Criminalizing safe, ordinary medical procedures turns out to have all kinds of bad consequences:
Last year, a 35-year-old woman named Amanda, who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, had a miscarriage in the first trimester of her pregnancy. At a large hospital, a doctor performed a surgical procedure often used as a safe and quick method to remove tissue from a failed pregnancy.
She awoke from anesthesia to find a card signed by the nurses and a little pink and blue bracelet with a butterfly charm, a gift from the hospital to express compassion for her loss. “It was so sweet because it’s such a hard thing to go through,” Amanda said.
Eight months later, in January, Amanda, who asked to be identified by her first name to protect her privacy, experienced another first-trimester miscarriage. She said she went to the same hospital, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, doubled over in pain and screaming as she passed a large blood clot.
But when she requested the same surgical evacuation procedure, called dilation and curettage, or D&C, she said the hospital told her no.
A D&C is the same procedure used for some abortions. In September 2021, in between Amanda’s two miscarriages, Texas implemented a law banning almost all abortions after six weeks into pregnancy.
Following the reversal of Roe v. Wade, numerous states are enacting bans or sharp restrictions on abortion. While the laws are technically intended to apply only to abortions, some patients have reported hurdles receiving standard surgical procedures or medication for the loss of desired pregnancies.
Amanda said the hospital didn’t mention the abortion law, but sent her home with instructions to return only if she was bleeding so excessively that her blood filled a diaper more than once an hour. Hospital records that Amanda shared with The New York Times noted that her embryo had no cardiac activity during that visit and on an ultrasound a week earlier. “She reports having a lot of pain” and “she appears distressed,” the records said.
Or how about one state over:
Here's the account from a New Orleans doctor, who was told by her hospital's lawyer she couldn't perform a D&E on a 16-weeks-pregnant woman whose water broke. Instead, she went through a "painful, hours-long labor to deliver a nonviable fetus, despite her wishes" pic.twitter.com/3c8kR9mtas— Sam Karlin (@samkarlin) July 18, 2022
Hmm, odd that doctors and lawyers are not following the “this is not an abortion” standard, just because it isn’t found in any actual code. Strange!
After today, young women will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had. The majority accomplishes that result without so much as considering how women have relied on the right to choose or what it means to take that right away. The majority’s refusal even to consider the life-altering consequences of reversing Roe and Casey is a stunning indictment of its decision.