Women denied abortions sue Texas and speak out in first lawsuit against ban

Austin, Texas - Five women who are plaintiffs in a historic lawsuit against abortion bans after the overturning of Roe v. Wade took to the Texas Capitol on Tuesday to share their stories.

Zurawski v. State of Texas alleges that the extreme bans on abortion led to unnecessary medical dangers to five pregnant women.
Zurawski v. State of Texas alleges that the extreme bans on abortion led to unnecessary medical dangers to five pregnant women.  © Montinique Monroe / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The lawsuit, Zurawski v. State of Texas, was filed on Monday by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of the five women as well as two obstetrician-gynecologists.

The case does not look to block the abortion bans in Texas entirely, but instead seeks clarification regarding the exemptions to the ban in the case of medical emergencies.

The lawsuit argues that the extreme bans violate the rights of pregnant people to protect their own life and health.

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Each of the five women was denied an abortion despite complications that directly threatened their life or that of the fetus.

The five, two of whom are currently pregnant, opened up about their experiences on the steps of the Texas Capitol.

"I begged many Texas doctors to give me the care I needed," plaintiff Anna Zargarian said. "They said they wanted to help, but couldn't under Texas law. Where else in medicine do we do nothing and just wait and see how sick a patient becomes before acting?"

Zurawski v. State of Texas argues extreme abortion laws lead to unnecessary medical risks

Several plaintiffs from Zurawski v. State of Texas detailed their harrowing medical crises that stemmed from the state's extreme abortion bans.
Several plaintiffs from Zurawski v. State of Texas detailed their harrowing medical crises that stemmed from the state's extreme abortion bans.  © IMAGO / NurPhoto

Another plaintiff, Amanda Zurawski, was denied an abortion despite experiencing preterm pre-labor rupture of membranes.

She then suffered from life-threatening sepsis, which led to one of her fallopian tubes becoming permanently closed.

"An abortion would have prevented the unnecessary harm and suffering that I endured," Zurawski said. "I needed an abortion to protect my life, and to protect the lives of my future babies that I dream and hope I can still have one day."

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The lawsuit seeks to "allow physicians to make decisions about their patients' care without fear that a prosecutor, jury, or disciplinary board might undermine their medical judgment and imperil their livelihood," per the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The lawsuit comes as a federal judge in Texas is set to rule on a case that could lead to nationwide restrictions on access to abortion pills.

Cover photo: Montinique Monroe / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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