Our Abortion Stories: Two Years of Texas’ S.B. 8

Last summer, the Supreme Court overturned the longstanding precedents of Roe v. Wade, representing the largest blow to women’s constitutional rights in history. In Texas, this has been part of women’s reality for years.

“The state doesn’t care about the lives of their constituents, especially pregnant people,” said Amanda Zurawski.

A series from Ms., Our Abortion Stories chronicles experiences of abortion pre- and post-Roe. This special edition is dedicated to the women in Texas fighting to reclaim the right to safe and accessible abortion care on this grim two-year anniversary. 

Texas Judge Rules in Favor of Doctors and Women Who Testified to the Grave Harm of Abortion Bans

Judge Jessica Mangrum ruled in favor of the 15 plaintiffs suing Texas for the state’s abortion bans, who almost died during pregnancy due to grave complications. Mangrum’s ruling granted a temporary injunction to block Texas’ abortion bans, but only as they apply to severe pregnancy complications, including life-threatening fetal diagnoses. The ruling says that doctors can use their own “good faith judgment” to determine when to offer abortion care, without fear of prosecution. Mangrum also ruled that Texas’ Senate Bill 8—the six-week abortion ban with the “bounty hunter” provision that allows citizens to sue anyone who aids and abets abortion—is unconstitutional.

The narrow victory was short-lived, as the state of Texas has already appealed the ruling to the Texas supreme court. According to Texas state law, as soon as an appeal is filed, a ruling is stayed.

Texas Women Denied Abortions Get Their Day in Court

Amanda Zurawski developed sepsis and nearly died after being refused an abortion, and will suffer permanent reproductive damage as a result. Ashley Brandt, when pregnant with twins, discovered one of her twins had a fatal condition, and was forced to leave the state for care after providers refused to provide a selective fetal reduction. Samantha Casiano said she felt “abandoned” after being forced to carry a nonviable pregnancy to term; her daughter died four hours after birth.

This week, Texas women denied abortions despite serious pregnancy complications shared their stories in a packed Austin courtroom, the first day of testimony in Zurawski v. State of Texas—a lawsuit filed against the state of Texas by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), and the first brought on behalf of women denied abortions since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion.