Days after Texas’ Senate Bill 8, which prohibits abortions after 6 weeks, went into effect In September 2021, Kiersten Hogan woke up in excruciating pain and was taken by paramedics to hospital. She was 19 weeks pregnant. Although she wasn’t told by staff at the time, it became clear her son would not survive. Even so she was told repeatedly that if she left or tried to be discharged she could be arrested for trying to kill her child. Five days later, she gave birth to her stillborn son. Hogan is one of eight plaintiffs who joined a lawsuit this week against Texas to demand clarification of medical emergency exceptions to its abortion laws. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the suit, hopes it will give “comfort” to women and doctors faced with a life-threatening need for an abortion – and provide a model for other states. Doctors found guilty of providing an illegal abortion in Texas currently face life in prison and fines of up to $100,000. Six states don’t have exceptions for the mother’s health in their abortion laws while sixteen, including Texas, ban abortions even when a fatal foetal anomaly is detected.
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