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US abortion bans leave grey areas in complicated pregnancies

PUBLISHED

Moments after unveiling a bill that would ban all abortions in the United States at 15 weeks, US Senator Lindsey Graham was interrupted by a mother with a devastating story.

"I did everything right and at 16 weeks we found out that our son would likely not live," Ashbey Beasley told a crowded room. "When he was born, for eight days he bled from every orifice of his body," she said.

But, she said, at least she got to choose how to handle her difficult pregnancy, while Mr Graham's law would take away that choice.

"What do you say to someone like me?"

Since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade this summer, states across the US have pushed through abortion bans or severely restricted the procedure. But as such laws have gone into effect, unintended consequences have followed.

Doctors and patients say that confusing standards and the vague language of these laws have had a chilling effect on the medical field in anti-abortion states, leaving tragedies in their wake - and more in the making.

For the last year, Amanda Horton, a Texas doctor who specialises in high-risk pregnancies, has struggled to care for patients with pregnancy complications.

At times, Dr Horton must inform families that their babies have been diagnosed with a fatal foetal anomaly. These conditions are rare and likely to lead to the death of a foetus in utero, or shortly after birth.

But under a strict abortion ban in Texas, her hands are tied.

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Source: BBC News, 17 September 2022

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