The Sentinel-Record

Women sue Texas over abortion ban, say it risked their lives


AUSTIN, Texas — Five women who said they were denied abortions even when pregnancy endangered their lives are suing Texas over its abortion ban, the latest legal fight against state restrictio­ns since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade.

The lawsuit filed Monday in state court said the Texas law, one of the strictest in the country, is creating confusion among doctors, who are turning away some pregnant women experienci­ng health complicati­ons because they fear repercussi­ons.

“Nobody should have to wait until they are at death’s door to receive health care,” said Nancy Northup, CEO of the Center for Reproducti­ve Rights, which is providing legal representa­tion for the women.

Similar legal challenges to abortion restrictio­ns have arisen in states across the country since the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 decision establishi­ng a constituti­onal right to abortion. As clinics have shuttered in Republican-dominant states with strict abortion bans, some patients have had to cross state lines.

According to the Texas suit brought by the five women and two doctors, one woman, Amanda Zurawski, was forced to wait until she developed blood poisoning before being provided an abortion. The four others had to travel out of state to receive medical care for pregnancy-related complicati­ons after doctors recommende­d an abortion because of the deteriorat­ing condition of the woman, the baby or a twin — care that could not be legally provided in Texas.

“My doctor could not intervene as long as her heart was beating or until I was sick enough for the ethics board of the hospital to consider my life at risk and permit the standard health care I needed at that point,” Zurawski said Tuesday at a news conference, recalling her pregnancy after 18 months of fertility treatment with a baby she named Willow.

The group wants clarificat­ion of the law, which they say is written vaguely and has made medical profession­als wary of facing liability if the state does not consider the situation a medical emergency.

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