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Texas abortion ban: Woman left bleeding and unconscious after emergency abortion is denied

A Texas woman bled profusely until she passed out because doctors refused to perform a surgical abortion under strict state bans, even though she suffered a miscarriage and her fetus’ heart had stopped beating.

Ryan Hamilton, the woman’s husband, told CBS that his wife was 13 weeks pregnant when doctors said her fetus had no heartbeat. The woman said she wanted a surgical procedure to clean her uterus, but doctors said that was not an option; instead, the doctors said she could take medication to complete the process and sent her home. Hamilton said the doctors did not give her clear instructions.

After two days of taking misoprostol, they returned to the same clinic for more medication, but according to Hamilton, the doctor said they would no longer prescribe misoprostol. The doctor did not give them a clear explanation, but Hamilton said this could be because of the law, because doctors can face consequences if they help a pregnant person get an abortion.

Abortion is illegal in Texas, but exceptions can be made for medical emergencies or when a woman’s life is in danger. However, critics have long argued that Texas law is unclear about when a doctor can perform an abortion on a pregnant person.

“They’re scared,” Hamilton said. “The doctors are afraid”

Hamilton had to take her wife to another hospital, where they told her it wasn’t urgent enough to perform the surgical procedure, but that they could schedule it a week later.

However, Texas law does not require a medical emergency to perform the procedure to remove the fetus if there is no heart activity, as was the case with Hamilton’s wife. Waiting longer could have increased the risk of infection for Hamilton’s wife.

“This conversation is not what is best for my wife,” Hamilton said. “On the hospital side, the conversation is: what should we do?”

Doctors gave her a higher dose and sent her home.

When she got home, the woman started a new dose of misoprostol. But in the morning, Hamilton found his wife unconscious and covered in blood in their bathroom.

“She needed help as soon as possible or she was going to die,” Hamilton told the Dallas Morning News. “I knew that if I picked her up and put her in the truck, I could get to the hospital faster. That may be reckless, but at that moment I didn’t care. All I wanted to do was save my wife’s life.”

At the hospital, doctors gave her fluids and told Hamilton that his wife had terminated the pregnancy at that point. Doctors sent her home, but Hamilton said he didn’t feel she was safe at home and she was still bleeding.

Hamilton said Texas law made it difficult for them to obtain an abortion for his wife, putting her life in danger. He said he wanted to tell the story so people in the state would know these types of experiences still happen.

“I love Texel. I love the people of Texas. My wife loves Texas,” Hamilton told the News. “But this is something that needs to be addressed and resolved.”

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