if a fetus had a fatal condition it was a “loophole” for people wanting an abortion.
“A lot of them support this ban, but they don’t understand the magnitude of it,” she said.
“They had a very scary idea of what someone who wants an abortion looks like. They think it’s someone who’s loose, who doesn’t want to use contraception.’
Anti-abortion groups have argued that restrictions on abortions should not harm women’s health and that the laws only prevent what these groups call “elective” abortions designed to terminate unwanted pregnancies.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is a defendant in the lawsuit, along with the state’s medical board and its director — last year they sued the Biden administration for advice to perform abortions if necessary.
“We are not going to allow left-wing bureaucrats in Washington to turn our hospitals and emergency rooms into walk-in abortion clinics,” Paxton said at the time.
A memo sent to the outlet from Paxton’s office said abortions will not be performed unless there is a “life-threatening physical condition aggravated by, caused by, or arising from pregnancy.”
“Now that the Supreme Court has finally overturned Roe, I will do everything I can to protect mothers, families, and unborn children, and to enforce state laws duly enacted by the Texas Legislature.”
The lawsuit is not intended to overturn abortion laws, but instead affirms that Texas law allows physicians to offer abortions when necessary and “when the pregnancy is unlikely to result in the birth of a living child.” with a sustainable life’.
The women did not sue the doctors who refused their medical intervention, saying many were doing their best under the circumstances.
Medication-induced abortion has been a lifeline for women in blue states and even red states since the Supreme Court lifted the federal guarantee for abortion
The Texas Medical Association has also asked for clarification and the lawsuit alleges that the five women “represent only the tip of the iceberg” and that “millions” from across the country have been denied “dignified treatment as equal human beings.”
Most abortions are now banned in 13 states as laws restricting the procedure take effect following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Georgia also bans abortion at about six weeks of pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.
In many states, the fight over access to abortion still rages in courtrooms, where lawyers have filed suit to block enforcement of laws restricting procedure. Other states have taken steps to expand access to abortion by adding legal protections.
The country’s second-largest pharmacy will not sell the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone last week — even in states where abortion is still legal.
It comes amid mounting pressure from anti-abortion policymakers and activists not to carry the drug. Mifepristone makes up half of the combination used to induce drug abortion.
Walgreens responded a letter sent last month by nearly two dozen Republican attorneys general threatening legal action against the company if it stocked the drugs.
The chain said it would not distribute abortion pills either by mail or in physical stores in those states. In some of the affected states, such as Alaska, Iowa, Kansas and Montana, using the pills for abortion is still legal.