Abortion Laws Stand Between Pregnant Texans and the Care They Need

Doctors are left to guess at whether helping their patients will land them in prison.

MARCH 24, 2023

Doctors have a code, a set of principles meant to guide their practice: Give care. Act justly. Respect patients. Do no harm. But for Texas doctors, especially obstetrician-gynecologists, following those seemingly straightforward principles has become a legal and ethical minefield.

Physicians are finding themselves torn between providing medically appropriate care and staying in compliance with the state’s draconian anti-abortion laws. The stakes couldn’t be higher: risking major fines and up to life in prison for doctors on one side, and on the other, often putting women’s lives at risk because of delays in care or refusals to provide formerly routine procedures. As a result, medical decisions regarding pregnancy complications now involve a host of new stakeholders—hospital administrators and lawyers—who may put questions of institutional risk above patient well-being.

Continued: https://prospect.org/health/2023-03-24-abortion-laws-pregnant-texans/

“You Know What? I’m Not Doing This Anymore.”

There’s a quiet new crisis brewing in Texas following the abortion ban. It could get much worse.

MARCH 21, 2023

For three days last fall, Leah Wilson entered her pregnant patient’s hospital room and checked the fetus for a heartbeat. She was waiting for it to stop. The woman’s water had broken at just 19 weeks of pregnancy, well before viability, causing an infection in her uterus. The fetus would not survive, but until it died, or the woman’s condition worsened, there was little the hospital would do, said Wilson, who was her nurse at the time.

Typically in this kind of situation, doctors would terminate the pregnancy to prevent a life-threatening infection or other serious complication. But this patient was in Texas, where abortion is no longer legal.

Continued: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2023/03/texas-abortion-law-doctors-nurses-care-supreme-court.html

The doctors suing Texas over abortion access

By SYDNEY GOLD, Politico

Last year, Dr. Judy Levison, an OBGYN in Houston, was offering routine counseling to a pregnant patient about screenings, explaining how she could check for spinal cord or chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. She told her patient that while not everyone wants to know about abnormalities in their pregnancy, others do in case they’ll need to prepare for any health issues or, depending on the prognosis, even end the pregnancy.

“As I got to the word ‘abortion,’ you know, ending a pregnancy, I suddenly stopped and said, ‘Oh my, I can’t offer abortion anymore, and my patients tend to be low income, and going out of state is really not an option,’” said Levison. “I suddenly felt like somebody had literally tied my hands behind my back.” Levison ultimately decided to stop seeing patients after nearly 40 years in practice, citing Dobbs as a contributing factor.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/women-rule/2023/03/17/the-doctors-suing-texas-over-abortion-access-00087608

Texas sued by women who say state’s abortion bans put their health at risk

By Tierney Sneed, CNN
Tue March 7, 2023

Several women who say Texas’ abortion bans posed significant risks to their health have sued the state this week, opening a new front in the legal battles that have emerged since the Supreme Court overturned national abortion rights protections last year.

Five women allege in the lawsuit that uncertainty around when medical emergency exemptions in Texas’ abortion laws apply exacerbated medical emergencies that put their lives, health and fertility in danger.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/07/politics/texas-women-abortion-lawsuit-health/index.html

Judge strikes down California gun law modeled on Texas abortion measure

The ruling could put the law on a trajectory to the Supreme Court.


A federal judge has blocked a California gun law that emulated a controversial Texas abortion measure — and which was intended to provoke a court fight.

The injunction from Judge Roger Benitez sets California’s law, which enables private citizens to sue manufacturers of illegal guns, on a potential path to the U.S. Supreme Court. That could set up a test of both laws — an outcome that California Gov. Gavin Newsom has sought.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/19/california-gun-law-texas-abortion-00074689

Texas – El Paso woman defies state abortion bans

by Victoria Rossi
December 11, 2022

Ruth runs through a checklist as she packs. There’s ginger chews for nausea, chamomile tea for calm, two thick pads for bleeding. Inside seed packets of cantaloupes, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers, she slips two smaller plastic baggies containing abortion pills, which she’s labeled by hand.

A few months earlier, Ruth would feel her heart pound as she assembled the kits, a rush of adrenaline as she drove to mail them, wondering if she’d get stopped – and if stopped, arrested. Now, she said, “The fear is gone. And I’m just at righteous indignation.”

Continued: https://elpasomatters.org/2022/12/11/el-paso-texas-woman-distributing-abortion-pills-defies-bans/

Texas court dismisses case against doctor who violated state’s abortion ban

The law allows civil suits against anyone who performs or aids an abortion.

By Nadine El-Bawab and Mary Kekatos
December 8, 2022

A Texas court dismissed a lawsuit Thursday against a doctor accused of providing an abortion to a woman despite the state's strict ban on the procedure.

Dr. Alan Braid performed the abortion for a patient in early September 2021, just five days after S.B.8 went into effect, which bans abortion after six weeks' gestation. The patient's pregnancy was further along than six weeks.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/US/texas-court-dismisses-case-doctor-violated-states-abortion/story?id=94796642

Without Abortion, Doctors in Texas Are Forced to Witness Horrible Outcomes

We’re supposed to be able to give patients choices on how to handle high-risk pregnancy complications. A new paper shows what happens when we can’t.

NOV 28, 2022

Usually, articles in medical journals are about science; they bring data to their readers, who can use them to provide evidence-based care to their patients.

But sometimes, evidence is an expression of grief or even rage. A recent journal article, “Maternal Morbidity and Fetal Outcomes Among Pregnant Women at 22 Weeks’ Gestation or Less with Complications in 2 Texas Hospitals After Legislation on Abortion,” contains such evidence.

Continued: https://slate.com/technology/2022/11/abortion-texas-roe-v-wade-data-maternal-morbidity.html

A Woman Wanted an Abortion to Save One of Her Twins. She Had to Travel 1,000 Miles.

“There was no decision, really, because the baby wasn't going to survive... I’m not going to leave my son without a mom.”

By Carter Sherman
November 28, 2022

Early one Friday morning, about six weeks into her pregnancy, a woman started throwing up and didn’t stop for more than 36 hours. She tried drink after drink—ginger ale, tea, Pedialyte—to rehydrate, but the woman kept vomiting. Once chills started to wrack her body, she decided enough was enough. The woman, who VICE News is calling A. for privacy reasons, needed to go to the emergency room.

A., who already has a toddler son, had already been nervous about being pregnant in her home state of Texas. Although A. and her husband had planned for this pregnancy, A. worried that if anything went wrong, Texas’ ban on abortion would prevent her from getting help.

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en/article/epz7ap/texas-abortion-ban-woman-travels-to-save-twin

How Texas’ abortion laws turned a heartbreaking fetal diagnosis into a cross-country journey

By Eleanor Klibanoff | The Texas Tribune
October 25, 2022

“It was just a matter of time before the baby died, or maybe I’d have to go through the trauma of carrying to term knowing I wasn’t bringing a baby home,” said 27-year-old Lauren Hall. “I couldn’t do that.”

The protesters outside a Seattle-area abortion clinic waved pictures of bloody fetuses, shouting that she was a “baby killer” and begging her to choose life. Lauren Hall, 27, fought the urge to scream back and tell them just how badly she wished life was a choice she could have made.

Continued: https://www.keranews.org/texas-news/2022-10-25/how-texas-abortion-laws-turned-a-heartbreaking-fetal-diagnosis-into-a-cross-country-journey