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Louisiana Doctor Describes Patient’s ‘Traumatizing’ Labor After Being Forced To Deliver Nonviable Fetus

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woman giving birth

A woman in Louisiana was forced to endure a painful and traumatizing labor and delivery after not being able to receive an abortion due to the state's restrictive laws.

According to an affidavit filed by her OB/GYN, the woman experienced a miscarriage at 16 weeks and was denied a 15-minute procedure that would've ended her pregnancy and prevented her from having to give birth.

Louisiana's abortion laws meant the woman was forced to give birth to a nonviable fetus.

Due to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Louisiana's anti-abortion trigger law now outlaws the medical procedure with no exceptions for rape or incest. There are exceptions for "medically futile" pregnancies and if there is a substantial risk of death or impairment to the mother.

RELATED: Labor & Delivery Nurse Explains The Trauma That Comes With Forced Pregnancy

"She was already traumatized from her experience and felt that an induction, which would require labor and delivery of the fetus, would be too much for her," Dr. Valerie Williams said in court documents of her patient, who has remained anonymous.

Williams was unable to perform an abortion procedure on her patient due to Louisiana's trigger ban, as told to her by the hospital's lawyer. If she were to perform the procedure, Williams could face up to 10 to 15 years in jail since it was not permissible under law.

"Going back into that hospital room and telling the patient that she would have to be induced and push out the fetus was one of the hardest conversations I've ever had," Williams said.

Williams' affidavit, which was filed in Louisiana's 19th Judicial District Court as part of a lawsuit against the state, detailed that when the abortion ban in the state went into effect earlier in July, her patient's water broke at 16 weeks.

It was too early for the fetus to be viable, and the patient requested a procedure called a D&E, which means dilation and evacuation, which would've "quickly and safely" ended her pregnancy in approximately 15 minutes.

RELATED: I Was Raised In A Country Without Legal Abortion — Trust Me, You Don’t Want To Experience It

Unfortunately, Williams was unable to perform the procedure, and instead had to watch as her patient "was forced to go through a painful, hours-long labor to deliver a nonviable fetus, despite her wishes and best medical advice."

It took additional hours for Williams' patient to deliver the placenta before she began to hemorrhage, losing nearly a liter of blood before Williams was able to stop the bleeding.

"She was screaming — not from pain, but from the emotional trauma she was experiencing," Williams said.

"There is absolutely no medical basis for my patient, or any other patient in this state, to experience anything like this. This was the first time in my 15-year career that I could not give a patient the care they needed. This is a travesty."

Many abortion providers in Louisiana have started arguing that the state's trigger law is too vague. While the law makes exceptions for "medically futile" pregnancies, it does not provide additional information as to what that means.

Earlier this month, a state judge temporarily blocked Louisiana from enforcing its abortion ban which was recently extended until July 29. 

Now that people across the U.S. are facing extreme obstacles while trying to access vital reproductive healthcare, we need to offer our support where we can.

Local abortion funds across the nation are helping to fund procedures, abortion pills, transportation and lodging when travel is required, childcare, doulas, emotional support, and more. Find your local abortion fund at AbortionFunds.org.

Or consider donating to help independent clinics keep their doors open as they face increased expenses for security, building repairs, legal fees, and community education and advocacy. Donate to clinics via KeepOurClinics.org.

RELATED: OB-GYN Explains Why Pregnancy May Now Be A Death Sentence In The U.S.

Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.

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