Women share horror stories caused by red state abortion bans during NH visit

In powerful testimony this week two women shared their harrowing experiences dealing with pregnancy complications that became life-threatening due to abortion bans in their home states. (Colin Booth/Granite Post)

By Colin Booth

May 17, 2024

In powerful testimony this week at a press conference for the New Hampshire 2024 Biden campaign, two women — Amanda Zurawski and Kaitlyn Joshua — shared their harrowing experiences dealing with pregnancy complications that became life-threatening due to abortion bans in their home states.

Their stories were meant to highlight the urgent need for reproductive rights protections in New Hampshire, where Republicans have worked toward enacting greater restrictions on reproductive care.

Speaking out against former President Donald Trump’s anti-abortion agenda, the two women detailed the life-threatening situations they endured due to the near-total abortion bans enacted in their respective states.

Zurawski, a resident of Austin, Texas, began her testimony by recounting the joy she and her husband Josh felt upon learning they were expecting their first child after a challenging year-and-a-half of fertility treatments. However, their happiness was short-lived when Amanda suffered catastrophic complications at 18 weeks. Her cervix dilated prematurely, her membranes ruptured, and doctors informed her that she would inevitably lose her baby.

“What I needed at that point was an abortion so that I could safely and with dignity deliver my baby and begin the healing process both physically and emotionally,” Zurawski explained.

However, Texas’s stringent abortion ban, which went into effect just two days prior, meant that terminating the pregnancy was illegal. She was forced to wait until her life was in danger, leading to three days of suffering and a near-death experience from septic shock before doctors could intervene.

Amanda’s ordeal continued as she faced further health complications, including a second bout of sepsis that required ICU treatment. “What I went through was nothing short of a nightmare, and it didn’t need to happen. But it did, because of Donald Trump,” she stated, highlighting how Trump’s appointment of three of the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade has created dangerous situations for women across the country.

RELATED: Democratic candidates for Governor unify to hammer Ayotte, Trump on abortion stances

Kaitlyn Joshua, from Louisiana, shared a similarly distressing experience. Pregnant with her second child, Joshua was met with delays and inadequate care from the outset, all due to the restrictive abortion laws in her state. At 11 weeks, she experienced severe bleeding and pain but was turned away by multiple hospitals due to fears of legal repercussions for providing standard miscarriage treatment, which is also used in abortion care.

“I was told to go home and wait, and I was terrified,” Joshua recalled, describing the eight agonizing weeks it took to naturally pass her pregnancy. She emphasized the broader impact of such laws, noting that women in states with abortion bans are three times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth.

Both women criticized Trump’s ongoing support for efforts to restrict abortion access in states across the country. They warned that Trump’s allies are planning to impose a federal abortion ban, which would replicate their traumatic experiences for women across all 50 states. They called on voters to support President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Democratic candidates committed to safeguarding reproductive rights.

“New Hampshire voters are proudly pro-choice, but the state lacks legal protections for abortion access,” Zurawski emphasized. “Trump and extreme New Hampshire Republicans have made it clear that no one would be safe if Trump returns to power.”

Joshua echoed these sentiments, stressing the importance of federal legislation to protect reproductive freedom. “We need to re-elect President Biden and Vice President Harris, and ensure Democrats win up and down the ballot to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade.”

New Hampshire has seen a concerted effort by Republican lawmakers to curtail abortion access. Over the past few years, state Republicans have introduced numerous bills aimed at restricting abortion rights, including a controversial proposal for a 15-day abortion ban. This measure, which includes no exceptions for rape or incest, has faced significant opposition from pro-choice advocates who argue it endangers women’s health and autonomy.

Republican efforts in New Hampshire have also included attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide reproductive health services. These actions, combined with the recent anti-LGBTQ+ bills, reflect a broader agenda aimed at rolling back personal freedoms and healthcare rights. Advocates for reproductive rights warn that if these efforts succeed, New Hampshire could face some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the region, endangering the health and lives of countless women.

In the 2024 New Hampshire gubernatorial race, Republican candidates Kelly Ayotte and Chuck Morse have consistently supported measures to restrict abortion access that include banning abortions at the federal level, with no exceptions for rape or incest, and have supported defunding Planned Parenthood.

Author

  • Colin Booth

    Based in Epsom, Colin Booth is Granite Post's political correspondent. A Granite State native and veteran political professional with a deep background in journalism, he's worked on campaigns and programs in battleground states across the country, ranging from New Hampshire, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

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