How life-threatening must a pregnancy be to end it legally?

NBC News

By Aria Bendix
A family physician and her resident perform an ultrasound on a 25-year-old woman at the Center for Reproductive Health Clinic in Albuquerque, N.M., on June 23. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The patient was seven weeks pregnant in Texas and experiencing kidney failure — what many doctors would consider a life-threatening condition.

But abortions there are banned after a fetal heartbeat is detected (around six weeks into pregnancy) unless "a physician believes a medical emergency exists that prevents compliance." A full abortion ban is set to take effect in Texas in about a month, triggered by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

"I was like, 'Don’t make her an appointment,'" Dr. Jessica Rubino, an abortion provider at Austin Women’s Health Center, recounted telling her staff. "'Get her out of the state. Get on the phone with someone in another clinic and make sure she can get an abortion because I will not be able to do it here. I’m going to have to wait till she’s actually dying.'"

Publish : 2022-07-01 11:41:00

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