Harris recently has been told In detail how he and his colleagues were preparing to care for patients in a post-Roe v. Wade America, that is, the America we live in now.
Absent clear policies allowing this, physicians may be reluctant to treat patients with ectopic pregnancy, irreversible miscarriage, or pre-existing rupture of membranes when fetal heart activity remains. Hospital pharmacies, doctors, midwives, and advanced practice doctors will need to consider whether they will continue to stock and offer the best evidence-based drug treatments for spontaneous abortions – mifepristone and misoprostol, the same Medicines used in abortion care – which may be used. Bring charges of criminal activity.
For example, in any case a cancer diagnosis is even more terrifying dangerous For someone who is pregnant in a state where abortion is prohibited or severely restricted. (For just one example outside the US, a 16-year-old girl named Rosara “Esperancita” Almonte Hernandez Died 10 years ago in the Dominican Republic — where abortion is illegal without exception — when doctors refused to start her chemotherapy treatment because she was one month pregnant.)
Harris explained that “there are some cancers that are caused by pregnancy hormones to grow and spread rapidly, and people will choose to terminate the pregnancy because of this or because the treatment recommended by their oncologist is toxic or potentially harmful to a developing baby. and will be fatal.” One in every 1,000 people who become pregnant will develop cancer during their pregnancy. This problem is widespread.
What happens to people in a state where abortion is banned, and traveling elsewhere is not a viable option—a situation that applies to low-income Americans of color as well as rural Americans? According to Harris, when there are cancer patients forced To complete the term, “this may mean that their cancer is more severe and more widespread than early in the pregnancy, and therefore they may actually have a higher risk of dying, but it is not a risk. Which is going to happen immediately – it could be a recurrence in months or years.”
In spring 2021, Rachel Brown, a 36-year-old mother of two, found In consecutive days, she found out that she had breast cancer and was pregnant. If he doesn’t get aggressive treatment, the cancer may well kill him, even if not that day. But Brown’s life-saving treatment would almost certainly cause serious fetal harm. She decided to have an abortion. Here’s what he had to say The The New York Times On the Supreme Court ruling that took that decision away from her and so many others: “I felt … my life didn’t matter, and my children’s lives didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that I lost my life because I was being forced to get pregnant.
In an NPR interview, Harris spoke His fear in broad terms is clear: “It’s very scary and confusing for doctors and the whole team that takes care of patients to know what we can do, what’s OK and what’s not OK?” He further explained that a condition may not threaten a patient’s life in the moment, but may do so in the future: “People have many conditions that when they become pregnant, they are cured in early pregnancy. , but as pregnancy progresses, it puts a lot of pressure on all the body’s organ systems—heart, lungs, kidneys. So they can recover. right now … But three or four or five months from now, they could have life-threatening consequences.”
Dr. Louis KingAn OB-GYN at Harvard Medical School and Vice Chair of the Committee on Ethics for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), roughly. Condemned Laws that threaten to punish doctors unless they “put the person before them first and … act in a way that is medically harmful. Doctors have “up to some point There will be no choice but to watch sick and sick and sick – and where is the point? – where it is okay to interfere and we will not be held criminally liable.”
On the matter of criminal liability, Dr. DeShawn Taylor, who owns and operates Desert Star Family Planning, a small clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, may be more vulnerable than a doctor affiliated with a large academic hospital. She didn’t mince words on not letting herself be exposed to criminal responsibility, and drew on her own lived experience with racism as a black woman:
I didn’t go to medical school to go to prison. I have no interest in ever having an illegal abortion. I’m just going to be honest. I don’t have the complexities of accepting a threat and slapping my hand afterwards. We see people who have already been offended, pregnant people who have already been offended. They are not white. So I have no illusions about where I stand on this issue and what kind of risk I can and cannot take.
These three different doctors express the same concern. Laws that put doctors in fear of losing not only their license, but their freedom to practice evidence-based medicine and properly care for their patients—to use the terminology of medical ethics—are seriously wrong.
The fear of doctors going to jail due to these inhumane laws is bad enough. Patients are worried that they will die. For anyone who claims that this is alarming, that it will never happen, well, the thing is – it already is. And this has happened to more than one woman.
Isabella Sajbor Was 30 years old. She was from Przemyśl in the south of Poland. Sajjar was a hairdresser by profession. He had a daughter named Maja who was 9 years old. Sajbor was in her 22nd week of pregnancy on September 22, 2021, when her water broke and she was hospitalized. There was a fetus in her womb Diagnosed With such serious disorders, incl Edwards syndromethat it was unlikely to survive to term, and if it did, the life expectancy was no more than a few months.
In a place where abortion rights were enshrined in law – the opposite Poland, which is almost prohibited—doctors would have performed immediate labor or surgery to remove the fetus. Failure to do so will put Sajbor at risk of infection and, worse, sepsis. His temperature rose. She started vomiting. He started having convulsions. But as they revealed In the text messages For her family, doctors didn’t intervene because they were focused on the fetus, whose heart was still beating.
“My life is in danger.”
“They can’t help as long as the fetus is alive because of the anti-abortion law.”
“A woman is like an incubator.”
All too predictable, Sajbor wrote: “The baby weighs 485 grams. [A little over a pound.] For now, thanks to the abortion law, I have to lie down. And they can do nothing. They’ll wait until it dies or something starts, and if not, I can expect sepsis. that Added: “I hope I don’t get sepsis because then I won’t leave this place.”
Sajbar developed sepsis, and did not leave the hospital. Her fetus died first, at which point doctors finally prepared to perform a cesarean section. On the way to the operating room, his heart stopped beating. Sajbar’s mother asked The question many of you are asking right now: “How could this happen to him in the hospital? Eventually, she went there for help.
For its part, the hospital Accused The law that prohibits abortion: “It should be emphasized that all medical decisions were made taking into account the legal provisions and standards of conduct in force in Poland.” Urzula Grycuk, international advocacy coordinator for the Warsaw-based Federation for Women and Family Planning, emphasized that “Isabella’s case clearly shows that the ruling [banning abortion] There has been a chilling effect on doctors.” There have been others similar The case follows Poland’s abortion ban, in which another woman has died.
In 2012, abortion was long banned in Ireland, a staunchly Catholic country where the Church’s ruling on the matter reigned supreme. Dr. Savita Halpnavar was a dentist, born in India, who moved to Ireland. On October 21, she was 17 weeks pregnant Entered in hospital in Galway when he “felt something coming down” and “had a leg pushed back.” She was in “unbearable” pain. According to Official report On the case, the fetus had no chance of survival. But it didn’t die immediately.
Two days later, a doctor told her that since her water had broken, it was “inevitable” that she would miscarry. Halpanawar asked for an induced abortion, which technically qualified as an abortion because the fetus was alive. He was refused. On 28 October, he died of septic shock due to an infection.
The expert who wrote the official report of this incident Dr. related What happened: “Because the fetal heartbeat was present all the time, the obstetrician did not terminate. If someone decided he did it illegally, he would go to jail. Please note that this is the above Dr. Harris, King and Taylor. As in Poland, the issue was the law, as Arulkumaran continued: “It was a life-threatening situation, but they decided not to do anything because of the legal framework.” Unlike in Poland, a woman’s completely avoidable death shined A movement that changed the law:
Melissa Barnes, a 20-year-old medical student, said that for many young Irish women, hers was the first concrete story of how the Eighth Amendment, introduced in 1983, could affect them.
“When Savita died, that was the point at which people my age, in that kind of youth bracket, were made aware of what was going on,” Ms Barnes said. “We weren’t even around when the Eighth Amendment was introduced.”
Stephanie O’Toole, another 20-year-old college student from Dublin, agreed.
“His name was a catalyst for an important conversation,” Ms O’Toole said. “She became a symbol of this fight for a generation of people.”
Halappanwar’s father Andanappa Yalagi A video In support of the campaign to repeal the abortion ban by referendum in 2018. By a margin of 2-to-1, Irish voters Voted to amend its constitution and repeal the ban. When the results were announced, supporters made sure to call out his name.
Ian Refowitz is the author The Tribalization of Politics: How Rush Limbaugh’s Race-baiting Rhetoric Paved the Way for Trump’s Obama Presidency (Foreword by Marcos Moulitsas)