Kate Cox case reveals toll of US abortion bans on women in medical emergencies

Lawsuits from women denied the procedure despite health risks shows how bans don’t allow for complexities of pregnancy

Carter Sherman
Sat 16 Dec 2023

When Kate Cox got the news that her baby would probably only live for a few days, she went online to figure out her options. A 31-year-old mother of two living in Texas, Cox could not get an abortion, but she also knew that she did not want to make her baby suffer.

That’s when Cox came across the news that 20 Texas women had come forward to tell a court that they, like her, had been unable to get abortions in medical emergencies. Within days, Cox went public too: she became the first woman since the fall of Roe v Wade to sue for an abortion while actively pregnant.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/16/abortion-ban-lawsuits-pregnancy-complication-emergency-kate-cox

The Red State Brain Drain Isn’t Coming. It’s Happening Right Now.

As conservative states wage total culture war, college-educated workers—physicians, teachers, professors, and more—are packing their bags.

Timothy Noah
November 22, 2023

On Memorial Day weekend in 2022, Kate Arnold and her wife, Caroline Flint, flew from Oklahoma City to Cabo San Lucas for a little R&R. They had five kids, the youngest of them five-year-old twin girls, and demanding jobs as obstetrician-gynecologists. The stresses of all this were mounting. That they were a gay married couple living in a red, socially conservative state was the least of it. Caroline was born in Tulsa, spent much of her childhood in Oklahoma, and was educated at the University of Oklahoma. She cast her first presidential vote for George W. Bush. Kate, the more political of the two, was from Northern California and a lifelong Democrat. But her mother was born in Oklahoma City, and she felt at home here; she’d even given some thought to running for the state legislature.

Continued https://newrepublic.com/article/176854/republican-red-states-brain-drain

Her pregnancy was non-viable and her life was at risk but Oklahoma Law Prevented an Abortion

by Whitney Bryen
September 19, 2023

When she awoke on the couch in the early morning hours of Nov. 21, Magon Hoffman’s pajama pants were soaked in blood. What began as light bleeding the night before had turned severe. Hoffman assumed she was miscarrying.

But an ultrasound revealed it was Hoffman’s life that was in danger. At 14 weeks, the fetus seemed healthy, but Hoffman, 31, had one of the largest blood clots her doctor had ever seen and was at risk of going into shock or organ failure if it continued to grow.

Continued: https://oklahomawatch.org/2023/09/19/her-pregnancy-was-non-viable-and-her-life-was-at-risk-but-oklahoma-law-prevented-an-abortion/

Women, doctors announce legal action against abortion bans in 3 states

The women allege they were denied abortions despite dangerous complications.

By Nadine El-Bawab
September 12, 2023

Women in Idaho, Oklahoma and Tennessee filed legal actions against their states over abortion bans, saying they were denied abortions despite having dangerous pregnancy complications.

Four women in Idaho -- Jennifer Adkins, Jillaine St.Michel, Kayla Smith and Rebecca Vincen-Brown -- and abortion providers filed a suit against the state, Gov. Brad Little, attorney general and the state's board of medicine, claiming the state's ban has "sown confusion, fear and chaos among the medical community, resulting in grave harms to pregnant patients whose health and safety hang in the balance across the state," according to a copy of the lawsuit shared with ABC News.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/US/women-doctors-announce-legal-action-abortion-bans-3/story?id=103055654

These States Are Using Fetal Personhood to Put Women Behind Bars

Hundreds of women who used drugs while pregnant have faced criminal charges — even when they deliver healthy babies.

By CARY ASPINWALL, The Marshall Project
July 25, 2023

When Quitney Armstead learned she was pregnant while locked up in a rural Alabama jail, she made a promise — to God and herself — to stay clean.

She had struggled with addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder for nearly a decade, since serving in the Iraq War. But when she found out she was pregnant with her third child, in October 2018, she resolved: “I want to be a mama to my kids again.”

Continued: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2023/07/25/pregnant-women-prosecutions-alabama-oklahoma

After court rulings, Oklahoma doctors are still confused about when abortion is legal to save a patient’s life

By Ari Fife, The Frontier
Jul 7, 2023

A year before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and most abortions became illegal in Oklahoma, a pregnant patient came into an Enid hospital with her water broken weeks before the baby had a chance at survival.

Dr. Rebecca Lewis, a family physician practicing obstetrics at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, and her patients were left to decide between inducing delivery early, or waiting until the baby died in the womb or the patient went into septic shock.

Continued: https://www.muskogeephoenix.com/news/after-court-rulings-oklahoma-doctors-are-still-confused-about-when-abortion-is-legal-to-save/article_7cb9b2c0-1c3b-11ee-9bb0-77dd714dc353.html

Oklahoma Supreme Court rules 2 abortion bans unconstitutional, but abortion is still illegal in most cases

MAY 31, 2023

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that two state laws banning abortion are unconstitutional, but the procedure remains illegal in the state in most cases.

In a 6-3 ruling, the high court said the two bans are unconstitutional because they require a "medical emergency" before a doctor can perform an abortion. The court said this language conflicts with a previous ruling it issued in March. That ruling found the Oklahoma Constitution provides an "inherent right of a pregnant woman to terminate a pregnancy when necessary to preserve her life."

Continued: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/oklahoma-abortion-bans-supreme-court-rules-unconstitutional-still-illegal-most-cases/

After Oklahoma’s sweeping abortion ban, many bills to improve maternal health still failed

Lawmakers said earlier this year they believed there would be momentum this session to pass bills addressing Oklahoma’s maternal health care problems and expanding family supports after the state enacted a near-total ban on abortions last year.

May 25, 2023
Kayla Branch

The 2023 legislative session was Sen. Carri Hicks’ fourth year to file a bill that would pay baby-friendly hospitals in the state slightly higher Medicaid reimbursement rates in hopes of expanding access to quality maternal health care.

But that bill, along with the other nine bills aimed at improving maternal health in the state, failed this year. Most bills didn’t receive a hearing in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee this legislative session. Sen. Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, who chairs that committee, told The Frontier he had no comment.

Continued:  https://www.readfrontier.org/stories/after-oklahomas-sweeping-abortion-ban-many-bills-to-improve-maternal-health-still-failed/

USA – ‘I’ll lose my family.’ A husband’s dread during an abortion ordeal in Oklahoma

May 1, 2023
Selena Simmons-Duffin

Before February, Jaci Statton wasn't particularly focused on Oklahoma's abortion bans. "I was like, 'Well, that's not going to affect me. I won't ever need one,' " she says.

She's 25 and lives in central Oklahoma with her husband, Dustin, and their three kids — two 7-year-olds and an 8-year-old. They are a blended family with two kids from Jaci's previous marriage and one from Dustin's.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/05/01/1172973274/oklahoma-abortion-ban-exception-life-of-mother-molar-pregnancy

In Oklahoma, a woman was told to wait until she’s ‘crashing’ for abortion care

April 25, 2023
Selena Simmons-Duffin

The molar pregnancy Jaci Statton had would never become a baby. It was cancerous, though.

At the last hospital in Oklahoma she went to during her ordeal last month, Statton says staff told her and her husband that she could not get a surgical abortion until she became much sicker.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/04/25/1171851775/oklahoma-woman-abortion-ban-study-shows-confusion-at-hospitals