Two Idaho women denied abortion care—both plaintiffs in a case brought against the state by the Center for Reproductive Rights—discussed their harrowing experiences being denied abortion care in a recent episode of This American Life.
The segment, titled “The Devil Is in the Details. And There Are So Many Details,” reports on the situation for pregnant people in Idaho under the state’s post-Roe abortion bans, as well as the maternal health crisis developing as OB-GYNs leave the state because of the restrictive laws.
Both plaintiffs interviewed for the segment discussed their painful experiences of discovering that their babies had severe fatal diagnoses and were unlikely to survive, being denied medically necessary abortion care, and the resulting risks to their health and lives. Each was forced to drive out of state to obtain abortion care.
“Do I risk going to term, knowing that I’m not even going to have a son to take home, and risk my life, and not be there for my daughter?” said Kayla Smith, one of the plaintiffs. “What that does to someone’s mental health—it’s just devastating. Because I felt—I just felt trapped,” she added.
Even before Idaho’s abortion bans went into effect, there was a shortage of maternal fetal medicine doctors in the state—and the number has dropped from nine to five, according to the segment. “Every pregnant woman I talked to in Idaho” had the fear that “they’d be left totally on their own in a medical emergency,” said the reporter, Miki Meek.
The segment also features interviews with other pregnant women and doctors impacted by the bans and several state lawmakers who voted for the bans—some of whom now think the laws need changing.
Listen to the episode here:
- “The Devil Is in the Details. And There Are So Many Details,” This American Life, 10.21.23