Three women who were denied abortions when their pregnancy threatened their lives have testified in an Austin, Texas court. In a class-action lawsuit, they are demanding that the state explain under what circumstances abortion is allowed in the state since the law was tightened in 2022.
A two-day hearing began Wednesday in an Austin, Texas courthouse for women who are suing the state over being denied abortions. This was done despite the fact that the pregnancy would threaten their lives. As reported by NBC News, The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a total of 13 women and two midwives in March, seeking clarification on the types of situations that allow abortion under Texas abortion laws.
Since last year, Texas has only allowed abortions to save a woman’s life. The tightening of the law followed decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Junewhich repealed the universal right to pre-life abortion and reinstated the state’s ability to prohibit abortion.
Texas. Hearing of women denied abortion
NBC News describes that there was great emotion in the courtroom during Wednesday’s hearing. The three women who heard testimony from the court cried about the trauma they suffered when they had to carry the pregnancy knowing that the baby would not survive.
One of them, Amanda Zurawski, confessed that she was denied an abortion when her waters broke at 18 weeks of pregnancy and she barely survived because of sepsis. The woman eventually miscarried and had to undergo several uterine reconstructions as a result of complications. Another woman, Ashley Brandt, said she was pregnant with twins but found out at 12 weeks that one of the babies had failed to develop a skull. A disorder called acrania also threatened the life of the second child, and doctors informed her that if she decided to abort one fetus, it would save the life of the other. But she couldn’t do it legally in Texas, so she traveled to another state, Colorado, to undergo the procedure. The second child was born healthy at 38 weeks of gestation.
A third woman, Samantha Casiano, testified that in her 20-week pregnancy, the fetus was diagnosed with anencephaly, and the doctor informed her that the baby would not survive after birth. She said she considered having an abortion in another state, but was afraid of being fined or losing her job. “I felt trapped in my own body,” she said. She eventually gave birth to a baby who died 4 hours after birth. During the testimony, the woman vomited, after which the judge ordered a break in the hearing. After its revival, Casiano admitted that her body had never reacted in this way before, but since the traumatic pregnancy it happened often.
NBC News reports that none of the women who testified blamed the doctors, but they attributed the blame to imprecise Texas law. Further hearings in the case are scheduled for Thursday.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Adam Davis