In order to score points against pro-life laws, abortion activists and the mainstream media are constantly exploiting some pregnant women’s bad medical experiences in pro-life states. However, during a recent Senate hearing, one pro-life OB/GYN from the state of Texas sought to dispel common misperceptions at the heart of these tragic cases.
Appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week to blast the state’s pro-life protections, Amanda Zurawski is suing the state of Texas for what she claims is serious bodily damage caused by the state’s heartbeat law. Amanda was 18 weeks pregnant with her baby when she experienced preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) from an incompetent cervix that would not stay closed, and she was in early labor.
Based on Zurawski’s recounting of what followed, her doctors narrowed in on a single course of treatment – abortion – which they then refused, citing the Texas heartbeat law as preventing them from acting. Without any other options or supportive measures, they told her that her baby’s death was an inevitability and sent her home.
During the Senate hearing, Dr. Ingrid Skop, a practicing OB/GYN and vice president of the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, was called on by Senator Lindsay Graham to discuss Zurawski’s case. In her testimony, Dr. Skop started by expressing her empathy for Zurawski’s horrific experience. “I am so sorry at your loss, and I am so sorry that your doctors misunderstood Texas law,” Dr. Skop said, according to CNN.
Dr. Skop then addressed the heart of the problem common to tragic cases like Zurawski’s; namely, a misunderstanding of the law. “Every single law allows an exclusion for a doctor to use their reasonable medical judgment to determine when to intervene in a medical emergency, which is usually defined as a threat to the life of the mother or permanent irreversible damage to an organ or an organ system.” (Comments in the video below begin at 52:36.)
As Live Action News previously reported, doctors committed serious medical neglect for refusing to apply standard medical care — which does not involve the direct and intentional killing of the baby, but instead involves premature delivery — if other treatments like bed rest or a cerclage were not available options. It also appears they neglected to check her for infection before sending her home, offer her prophylactic antibiotics, or monitor for an infection. Over the course of three days at home, Amanda developed severe sepsis that required hospitalization, and has left her physically and psychologically scarred.
Dr. Skop addressed the specific medical condition, PPROM, that Zurawski faced, and she noted that the law even explicitly allows for abortion, making her doctors’ reasoning even more inexplicable.
“To be clear, because the likelihood for progression to life-threatening sepsis for the mother is high, and the prognosis for continued extra-uterine life for the fetus is poor, the law allows an exception where an abortion is necessary to preserve the ‘life of the mother,'” she said. “Offering immediate delivery by induction or by induced abortion is supported by ACOG’s medical guidance. In this rare situation, abortion is permissible by state law, as necessary to prevent the mother’s death.”
Dr. Skop said that “refusing to offer the option of intervention in this circumstance is not supported by this law, which would permit intervention because of the likelihood that PPROM could become life-threatening for the mother.” She pointed to the example of physicians at Southwestern Medical School, who “misinterpreted Texas law and declined to offer 26 women with PPROM immediate intervention,” resulting in a “predictably poor” outcome: “57% of the women experienced serious morbidity” and only one baby survived.
Addressing pregnancy complications in general, Dr. Skop’s thorough testimony went over many instances of medically sound treatments, none of which consist of induced abortion (direct and intentional killing), which abortion supporters falsely claim is necessary.
“Disrupting the normal physiologic process of pregnancy and ending the life of an unborn human being by induced abortion is the very antithesis of healthcare,” Skop said. “Only 7-14% of obstetricians say they will perform an abortion when requested by their patient. If abortion was necessary for a woman’s health, every obstetrician would be willing to perform that intervention.”
Dr. Skop’s testimony offered a shift in focus to the real danger plaguing pregnant women in a post-Roe world: not a lack of abortion, but doctors refusing standard of care and common-sense treatments for their patients. Rather than taking her doctors to court so that other women do not suffer at the hands of their medical malpractice, Zurawski is taking to the media in an effort to eliminate pro-life protections.
Did you know that as little as $10 a month is enough to reach more than 3,000 people with the truth about abortion that no one else is telling them? Click here to start saving lives 365 days a year.