Women who suffered medical complications after being denied abortions in Texas are now having to relive the trauma of their injuries and dead babies as they plead their case against the state. Welcome to the Republican Party’s America.
On Wednesday, women who are part of a 15-person (both patients and doctors) lawsuit against the state of Texas, returned back to court to challenge the state’s extreme abortion ban.
Texas implemented a near-total abortion ban in September 2021, even before Roe v. Wade was overturned by a Supreme Court now found to have nearly half its jurists embroiled in scandal and corruption. The ban prohibits anyone from getting an abortion unless their life is at risk—no exceptions for a fetus developing an anomaly that would prevent it from surviving past birth. Doctors face life in prison and fines of up to $10,000 if they are found supporting an abortion procedure.
The women challenging the ban were essentially forced to relive their trauma, and at one point, the court was forced to take a break after a plaintiff began vomiting on the witness stand while recounting her own experience.
Samantha Casiano vomited while retelling the story of how she was denied access to an abortion after her baby was diagnosed with anencephaly, a birth defect in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull. Casiano said she had to watch her baby die after giving birth.
Casiano’s testimony was just one of the heartbreaking stories told on Wednesday.
One of the lead plaintiffs, Amanda Zurawski, testified that she was initially excited to become pregnant. But her water broke prematurely at about 18 weeks, meaning the fetus wouldn’t survive—and her life was at risk if she couldn’t get an abortion. Under the repressive new laws, a Texas hospital refused to help her until she became much sicker. Thanks to the Republican-made delay, Zurawski developed sepsis. People who suffer from septic shock have a mortality rate of up to 40 percent, and even after recovering, sepsis still carries a fatal risk.
In other words, Republicans are directly responsible for Zurawski’s life being on the line even today.
And if she would like to become pregnant again, her fertility has been damaged as a result of the sepsis she developed while constantly being turned away from the hospital. One of her fallopian tubes remains permanently closed.
Testifying in court Wednesday, Zurawski recounted, in tears, about being denied an abortion when her water broke and doctors declared her pregnancy nonviable. Politico reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein reports that the state simply objected, calling the nightmarish testimony “irrelevant.”
The judge overruled.
Zurawski then said she was only able to obtain an abortion after going into septic shock. Again the state objected, calling Zurawski’s description of what doctors told her “hearsay.”
The state of Texas continued its assault against the woman—as if the original attack on her wasn’t enough—apparently in efforts to find someone else to blame for her suffering.
These are just a taste of the misery and suffering Texas Republicans have not only overseen but actively brought into reality.
Governor Greg Abbott, the Republican-controlled state legislature, and even Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have all pined for the abortion ban the state now has. And these are the bloody, mind-numbing consequences.