Texas sued by five women over no access to abortion

Five women who claim they were denied abortions in Texas despite life-threatening health risks have filed a lawsuit challenging the state's abortion ban. Doctors who perform abortions in Texas face up to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

According to the lawsuit, doctors are not performing the procedure in even the most extreme cases due to the fear of prosecution. The office of Attorney General Ken Paxton stated in a statement that he would enforce the state's laws.

The statement asserts that Mr. Paxton is dedicated to doing everything in his power to protect mothers, families, and unborn children. The Center for Reproductive Justice has filed the lawsuit on behalf of five women and two healthcare providers: Ashley Brandt, Lauren Hall, Lauren Miller, Anna Zargarian, and Amanda Zurawski.

It is the first time, according to the pro-choice group, that pregnant women have taken action against anti-abortion laws passed across the United States since the Supreme Court removed constitutional protection for abortion rights last year.

Tuesday outside the Texas Capitol in Austin, two pregnant plaintiffs shared harrowing accounts of their previous miscarriages with Ms. Northup. According to the legal action, all of the women were informed that their fetuses would not survive, but they were not offered an abortion, which was a "standard medical procedure" across the country and in the state prior to the implementation of Texas' ban.

After 18 months of fertility treatments, Ms. Zurawski, 35, announced she was pregnant. She had just entered her second trimester when she was informed that she had dilated prematurely and that the loss of her Willow-named fetus was "unavoidable."

Ms. Zurawski also mentioned that despite the certainty that her baby would not survive, her doctor could not intervene while her heart was still beating or until she was ill enough for the hospital's ethics board to consider her life at risk..

According to the lawsuit, Ms. Zurawski was forced to wait three days in a "bizarre and avoidable hell" until her body developed sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, and doctors were permitted to perform an abortion.

According to the legal action, Ms. Zurawski spent three days in intensive care before leaving the hospital after a week. She said that the ordeal has made it more difficult for her to conceive in the future. The remaining four women had to travel outside of Texas for the abortion. According to the lawsuit, two of the women's fetuses had conditions that prevented them from developing a skull.

The lawsuit states that with the threat of losing their medical license, fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars and up to 99 years in prison looming over them, it is no wonder that doctors and hospitals are turning patients away, including those with medical emergencies. The Republican-controlled Texas legislature has been at the forefront of anti-abortion legislation, passing the nation's first near-total ban. 

A Texas judge is expected to rule this week on a case concerning abortion pills. US District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, appointed by President Trump, will decide whether Mifepristone, one of the two drugs used in an abortion pill regime, can continue to be sold in the United States.