The Women Who Sued Texas After Being Refused Abortions Say That Reproductive Rights Are the Most Important Issue to Them This Election

The Women Who Sued Texas After Being Refused Abortions Say That Reproductive Rights Are the Most Important Issue to Them This Election

Women who sued the state of Texas in a high-profile case over exceptions to its abortion ban say their experiences have made abortion an important issue for them going into the November election. Today is the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling.

A group of women sued the Texas Supreme Court last month because they were not allowed to have abortions even though they were having major health problems during their pregnancies. The court ruled against them. The Center for Reproductive Rights led the group, which now has 20 women and two obstetrician-gynecologists. They wanted clearer rules on what cases are medical emergencies that don’t count against Texas’ strict ban.

The state Supreme Court, however, turned down their appeal, saying that Texas law does not allow abortions, even when a baby has a serious defect, and that it is up to doctors to decide when the law allows them.

One of the plaintiffs, Samantha Casiano, said that not being able to have an abortion made her realize how strict Texas’ rules are.

She said, “Now everyone in my family has to vote.” “This year, you’re going to vote if you’ve never done it before.” I’ll take you there. I care so much about it.

At the time, Casiano was pregnant and living in East Texas with her husband and four kids. In December 2022, she found out that her unborn child had anencephaly, a fatal disease in which the brain and skull do not fully develop. She didn’t have the money or child care to get an abortion out of state, so she brought the pregnancy to term, gave birth, and then saw her baby die within hours.

“Getting up every day knowing that your child is going to die and making funeral plans for them before they even arrive is crazy and unfair.” She said, “There’s just a lot of pain there.”

Casiano said that having an abortion is very important to her because she has a 3-year-old daughter.

“Down the road, she’ll have kids.” This woman said, “I want my nieces who are going to be moms to get the health care they need.” “May God help them, if they need it, it should be there for them.”

A survey released last week by KFF, a health care research and policy group, found that one in ten women say the right to abortion is the most important problem to them when they vote.

The right to have an abortion is on the ballot in five states this November: Colorado, Florida, Maryland, New York, and South Dakota. Similar bills are also on the ballot in six other states. Montana organizers turned in the necessary number of signatures on Friday to get a constitutional change that would protect access to abortion on the state’s ballot.

There isn’t an abortion bill on the ballot in Texas, where doctors can be fined at least $100,000, go to jail for up to 99 years, or even lose their licenses if they perform abortions. Abortions are only allowed in life-threatening emergencies.

Friday, the state’s medical board gave doctors new information about its abortion ban, but it wouldn’t give a list of specific medical conditions that would make an exception.

“There are no exceptions.” They’re not true. “They don’t exist in real life,” said Lauren Miller, who is also a client in the Zurawski case.

Miller added, “We just shouldn’t be in a situation where there is a clear point at which your bodily autonomy is given up to the state.” “Living things are in danger.”

Miller was happy when she found out she was going to have twins in September 2022. She is from Dallas. But at 12 weeks, she learned that one of the twins had trisomy 18, a disease that could kill the person carrying it and put Miller and the other fetus at risk as well.

She ended up in the emergency room after throwing up and being very thirsty. This put her organs at risk of damage, but doctors would not perform an abortion to get rid of the sick twin. She spent a lot of money and went almost 800 miles to get medical care in Colorado. Henry, her boy, was born in March 2023.

Miller said, “We’ve seen so many elections now that are decided by very small margins that every vote counts.”

Amanda Zurawski, who was the main plaintiff in the case, said, “From now until November, I am giving all of my time and energy to re-electing President Biden and Vice President Harris.”

She quit her job to work as a Biden campaign supporter.

She said, “To be honest, I’m scared of what will happen if Trump gets back to the White House.”

After Zurawski’s water broke at 18 weeks, which is way too early for a baby to live, she was not allowed to have an abortion. Doctors told Zurawski that she was likely to get an infection and shouldn’t be more than 15 minutes from a hospital if she wanted to leave the state to end the pregnancy.

As her health got worse, doctors had to perform an emergency abortion. After that, Zurawski got sepsis and had to stay in special care for three days.

In the Zurawski decision, the Texas Supreme Court said that women can have abortions if their waters break before the fetus is viable, since that often leads to infection. For Zurawski, that’s not much comfort right now.

“What happened to me means I have to use a surrogate now.” “The damage to my reproductive organs will never go away,” Zurawski said.

It is now “the most important thing in the world to me” to protect reproductive rights, she said.

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