Congress Hearing Reveals Real-Life Grave Consequences of Denying Women Miscarriage Treatment
Texas Woman Testifies to Senate Judiciary Committee about Near-Death Experience While Suffering a Miscarriage Due to Texas Abortion Ban
More and more states are imposing abortion bans in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision. At least 20 states have enacted various abortion bans and restrictions since the Dobbs decision last June. The most recent of which is North Carolina, which after a veto, and a veto override, passed a 12-week statewide abortion ban. This is the most restrictive of its kind in what has long been hailed as the politically moderate abortion safe haven of the South. However, as these bans continue to be introduced, more and more women, nurses, and doctors are sharing their stories and testimonies about the dangers of oppressive abortion bans.
The Treatment for Miscarriage At Risk
When women go into labor with an unviable
pregnancy, doctors are now restricted, and in some
states, completely prevented from inducing delivery
because that is technically an abortion. Many of the
bans and restrictions in these states are broad-sweeping, ideologically based policies that fail to account for the complexities and intricacies that abortion-based healthcare maintains.
Due to these short-sighted policies, many women are being sent home to suffer through a miscarriage alone in their homes, instead of receiving the necessary care and support that doctors and nurses could otherwise provide. However, as more mothers are unnecessarily suffering under these new laws, doctors and women are sharing their stories. One woman from West Texas recently testified to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary about her own experience of suffering from a miscarriage, which could have been alleviated if it weren’t for Texas’ restrictive abortion bans.
The Testimony We Have Been Waiting For
On April 26, 2023, Amanda Zurawski testified to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary about her own experience suffering from a miscarriage due to oppressive reproductive policies post-Dobbs decision. The hearing featured testimonies from Zurawski, who nearly died due to Texas’ extreme abortion ban, as well as an esteemed law professor, an OB/GYN, a doctor from an anti-abortion group, and a senior research associate from Notre Dame. While many of the witnesses provided testimonies spanning the spectrum of opinions on abortion, it was Zurawski’s real-life experience that stunned the committee.
Amanda Zurawski’s testimony highlighted the dangers and hardships she faced. Zurawski experienced early dilation, which led to her membranes rupturing, and after many grueling and hopeless visits with doctors and nurses, her eventual week-long fight to survive a bout of sepsis and severe infection. These symptoms began on a seemingly joyful, and sunny August day after she has just finished writing invitations for her upcoming baby shower.
Zurawski went to the doctor as soon as she experienced these early symptoms. She shared in her testimony, “Soon after, my membranes ruptured, and we were told by multiple doctors that the loss of our daughter was inevitable. It was clear that this was not a question of if we would lose our baby; it was a question of when.” Amanda’s healthcare team told her there was nothing they could do because of the state's extreme anti-abortion laws, which went into effect only two days after her early dilation. This meant that while Zurawski would inevitably and with full certainty lose her baby, there was nothing the team could do to ensure a dignified process for Zurawski and a respectful passing for her little child.
The Ugly Truth of Restrictive Abortion Laws
What happened in the following days was horrifying. Zurawski was forced to wait for either her baby’s heartbeat to stop, or to succumb to life-threatening illness, all without support from any form of health professionals. Zurawski testified that she found herself thinking, “Would Willow’s heart stop, or would I deteriorate to the brink of death?” as some women have in the aftermath of Dobbs. She nearly joined the statistical population of women who have died due to untreatable miscarriages under anti-abortion laws.
Read Amanda Zurawski’s personal testimony about the horrific experience she endured:
"The answer arrived three long days later. In a matter of minutes, I went from being physically healthy to developing a raging fever and dangerously low blood pressure. My husband rushed me to the hospital where we soon learned I had developed sepsis–a condition in which bacteria in the blood develops into infection, with the ability to kill in under an hour. Several hours later, after stabilizing just enough to deliver our stillborn daughter, my vitals crashed again. In the middle of the night, I was rapidly transferred to the ICU, where I would stay for three days as medical professionals battled to save my life. I spent another three days in a less critical unit of the hospital – all because I was denied access to reasonable healthcare due to Texas’s new abortion bans."
The hearing eventually came to a grueling end, and lawmakers and witnesses were able to go home to their families at the end of the day. However, many women across the United States have no such luxury, because anti-abortion laws have taken away their dignity, their rights, and their ability to reproduce in the wake of life-threatening miscarriages.
Abortion Bans and America’s Future
Abortion bans written by politicians looking to score
political points are endangering the lives of women
across America, delaying and obstructing life-saving
care, and putting women in positions they should
never have to face by themselves, let alone in the
With 15% of all pregnancies ending in miscarriage,
it is only a matter of time until you, your wife, your
daughter, your sister, your friend, or your neighbor
is caught up in the heartless bureaucracy of these abortion bans, and the life-threatening circumstances that they create. Every day, families and doctors are left helpless, while the women they care for are forced to endure extended suffering because some politician imposed a poorly written law.
This shouldn’t be the case. America can do better. We can do better.