A Texas woman who needed an abortion to save her life had to travel to Oklahoma to get the procedure, as the new law in Texas bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared her story with Newsbreak, hoping to raise awareness about the impact of the law on women’s health and rights.
The woman said she was 11 weeks pregnant when she found out that she had a rare condition called placenta accreta, which causes the placenta to grow too deeply into the uterine wall. This can lead to severe bleeding, infection, and organ damage during delivery. The woman’s doctor told her that she had a high risk of dying if she continued the pregnancy, and that the only safe option was to terminate it.
However, under the new law in Texas, which took effect on September 1, 2023, abortions are prohibited once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks. The law also allows private citizens to sue anyone who performs or aids an abortion after that point, and offers them at least $10,000 in damages if they win.
The woman said she was terrified and desperate, as she could not find any clinic in Texas that would perform the abortion. She said she felt like she had no choice but to leave the state and seek help elsewhere. She contacted an organization called Trust Women, which helps women access abortion services in states where they are restricted or banned. The organization arranged for her to travel to Oklahoma, where she was able to get the abortion at 12 weeks.
The woman said she was relieved and grateful that she was able to get the care she needed, but also angry and frustrated that she had to go through such an ordeal. She said she felt like her life and health were not valued by the lawmakers who passed the law, and that they were playing politics with women’s bodies. She said she hoped that the law would be challenged and overturned, and that women in Texas would regain their right to choose what to do with their pregnancies.
The new law in Texas has been widely criticized by reproductive rights advocates, medical professionals, and human rights groups, who say that it violates the constitutional right to abortion established by the Supreme Court in 1973. They also say that it disproportionately affects low-income women, women of color, and women in rural areas, who may not have the resources or ability to travel out of state for an abortion. Several lawsuits have been filed to challenge the law, but so far, none have succeeded in blocking it. The Supreme Court has declined to intervene, saying that the law’s enforcement mechanism raises complex and novel legal questions. The court has not ruled on the constitutionality of the law itself, and may do so in the future.