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Another woman nearly dies because of Texas abortion ban

President Donald Trump and Amy Coney Barrett stand on the Blue Room Balcony after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Constitutional Oath to her on the South Lawn of the White House White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. Barrett was confirmed to be a Supreme Court justice by the Senate earlier in the evening. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The exceptions are ineffective, so in other words the law is working as intended:

Kelsie Norris-De La Cruz tried not to cry as the doctor in the emergency room delivered one of the most frightening diagnoses a pregnant woman can receive.

The 25-year-old college senior was told she likely had an ectopic pregnancy, a highly dangerous condition where the embryo implants outside of the uterus. Without immediate treatment, the fallopian tube can rupture — and the patient can die.

The law that has prohibitedabortions in Texas since Roe v. Wade was overturned now explicitly allows doctors to treat ectopic pregnancies. But when doctors at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital evaluated Norris-De La Cruz last week, they refused to terminate the pregnancy,saying there was some chance the pregnancy was still viable, Norris-De La Cruz recalled. Instead, they advised her and her mother to go home and wait, according to medical records reviewed by The Washington Post.

Norris-De La Cruz ultimately received emergency surgery about 24 hours later at a different hospital in the area, at which point her ectopic pregnancy had already started to rupture. The OB/GYN who performed the procedure said that, if Norris-De La Cruz had waited much longer, she would have been “in extreme danger of losing her life.”

“I was scared I was going to … lose my entire reproductive system if they waited too long,” Norris-De La Cruz said in an interview two days after her surgery. “I knew it could happen at any moment.”

Her case highlights a chilling reality of post-Roe America:Medical exceptions to abortion bans have not stopped doctors from turning away patients with significant pregnancy complications, often with harrowing consequences.Their stories underscore the messy collision between abortion laws and medical diagnoses — and the struggles of doctors and hospitals to navigate what many say are inadequate legal protections to treat women with life-threatening conditions.

In the nearly two years since Roe fell, dozens of women have come forward with stories of medical care denied because of abortion bans, with the changes in treatment bringing some close to death or affecting patients’ future fertility. Several dozen women across the country who experienced pregnancy complications have challenged their state abortion bans in court.

In individual case like this, one can blame in part the first hospital for being too risk-averse. But 1)legislators who pass abortion bans know that doctors and hospitals are likely to err on the side of caution, and 2)it happens too often to be about the choices of any one doctor or hospital.

Whenever a pundit tries to assert that American abortion bans are really no different than the rules making it formally more difficult to obtain abortions after 15 weeks in Europe, ask them to ID any doctors who have recently been arrested or threatened with arrest for competently performing abortions they deemed medically necessary in France.

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