MARK FELIX / AFP
In Texas, five women file a complaint for refusal of abortion, a first (Photo of pro-abortion protesters during a mobilization in Houston, Texas, October 8, 2022)
Abortion – Five residents of Texas, who were denied abortions despite serious complications, filed a complaint Monday evening, March 6, against the anti-abortion laws in force in this vast conservative state.
This is the first complaint filed by women who have been refused abortions since the United States Supreme Court dynamited the right to abortion in June 2021, according to the organization Center for reproductive rights. who represents them.
Elle “contains chilling, direct testimonies of women who nearly lost their lives after being denied care”said Democratic Vice-President Kamala Harris, who gave them her support on Tuesday in a press release.
Exceptions that are too vague and penalties that are too heavy
These women, who will speak during the day at a press conference, wanted to carry their pregnancy to term but had discovered during medical examinations that their fetus was not viable.
In their complaint, they claim that their doctors refused to perform abortions despite the risk of bleeding and infection. They attribute their reluctance to the various laws prohibiting abortion in Texas, one of which provides up to 99 years in prison for doctors defying the ban.
These laws provide for exceptions where “of danger of death or serious handicap for the mother”but according to the complainants, they are too vague.
Close to death, lack of care
One of them, Amanda Zurawski, 35, had her waters rupture at 17 weeks pregnant, far too early for the fetus to survive. Her hospital, however, waited until she showed signs of infection three days later before expelling the fetus. According to the complaint, she had sepsis, spent several days in intensive care and lost one of her tubes because of this refusal of treatment.
Another, Lauren Miller, was pregnant with twins when she learned that one of the two fetuses was not viable. Despite the risks to her own health and the development of the other fetus, the medical personnel would not proceed with the abortion of the non-viable fetus and she had to travel to Colorado, at her expense, to obtain this intervention. Still pregnant, she is due to give birth at the end of the month.
At 18 weeks pregnant, Lauren Hall had discovered that her fetus had no skull and could not survive. She had to travel to Seattle to get an abortion. Unlike the other complaints filed by doctors or associations since June, this action does not attack the ban on abortion but calls on the courts to “clarify the scope of exceptions”.
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