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Women in Texas File Lawsuits Alleging Abortion Law Endangers Their Lives

Texas’ restrictive abortion laws have been challenged by a group of over a dozen women in a new lawsuit. The Center for Reproductive Rights is leading the challenge against a state law that bars abortions unless a mother’s life is at risk – an exception that is not clearly defined. The law imposes penalties of up to $100,000 and the possibility of life imprisonment on medical practitioners who perform abortions. This has left many women without access to providers willing to even discuss termination of a pregnancy. Lawyers leading the lawsuit said the women “are asking a Texas court to put an emergency hold on some abortion restrictions”. 
Texas’ law is among the most stringent in the United States, and is part of a breech in reproductive rights that many US states have executed. Some states prohibit all abortions, while some ban the practice after six weeks of pregnancy. Meanwhile, a study by non-profit organisation KFF revealed that 16 states, including Texas, do not perform abortions when it is detected that the fetus has a fatal anomaly; six states do not allow exceptions for the mother’s health. 
To join the lawsuit challenging the national breech of reproductive rights, over a dozen women have come forward. Five women who were denied termination when a pregnancy endangered their health or lives have already launched their case. Many of the new women joining the case have told of heartbreakingly difficult choices being imposed on them. One woman was forced to carry a baby missing much of its skull for months, knowing her child would soon die. Another started displaying the life-threatening symptoms her baby was sensing in the womb. An obstetrician gynaecologist found it necessary to travel outside her state to obtain an abortion after receiving the devastating news that her foetus was fatally malformed. 
“These stories about doctors saying, ‘if not for this law, I’d give you an abortion right now’, are being shared by almost all the plaintiffs in the lawsuit,” said Molly Duane, who is leading the new case. “Our hope is that it will allow physicians at least a little more comfort when it comes to patients in obstetrical emergencies who really need an abortion where it’s going to affect their health, fertility or life going forward”. 
Lawyers are also thought to be considering filing similar cases in other states following this challenge, with more US women forced to travel further for procedures in an effort to safeguard their futures and family lives. 

Mark Long

At Dallas Metro, Mark has the freedom to explore his interests and delve deep into stories that matter. Whether he's investigating corruption in local government or writing about the latest trends in technology, Mark brings his own brand of wit and insight to every piece he writes.

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