Texas anti-abortion group says state abortion bans block medical care during miscarriages in some cases

The head of prominent anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life says state abortion bans could delaying doctors from treating pregnant women experiencing medical complications during a miscarriage in some cases, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

The Times article covers the stories of women who experienced complications from failed pregnancies in states like Texas with strict anti-abortion measures and the difficulties they face in receiving timely care. A central theme is the feeling that some caregivers are reluctant to provide potentially life-saving treatment due to local laws that may legally deem their actions to be illegal abortions, even if the fetus is not viable and denial of care may be dangerous. for the pregnant woman. individual.

Texas Right to Life President John Seago told The Times he supports such laws, saying they prevent doctors from saying “‘I want to cause the death of the child today because I believe he will eventually die.” referring to a doctor’s medical decision to terminate a pregnancy as a patient suffers a medically complicated miscarriage.

A Texas state law passed last year made it a crime for health care providers to perform abortion procedures except in the case of a pregnancy complication that would kill or injure seriously the pregnant person. Another prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, when fetal heart activity is usually first detectable.

seago recognized at the Times that these laws can result in delayed medical care for patients with serious pregnancy complications that do not meet the threshold of an “immediate threat” to their lives, or if doctors can still detect fetal heart activity. Delaying medical intervention during a miscarriage can lead to a litany of serious medical complications, including blood clots, bleeding, infections and sepsis, obstetricians told The Times.

Seago said the delays in treating miscarriage patients are “very serious situations,” but blamed medical associations — not Texas law — for the resulting delays. “I’ve seen reports from confused doctors, but it’s a failure of our medical associations” to provide proper guidance after abortion bans were passed in Texas last year, Seago said.

Texans who experience serious complications from a miscarriage are already being denied medical intervention, according to a letter sent to the Texas Medical Board last week by members of the Texas Medical Association. The group said it had received complaints about hospital administrators barring healthcare providers from providing essential services to patients suffering from ectopic pregnancies and other birth-related complications as a result of the Supreme Court’s overturning of the Roe v. Wade case last month.

Two Dallas hospital systems released a report earlier this month focused on pregnant women who have been denied medical intervention as they experience serious complications with their pregnancies since September 2021, when Texas abortion bans went into effect. Nearly 40% of patients required blood transfusions, surgery or intensive care admission due to delays in medical care.