The horror tales about women who couldn’t access necessary medical care in a post-Roe v Wade world have already started rolling in.
Case in point: a Texas woman nearly died after being denied an abortion.
Amanda Eid and Josh Zurawski, both 35, met in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in preschool. They dated in high school. In a storybook romance, Amanda says Josh has said he’s been in love with her since they were four.
They married in Texas three years ago, where they both work now.
They tried to start a family but were unable to conceive naturally. So they started fertility treatments.
After a year and a half, they got pregnant.
In an Instagram post from July, Amanda writes, “Very excited to share that Baby Zurawski is expected in late January.” The post included a picture of Amanda and Josh in “mama,” and “dad” hates holding an ultrasound of their beloved baby girl.
But 18 weeks into her pregnancy, Amanda’s water broke.
Amanda says the doctor told her that the baby would not survive. “We found out that we were going to lose our baby. My cervix was dilating fully 22 weeks prematurely, and I was inevitably going to miscarry.” It should be noted that the minimum age of viability for a baby to be born is considered 22 or 23 weeks.
Amanda and Josh begged the doctor to save their baby but were told they could do nothing.
When a woman’s water breaks prematurely, she becomes at incredibly high risk for several life-threatening infections.
Even though the couple’s baby – Willow – would not survive because she had a heartbeat, the doctors could not induce her labor. Texas law allows abortion if the mother “has a life-threatening physical condition aggravated, caused by, or arising from pregnancy that places the female at risk of death or poses a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function.” But the law is not spelled out precisely.
Doctors who violate it can lose their license and face a potential life in a prison sentence – so they opt not to take the chance.
Amanda was told to go home and wait it out. It could be hours; it could take weeks. Meanwhile, Amanda’s womb was an open infection risk, and her baby slowly lost access to the comforting cushion of amniotic fluid.
Because the nearest sanctuary state (where they could seek an abortion) was an eight-hour drive, they opted to wait it out at home. But three days later, Amanda was shivering so hard she could barely speak. They returned to the hospital, and doctors determined she was sick enough to induce.
But by then, antibiotics weren’t strong enough to work on the infection she was dealing with, and a blood transfusion didn’t work either. Amanda was developing symptoms of sepsis. Her blood pressure and platelets dropped, and she was rushed to the ICU. Doctors surgically inserted an IV line near her heart to develop antibiotics and medication to stabilize her condition, and eventually, she made a turn for the better. Family flew in from around the country, thinking it would be their only chance to say goodbye.
But even though she survived, Amanda’s ordeal isn’t over. Her uterus experienced scarring from the infection, and she may never be able to carry a pregnancy to term.
“This didn’t have to happen. That’s what’s so infuriating about all of this, is that we didn’t have to – we shouldn’t have had to – go through all of this trauma.”
Amanda and Josh say that the politicians who voted for the anti-abortion law see themselves as pro-life, but they’re not. “Amanda almost died. That’s not pro-life. Amanda will have challenges in the future having more kids. That’s not pro-life.”
And Amanda’s story is far from rare.