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Sat May 25, 2019, 07:55 PM

New abortion laws are especially cruel to my patients with high-risk pregnancies

Source: Washington Post

New abortion laws are especially cruel to my patients with high-risk pregnancies

What happens when a pregnancy goes wrong at 18 or 20 weeks.

By Chavi Eve Karkowsky
Chavi Eve Karkowsky, MD is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine physician (also known as a high-risk obstetrician). She has a book, "High Risk: A Doctor's Notes on Pregnancy, Birth, and the Unexpected" coming out March 2020 from Liveright/W.W. Norton.
May 24


When I walk into a room of a woman whose water has broken at 16 weeks or 18 weeks or 20 weeks of pregnancy, I introduce myself as her high-risk pregnancy doctor. Then I tell her, “You’re the most important one in this room.”

I say this because I was taught to say this; I say this because it’s true. But most of all, I say this because it’s so easy to forget. Women forget, so focused on their baby, how important they are; all too often, doctors forget. The eight states — including Missouri, Alabama, Ohio, and Georgia — that have passed abortion bans have also forgotten, though perhaps it would be more precise to say that they just don’t think that it’s true. But the legislation they’ve passed will also make it hard for anyone else to remember.

When a woman’s water breaks prematurely -- the rupture of membranes at very early gestational age -- it most often ends in tragedy. Twenty weeks is much too early for a newborn to live outside the uterus. Technology has brought the age of viability, when a fetus can survive outside a woman’s body, to somewhere around 23 weeks. Even then, survival rates are low, and complications are high.

In the majority of these cases, women go into labor right away and deliver quickly. For those who don’t, the odds are still very low. Those women usually develop an infection or go into labor within a week or two — long before viability, long before any hope of a baby they could take home. Even if the fetus gets to a viable gestational age, there are complications from growing without fluid: lungs that don’t develop or facial deformities or limb contractures. And there are the risks to the woman herself from the ongoing pregnancy: infection, bleeding, sepsis and worse.

Because of that, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that “immediate delivery should be offered.” This language is opaque, but here is what it means: Delivery at this gestational age is a termination of pregnancy and should be an option for any woman in this situation.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/05/24/new-abortion-laws-are-especially-cruel-my-patients-with-high-risk-pregnancies/

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Reply New abortion laws are especially cruel to my patients with high-risk pregnancies (Original post)
Eugene May 2019 OP
littlemissmartypants May 2019 #1
appal_jack May 2019 #4
Girard442 May 2019 #2
shenmue May 2019 #3

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sat May 25, 2019, 08:20 PM

1. The bottom line is it's healthcare.

It's a necessary part of the broad range of health care procedures that women deserve to have access to regardless of the circumstances. Anything else is the denial and withholding of healthcare for no other reason than it involves women's bodies.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2019, 09:39 AM

4. Yes, exactly. k&r, nt

 

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sat May 25, 2019, 09:09 PM

2. The architects of these policies know that women will die, including those with wanted pregnancies.

They don't care. To them, women are cannon fodder in their cultural war.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sat May 25, 2019, 09:15 PM

3. They want women to die, for the non-crime of having sex. Because of their religion.

The very first line of the First Amendment says there is no establishment of religion.

They can't restrict the free practice of religion, but they can sure restrict attempts to make it compulsory.

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