Texas Woman, Previously Suing State Over Abortion Law, Urgently Appeals to End Pregnancy: A Desperate Plea for Reproductive Rights


After having our 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son, Justin and I started making plans and trying for another child. We’ve always wanted a big family. Since I had to have C-sections during my first two pregnancies, we knew that this one and any others after it would be more dangerous for me and the baby.

We were so happy when we found out I was pregnant again in August. It was so much fun telling our whole family at a family event. I love being a mom more than anything else in the world. Everyone loves and laughs every day.

Everything was going well until my doctor called me out of the blue to give me the results of an early screening test. She asked if I was in charge. I stopped on the side of the road because I could tell her tone was serious. Fear and sadness filled my body.

It was more likely than not that our third child, a girl, would have Trisomy 18, which is also known as Edwards syndrome, she said. More tests needed to be done. I stayed in my car and searched Trisomy 18 over and over again. While reading about problems with several important organs, tears came to my eyes as I learned that “most of the cases do not last the full pregnancy and result in stillbirths.”

Even though we were sad, we tried to stay positive. It was hard for both of us to wait. Five weeks went by between hearing about the early screening test and getting the final report after an amniocentesis. This is a test that can tell if our baby has full Trisomy 18.

We felt both hopeful and gloomy at different times. Something kept telling me that the early tests might be wrong. She might have a great time in a wheelchair. Every week, there were more ultrasounds and bad news. She has problems with her spine, heart, brain, and the growth of her limbs, among other things.

Then we knew for sure: she had full Trisomy 18 and couldn’t live.

It was never in my wildest dreams that I would want or need an abortion. I just never thought I’d be where I am now. Twenty weeks along with a baby that won’t live, which could put my health and a future pregnancy at risk.

When I feel her moving and kicking, the daily signs that I’m pregnant are hard to handle. People in line at the grocery store are nice to me and my two kids, and they smile and ask how far along I am.

My doctors are great. They were kind and answered all of my questions, but they never told me what to do. I asked other women what they do when things like this happen. They said that some women decide to keep the pregnancy going and some don’t. It shocked me to learn that in Texas, I would not be able to get an abortion if I picked the second option. These kinds of doctors were trained to help me, but they can’t because Texas now has laws against abortion.

I kept asking more questions, like how long we might have with her if I kept the pregnancy going. The answer was either an hour or a week at most. If our baby were to be born living, she would be in hospice care right away. I won’t have to decide if or when to say goodbye to her.

I could get the abortion care I want and need right now in most places in the United States. The results of the amniocentesis came to me on the same day that the Zurawski vs. Texas case was being heard by the Texas Supreme Court and was all over the news. There are 20 women in this case who are challenging the state’s abortion exceptions.

I asked the Center for Reproductive Rights to help me get the necessary and kind health care I need in Texas, where I live. I’m from Texas. I don’t see why any woman should have to drive or fly hundreds of miles to make decisions about her future that she thinks are best for her and her family.

Because of the laws in Texas, it’s hard for me to do what’s best for my baby girl, myself, and my family.

This pregnancy has caused me a lot of pain and suffering, and I don’t want to keep putting my body or mental health through the risks that come with it. I do not want my child to be born just so I can see her suffer.

There is a good chance that I can get pregnant again after this one, take care of my kids, and be healthy again.

We are asking the Texas courts to give me a temporary protection order that says my case is an exception to the state’s abortion bans. The center is helping us with this. Not because my pregnancy is special, but because this is how life works. It’s my choice.

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