An Austin woman trying to have children says the law nearly killed her

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Amanda and Josh Zurawski have been trying for a baby for more than a year. So when Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court and the Texas abortion law went into effect, they never expected to be directly affected.

That was until Amanda developed complications during her pregnancy which meant she would inevitably have a miscarriage. It also put her life at risk. Because of Texas abortion law, the family had no choice but to wait out this miscarriage or wait until Amanda got sick enough that doctors thought she might die.

“I’ve struggled enough with the news that I’m going to have to lose my daughter,” Amanda said. “Also, knowing that I would have to wait days or weeks for the ordeal to be over, it was … it was cruel.”

Dr. Leah Tatum, an OB/GYN at the Austin Regional Clinic, said that although Amanda is not her patient, it’s something she sees happen more often than one might think.

“The biggest problem, and the reason she had a kind of inevitable miscarriage, is that the bag of water broke when the fetus was pre-viable. This is something that comes up a lot in the obstetrics world. 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. Finally, she was sick enough that doctors considered a medical abortion to save her life.

“I’ve seen her in many different forms in her life, both the good and the bad, and that was certainly the scariest moment,” Josh said. The couple has known each other since childhood.

Amanda and Josh Zurawski
Amanda and Josh Zurawski (KXAN/Grace Reader photo)

So what is being done? In an interview with WFAA, a news station in Dallas, Texas Governor Greg Abbott addressed situations like this, saying in part:

“There have been some comments and even maybe some actions by some doctors who don’t care for women who have an ectopic pregnancy or have a miscarriage, and that’s wrong because neither of those are abortions.”

Abbott said the law needs to be clarified to protect mother and baby. But to do so, he pointed to the Texas Legislature, which won’t reconvene for months.

KXAN reached out to Abbott for comment on this story and to ask why he hasn’t called a special session to address the issue and hasn’t received a response.

“I don’t know an OB-GYN who wants to be the first person to face criminal charges in a situation like this,” Tatum said. “At what point can we act is the question.”

For Amanda and Josh, this doctor’s question mark could have huge implications for their family’s future. Amanda is still waiting to see if the lasting effects of her infection will rob the couple of their choice to conceive again.

“I feel infuriated because I feel like I may have been robbed of the opportunity to carry my own children in the future and it shouldn’t have happened and it could have been prevented,” Amanda said.

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