In the Post-Roe Era, Letting Pregnant Patients Get Sicker—By Design
In “In the Post-Roe Era, Letting Pregnant Patients Get Sicker—By Design,” the New Yorker features the story of Amanda Zurawski, the lead plaintiff in the Center’s groundbreaking lawsuit against the state of Texas that seeks to clarify the scope of the state’s “medical emergency” exception under its extreme abortion bans. Zurawski experienced preterm pre-labor rupture of membranes at 18 weeks pregnant, but Texas doctors forced her to wait until she became septic before providing abortion care. She spent the following three days fighting for her life in the ICU, and the infection caused one of her fallopian tubes to become permanently closed.
Thanks to Texas’s restrictive abortion laws, the New Yorker reports, situations like Zurawski’s have become increasingly common across the state. Doctors are hesitant to provide abortion care for fear of legal repercussions, while patients experiencing complications are afraid to report them. As a result, trust between doctors and their patients has eroded, and maternal morbidity and mortality are on the rise.
“As obstetricians, we try so hard to prevent maternal morbidity and mortality,” Houston doctor Anitra Beasley said in the article. “Yet, with this, we are actually waiting for people to get sick—it’s the opposite of what we do as doctors.”
The repercussions of Texas’ laws reach beyond the state’s borders. Ob-gyns in states such as Colorado, where abortion is legal, are increasingly overwhelmed by patients traveling from out of state to obtain abortion care. Obstetrics-and-gynecology residencies in Texas, on the other hand, have seen a drop in applications since the state’s bans went into effect.
“When nobody wants to train in Texas, as the physicians get older and retire, there will be no ob-gyns in the state,” one anonymous doctor told the New Yorker. “And that’s when you’ll really see maternal mortality go up.”
Read the article here:
- “In the Post-Roe Era, Letting Pregnant Patients Get Sicker—By Design,” New Yorker, 05.06.23