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Texas Abortion Ban: Woman Left Bleeding and Unconscious After Denied Emergency Abortion

A Texas woman was left to bleed profusely until she passed out because doctors refused to perform a surgical abortion under the state’s strict bans even though she was miscarrying and her fetus’ heart had stopped beating.

Ryan Hamilton, the woman’s husband, told CBS that his wife was 13 weeks pregnant when doctors said her fetus had no heartbeat. The woman said she wanted a surgical procedure to clear her uterus, but doctors said that wasn’t an option; instead, doctors said she could take medication to complete the process and sent her home. Hamilton said the doctors did not give her clear instructions.

After two days of using misoprostol, they returned to the same clinic for more medication, but according to Hamilton, the doctor said they wouldn’t prescribe any more misoprostol. The doctor didn’t give them a clear explanation, but Hamilton said it could be because of the law, since doctors can face consequences for helping a pregnant person get an abortion.

Abortion is illegal in Texas, but exceptions can be made for medical emergencies or when a woman’s life is in danger. However, critics have long argued that Texas law is not clear about when a doctor can provide an abortion for a pregnant person. 

“They feel scared,” Hamilton said. “The doctors feel scared”

Hamilton had to drive her wife to another hospital, where they told her it was not enough of an emergency to perform the surgical procedure, but that they could schedule it for a week later.

However, Texas law does not require a medical emergency to perform the procedure to remove the fetus if there is no heart activity, as was the case with Hamilton’s wife. Waiting longer could have increased the risk of infection for Hamilton’s wife.

“The conversation is not what’s best for my wife,” Hamilton said. “The conversation is, on the hospital side ‘what should we do?’”

Doctors gave her a higher dose and sent her home.

Back at home, the woman began a new dose of misoprostol. But in the morning, Hamilton found his wife unconscious and covered in blood in their bathroom.

“She needed help as soon as possible or she was going to die,” Hamilton told the Dallas Morning News. “I knew if I picked her up and got her in the truck, I could get to the hospital faster. That may be reckless, but at that moment I did not care. All I wanted to do was save my wife’s life.”

At the hospital, doctors gave her fluids and told Hamilton that his wife had terminated the pregnancy at that point. Doctors sent her home, but Hamilton said he didn’t’ feel she was safe at home and that she was still bleeding.

Hamilton said Texas law made it difficult for them to get an abortion for his wife and put her life in danger. He said he wanted to tell the story so people in the state would know that experiences like this still happen.

“I love Texas. I love the people of Texas. My wife loves Texas,” Hamilton told the News. “But this is something that needs to be addressed and fixed.”

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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