AUSTIN (KXAN) — Amanda and Josh Zurawski have been trying to have a baby for more than a year now. So when Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court and Texas’ abortion law went into effect, they never anticipated they were going to be directly impacted.
That’s until Amanda experienced complications in her pregnancy that meant she was inevitably going to have a miscarriage. It also put her life at risk. Because of Texas’ abortion law, the family had no choice but to wait until that miscarriage happened or wait until Amanda was sick enough that doctors thought she could die.
“I was struggling enough with the news that I was going to have to lose my daughter,” Amanda said. “Then on top of that knowing that I was going to have to wait for days or weeks until the ordeal could be over was … it felt cruel.”
Dr. Leah Tatum, an OBGYN at the Austin Regional Clinic, said while Amanda is not her patient, this is something she’s seeing happen more commonly than one might think.
“The biggest problem and the reason that she had kind of an inevitable miscarriage is because the sack of water is ruptured when the fetus was pre-viable. This is something that comes up frequently in the world of obstetrics. So Amanda’s story is not surprising to me, it’s not unique,” Tatum said.
A few days after the news, Amanda got an infection — sepsis. She was finally sick enough that doctors deemed an abortion medically necessary to save her life.
“I’ve seen her in plenty of different shapes in her life, both the good stuff and the bad stuff and this was the scariest moment for sure,” Josh said. The pair has known each other since childhood.
So what’s being done? In an interview with WFAA, a Dallas news station, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott addressed situations like this one, saying in part:
“There have been some comments and even maybe some actions by some doctors that are not taking care of women who have an ectopic pregnancy or who have a miscarriage and that is wrong because neither of those two are abortions.”
Abbott said the law needs to be clarified to protect the mother and the baby. But to get that done, he pointed to the Texas legislature, which won’t be in session again for months.
KXAN reached out to Abbott for comment on this story and to ask why he did not call a special session to address the issue and has not heard back.
“I don’t know an obstetrician that wants to be the first person to face felony charges in a situation like this,” Tatum said. “At what point can we act, is the question.”
For Amanda and Josh, that question mark for doctors could have huge implications on their family’s future. Amanda is still waiting to see if the lasting impacts of her infection will strip the couple of their choice to get pregnant again.
“It feels infuriating because it feels like I may have been robbed of the opportunity to carry my own children in the future and it didn’t need to happen and it could have been prevented,” Amanda said.