5 women sue Texas over abortion ban in first lawsuit of

Harris Marley
Harris Marley

Global Courant 2023-03-08 01:18:34

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Five women have filed a report court case v. Texas over the state’s near-total ban on abortion in the first case of its kind since the Supreme Court Roe last year.

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The women say the Republican-led state’s abortion law has denied them, and countless other pregnant women, proper obstetric health care and put their lives at risk, according to the lawsuit, which opened Tuesday.

The suit, first reported by the New York Timesis the first to be sued on behalf of women who have been denied abortion against a state that enacted a new abortion ban following the Supreme Court ruling Dobbs decision, says the group representing the women.

The Texas abortion ban has fueled fears among doctors that they could lose their licenses, be fined and potentially face civil and criminal charges for providing life-saving obstetric care, according to the suit filed in Travis County District Court. This, the women say, has created a hush-hush code within the medical community that has prevented them from accessing urgent care when they need it most.

According to lead attorney Molly Duane, all five women should have been eligible for an abortion under the law. news conference.

“We invite the court to help us come up with a remedy to make sure the damage we see every day in Texas and across the country doesn’t continue to happen,” Duane said.

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Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the lawsuit was the first of its kind but likely won’t be the last.

“It’s dangerous now to be pregnant in Texas,” Northup told reporters at Tuesday’s news conference along with four of the five women. “…No one should be forced to wait on the threshold of death to receive health care. … These women represent just the tip of the iceberg.”

The untold story of the Texas abortion ban

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As a result of the ban, four of the women were forced to travel to other states to have emergency abortions, the lawsuit says. The fifth, lead prosecutor Amanda Zurawski, was unable to have an abortion despite her fetus having no chance of survival, and was only allowed to give birth after becoming septic, causing permanent physical damage.

At Tuesday’s press conference, Zurawski, 35, talked about the day she learned during her 18th week of pregnancy that her fetus would not survive after she was diagnosed with an “incompetent cervix,” weakening of the cervical tissue that causes premature dilation of the cervix.

Zurawski, who underwent fertility treatments for a year and a half, was not allowed to deliver baby Willow until after she developed sepsis, the lawsuit states. Willow died after birth.

“Several doctors have told us that the loss of my daughter was inevitable,” Zurawski said Tuesday. “Even though I had lost all my amniotic fluid — something an unborn child cannot do without — we had to wait.”

After giving birth, court records say, she spent three days in the ICU while doctors treated her infection, which left her with a blocked fallopian tube.

“I couldn’t adequately articulate the trauma or despair associated with waiting to lose your own life, your child’s life, or both,” Zurawski said. “For days I was locked in this bizarre and avoidable hell. Would Willow’s heart stop, or would I regress to death?

Another woman suing the state, Lauren Miller, 35, said she had no choice but to fly to Colorado with her husband to have a fetal reduction abortion to save the life of one of her twins at 15 weeks. to rescue.

“How come I can get an abortion for a dog but not for me?” Miller asked Tuesday.

One of Miller’s twins was diagnosed with trisomy 18, a condition with a high risk of miscarriage or stillbirth, and low survival rates past their first birthday, the court said. Her life and that of her other baby depended on an abortion that the state of Texas denied her, she said.

“I got lucky,” Miller said. “I had connections with doctors out of state. I had family to watch my son. We had the time and money to make the trip, but money and privilege should not determine how much access (a woman has.).”

This teen from Texas wanted an abortion. She now has twins.

The lawsuit comes as drugstore chains have become another battlefield in the fight for abortion and access to medicines in the United States. Walgreens recently announced it will not distribute abortion pills in 20 Republican-led states, including some where abortion medication is legal.

Walgreens said Friday it would not provide mifepristone, the first of two drugs given in the abortion medication process. The announcement came weeks after the state’s attorneys general, all Republicans, wrote a February 1 letter to Walgreens and pharmacy chain CVS warning them of legal ramifications if they sold abortion pills by mail.

Democratic lawmakers are also hoping a recent lawsuit over the distribution of mifepristone will help. Twelve Democratic state attorneys general last month sued the Food and Drug Administration as part of an effort to relax restrictions on the distribution of mifepristone.

The lawsuit accuses the FDA of “chosening” and imposing “particularly burdensome” restrictions on distribution of mifepristone, which blocks the hormone progesterone that helps the body maintain a pregnancy.

The legal challenge is led by the attorneys general of Washington and Oregon and has been filed in a U.S. district court in Washington state.

Three separate abortion bans are pending in Texas, including a so-called “trigger ban” that makes abortion a crime punishable by life imprisonment. Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Texas federal judge nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed in 2019, has the power to impose the most far-reaching limit on abortion access since Roe was overthrown.

Kacsmaryk is expected to rule soon in a lawsuit to withdraw the US government’s approval of mifepristone — an outcome that could, at least temporarily, stop more than half of legal abortions nationwide, including in states led by democrats where abortion rights are protected.

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