In instances where abortion is the most humane form of healthcare, Texas will force pregnant folks to endure physical and emotional trauma instead.
As a regressive abortion ban becomes the norm in Texas, expecting parents who were denied abortions have spoken up about how cruel anti-abortion laws hurt them most. In a Reddit post, Daniel Mahaffey describes what he and his wife Taylor Mahaffey went through when she was expected to deliver a stillborn baby rather than be induced and end her suffering. The post, which includes horrific details about their traumatic experience, has started a conversation about how late-term abortion laws punish expecting parents for reasons beyond their own control. Mahaffey thus calls on Texas residents to write to their representatives and share why they feel these laws were unjust and awful.
"My wife and I were expecting our first child, she had been pregnant for over four months," he explains. "We did all the checkups, all the screenings. By all accounts, he was a happy, healthy, big for his age little man, with his father's nose. That was until my wife's cervix decided to dilate. By the time we got to the hospital, his feet were already coming out of the womb and pushing through the cervix. We tried a litany of emergency measures, but the sack was already outside the womb. There was nothing that we could do." At that point, the best option would have been to "pop the sack" and deliver the baby stillborn. However, this was not legally permissible.
Mahaffey writes, "Thanks to Texas' frankly inhumane and cruel 'Women's Health Laws,' this wasn't an option. He still had a heartbeat, which we were forced to listen to. Because of this, and his age, any attempts to induce labor would be considered a late-term abortion. Even though he had no chance of surviving, this was considered an abortion. These laws made my wife feel our child struggle inside her for days. We cried ourselves to sleep every night. We spent four days in and out of the hospital waiting for nature to take its course." In his post, he argues that forcing a woman to go through labor for a non-viable baby is "cruel, inhumane, and morally indefensible."
"These laws, in their effect, forced a woman to give birth to a stillborn baby," he affirms. "Whatever your stance on the issue is, I hope you understand that the way the law is now is hopelessly broken.
If there is a Christian God, he would hate anyone who would put ideology in front of humanity. Please, please, please work to either repeal or amend these laws. They are hopelessly inadequate for dealing with the complexities of human reproduction." Mahaffey goes on to urge folks to get in touch with their representatives in order to have the law repealed. Meanwhile, he shares that he and his wife are home, grieving for their loss. He notes, "My heart breaks, however, for the hundreds, if not thousands of others that will be affected by these godless laws."
At present, pro-choice activists are fighting the newly introduced law in court, hoping to break the courthouse stalemate that is keeping the law in effect. Pro-choice groups sued Texas officials in July in an attempt to block the law prior to it coming into force on September 1. However, a panel of federal appellate judges (backed up by the United States Supreme Court which refused to step in at this moment in time) cleared the way for the legislation to take effect. This is because clinics were suing public officials in advance. Texas residents must step up in order to fight the archaic law.