Crime US Local News

Texas Women Give Harrowing Testimony On Impact Of Abortion

Texas women give harrowing testimony on impact of extreme abortion ban
Women tell court about experience of carrying life-threatening pregnancies because of restrictive law with few exemptions

The women are part of a lawsuit filed in March by the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is seeking clarification on which situations fall under the “medical emergency” exception in Texas’s abortion bans. The lawsuit appears to be the first of its kind in which women who were denied abortions are suing a state since the supreme court overturned Roe v Wade last year.

In addition to losing their medical licenses, doctors who perform abortions in Texas can face fines of up to $100,000 as well as life in prison.

“Even if they provide an abortion that they believe complies with the ban’s narrow exceptions, they still risk the laws being enforced against them,” the plaintiffs argued in court filings.

During Wednesday’s hearing, plaintiff Samantha Casiano delivered an emotional testimony about being forced to give birth to a baby who died four hours later as a result of a fatal birth defect.

Twenty weeks into her pregnancy, Casiano discovered that her baby had anencephaly, a rare condition in which parts of the baby’s skull and brain are missing. Casiano said that doctors informed her that they were unable to perform an abortion in the state and that she was instead given funeral home information.

“I felt like I was abandoned,” Casiano said. “I had this funeral home paper and this is just supposed to be a scan day.”

“I felt like I was imprisoned in my own body,” she said.

At one point, as Casiano read aloud a doctor’s note about her high-risk pregnancy, she became overwhelmed and vomited during the hearing. Following a recess, Casiano returned to the stand and said that recalling the events “just makes my body remember, and it just reacts”.

“I now have a psychiatrist … I now vomit a lot more. I’ve never vomited before like that, ever, before my pregnancy. My body’s never reacted that way,” she added.

Another plaintiff, Amanda Zurawski, recounted her experiences of developing sepsis after she was refused an abortion when her water broke at only 18 weeks. Zurawski said her doctor told her that a miscarriage was inevitable but because her fetus still had a heartbeat, they could not induce labor.

Zurawski, who wanted to seek an abortion out of state, said her situation was so severe doctors said she had to stay within 15 minutes of a hospital.

“I had to listen to her heartbeat, simultaneously wanting to hear it and not wanting to hear it at the same time … If it stopped, they would be able to intervene,” Zurawski testified, according to the Texas Tribune.

Eventually, when Zurawski started developing septic shock, she was rushed to the hospital where doctors finally agreed to induce labor.

“I went from feeling physically OK to shaking uncontrollably. I was freezing cold even though it was 110F out. My teeth were chattering violently. I couldn’t get a sentence out. My husband Josh asked me how I was feeling on a scale from one to 10. I didn’t know the difference between one and 10 – which one was higher,” she said, according to ABC News.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *