For one Texas doctor, abortion bans are personal and professional

August 21, 2023
Selena Simmons-Duffin
4-Minute Listen with Transcript

On a recent Friday night, as her husband made dinner at the family's home in Dallas and her toddlers ran around underfoot, Dr. Austin Dennard saw an email come in on her phone.

The judge who heard her testify last month in an Austin courtroom about Texas's abortion laws had reached a decision. Dennard is among 13 women who sued the state arguing that the current abortion bans are unclear when it comes to pregnancy complications. She is also an OB-GYN, and she's nearing the end of a healthy pregnancy – she was visibly pregnant while on the stand.


Travis County judge sides with Texas women denied abortions after dangerous pregnancies

Ryan Autullo, Austin American-Statesman
Aug 4, 2023

A state judge in Travis County ruled Friday that abortions in Texas are lawful in cases of dangerous pregnancy complications, including fatal fetal diagnoses, and that doctors cannot be prosecuted for using "good faith judgment" on when to terminate a pregnancy.

The injunction from District Judge Jessica Mangrum, which the state immediately blocked Friday in filing an appeal, comes two weeks after four Texas women came to her court to give emotional testimony about not receiving an abortion, even as they suffered physically and after doctors deemed their pregnancies incompatible with life. It marked the first time women denied abortions have sued a state since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer.


A First-Of-Its-Kind Abortion Lawsuit Just Held Hearings. Here’s What You Need to Know.

While the first day of hearings focused on women’s emotional testimony, the second featured legal fireworks.

By Carter Sherman
July 21, 2023

AUSTIN, Texas — When Dr. Austin Dennard went to an ultrasound appointment for her pregnancy last year, she promised herself she would close her eyes and listen for a fetal heartbeat. The Texas OB-GYN and mother of two had recently miscarried, and she desperately did not want to go through that pain again.

Sure enough, there was a heartbeat. But when Dennard opened her eyes and looked at the ultrasound image, she knew immediately that something was wrong. “I knew then this was never gonna be a brother or sister for my children,” Dennard said.


Women Deliver calls for abortion within universal health coverage

By Sara Jerving
20 July 2023

Including abortion in universal health coverage was one of the main messages emerging from the Women Deliver conference this week in Kigali, Rwanda.

The conference, which ends Thursday, showcased stories of countries that have expanded access, and speakers called for abortion to be treated as a simple medical procedure.


Nearly two years after Texas’ six-week abortion ban, more infants are dying

By Isabelle Chapman
Thu July 20, 2023

Texas’ abortion restrictions – some of the strictest in the country – may be fueling a sudden spike in infant mortality as women are forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term.

Some 2,200 infants died in Texas in 2022 – an increase of 227 deaths, or 11.5%, over the previous year, according to preliminary infant mortality data from the Texas Department of State Health Services that CNN obtained through a public records request. Infant deaths caused by severe genetic and birth defects rose by 21.6%. That spike reversed a nearly decade-long decline. Between 2014 and 2021, infant deaths had fallen by nearly 15%.


Doctors testify about confusion surrounding Texas’ abortion bans

Doctors testified as part of a hearing for a preliminary injunction on the bans.

By Nadine El-Bawab
Video by Jessie DiMartino
July 20, 2023

On the second day of a hearing over a lawsuit filed against the state of Texas, physicians who practice medicine outside the state testified on Thursday that Texas' abortion laws are confusing and would make it difficult to provide necessary care to patients.

They were joined by a physician in Texas who was pregnant herself and delivered emotional testimony about having to go out of the state to get an abortion.


Women suing Texas over abortion bans give emotional testimony

The fifth woman's testimony will be heard on Thursday.

By Nadine El-Bawab and Mary Kekatos
July 19, 2023
Four plaintiffs began the first day of testimony Wednesday as part of a lawsuit filed against the state of Texas, saying the state's abortion bans put their lives in jeopardy.

The women are some of the 15 individuals party to the lawsuit who have alleged they were denied lifesaving emergency care due to Texas' abortion laws.

Lawyers representing the women are seeking a preliminary injunction on Texas' abortion laws that would allow for lifesaving abortions. They are asking the court to provide a "remedy applied to patients whose life, health or fertility is at risk from an emergent medical condition," Molly Duane, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights and lead attorney on the case, said during opening statements Wednesday.


‘It’s demoralizing’: Idaho abortion ban takes toll on medical providers

State’s OB-GYN numbers are dwindling in the face of a legal onslaught amid fears that patients will be unable to access care

Abigail Abrams
Sun 16 Jul 2023

Most mornings Dr Stacy Seyb is awake by 6am. He begins his day with meetings before a packed schedule seeing 18-20 patients going through high-risk pregnancies in Boise, Idaho. He has had a long career of treating people with all sorts of obstetrical complications so he’s used to stress. But it’s never been like this.

Now that federal protections for abortion have been gone for more than a year and Idaho is approaching the anniversary of its near-total abortion ban, the state has seen an exodus of OB-GYNs and other medical providers, leaving Seyb as one of the last remaining maternal-fetal medicine physicians in his state.


Tragedies mount for women with ill-fated pregnancies under Texas’ abortion bans

Bridget Grumet, Austin American-Statesman
May 24, 2023

Life took a wrenching twist for Jessica Bernardo last fall. She went from being an elated, expectant mother — listening to audiobooks about pregnancy, teasing her husband about installing child safety gates on the stairs of their Frisco home — to using a private browser on her computer to search for an abortion.

Bernardo desperately wanted the child she named Emma. About 15 weeks into the pregnancy, though, doctors said the child had severe medical conditions and would not survive to birth.


USA – You Cannot Hear These 13 Women’s Stories and Believe the Anti-Abortion Narrative

May 22, 2023
By Michelle Goldberg

It’s increasingly clear that it’s not safe to be pregnant in states with total abortion bans. Since the end of Roe v. Wade, there has been a barrage of gutting stories about women in prohibition states denied care for miscarriages or forced to continue nonviable pregnancies.

Though some in the anti-abortion movement publicly justify this sort of treatment, others have responded with a combination of denial, deflection and conspiracy theorizing. Some activists have blamed the pro-choice movement for spooking doctors into not intervening when pregnancies go horribly wrong. “Abortion advocates are spreading the dangerous lie that lifesaving care is not or may not be permitted in these states, leading to provider confusion and poor outcomes for women,” said a report by the anti-abortion Charlotte Lozier Institute.