Culture

How a couple found themselves tangled in Texas’ strict abortion laws after miscarriage


Marin Wolf | The Dallas Morning News (TNS)

DALLAS — The woman knew there would be blood, but she hadn’t expected this much or for it to be bright red.

It had been nearly a day since the Surepoint Emergency Center outside of Fort Worth told her that she was miscarrying at nearly 13 weeks and sent her home with a prescription and a set of instructions.

Administer the misoprostol, a drug that helps empty the uterus, and wait, the instructions said. If it doesn’t work, take another dose. There will be a lot of blood, the doctor said, but you only need to worry if it’s scarlet instead of a rusty brown. The woman, who asked not to be named out of concern for her safety, wanted a surgical procedure to clear her uterus, but the doctor told her it wasn’t an option at the facility.

Worried by the amount of blood, the woman and her husband, Ryan Hamilton, returned to Surepoint, their 9-month-old daughter in tow. The trip was the beginning of a 24-hour race to get the woman additional abortion care while she bled until she lost consciousness on her bathroom floor.

“She started to lose a lot of blood and a lot of body fluid, to the point where it’s scary,” Hamilton said. “She’s a very strong Texas woman. She’s determined to do it. I’m not surprised she stayed in there longer than she probably should have before she passed out.”

The woman’s story, which her first husband shared on social media and with The News, is yet another example of a Texan stuck in the gray space of the state’s abortion laws that ban the procedure in all cases except to preserve the life of the mother. Her miscarriage occurred two weeks before the Texas Supreme Court ruled against several other women who sued the state because they struggled to get medical assistance for complications including conditions that lead to miscarriage, they said.

Two medical centers allegedly denied the woman a surgical abortion because her case was not considered emergent enough, Hamilton said, despite the fact that her fetus’ heartbeat had stopped.

The Dallas Morning News reviewed the woman’s medical records shared by Hamilton to confirm the timeline of the family’s experience. The News also consulted an outside physician who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology on the case and contacted the Surepoint Emergency Center and Lake Granbury Medical Center, the two hospitals where the woman was prescribed misoprostol.

A legal representative for Surepoint Emergency Center said that, because of patient confidentiality, the medical center is unable to comment on specific cases. Lake Granbury Medical Center, another hospital the couple visited, did not immediately respond to requests by email and phone for comment on Monday.

The News is not naming individual doctors associated with the case as there were clinicians providing the woman care across multiple hospitals working within the rules and guidance of their medical institutions. Hamilton and his wife are not pursuing legal action against any of the physicians they saw regarding the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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