HEALTH

Texas abortion law complicates care for risky pregnancies

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Texas abortion law complicates care for risky pregnancies

The only way to stop the heavy bleeding is to terminate the pregnancy and shrink the uterus, Dr. Moedi said. time is of the essence. “Every OB-GYN has cared for someone who has died of a hemorrhage,” she said. “If someone is bleeding during a miscarriage, how long do I have to wait?”

Even if the mother’s life is saved, Dr. Moedi said, she may need an emergency hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus, which will leave her infertile.

Other complications that occur when a woman has twins or multiple children can be resolved by “selective reduction” or abortion of one fetus to give the other a better chance of living. Failure to do so may, in some circumstances, result in the death of all fetuses. Selective deductions are restricted under the new state law.

In other cases, a pregnant woman’s medical needs may be opposite to the needs of her fetus.

A few months before the Texas legislature passed the new law, Dr. Robert Gunby Jr., an obstetrician in Dallas, was caring for a pregnant newlywed who suddenly began to lose weight. She was diagnosed with an aggressive lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

An oncologist urged the woman to begin treatment immediately, but the chemotherapy regimen could have been toxic to the fetus.

“At first he said, ‘I can’t, I want this baby so badly,'” Dr. Gunby remembered. “But that was the only option he had to save this young woman.” She eventually agreed, and treatment was started as soon as the abortion was done.

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Dr. Palmer, an obstetrician in Fort Worth, said one of her patients was trying to get pregnant after the new law went into effect, and she had consensual sex with her partner.

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