Now hovering in the background during a risky pregnancy: The doctor's legal team

NBC News

By Aria Bendix
Rubberball/Nicole Hill/Getty Images

The woman was 19 weeks pregnant when her water broke. Within less than a day, she'd developed a life-threatening infection.

Dr. Mae-Lan Wang Winchester, an OB-GYN in Cleveland, was called in to end the pregnancy. But Ohio has banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected unless the mother's life is threatened.

"The first person I called is my lawyer to be like ... 'Do I need to do anything different or special? I know what to do medically, but what do I do legally to protect her, protect me?'" Winchester said.

In the weeks since the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision, such calls have become common, with physicians leaning on legal teams to help them decide when it's legal to terminate a pregnancy in states with new restrictions. But that can sometimes delay care in emergency situations in which a few minutes make a big difference.

Publish : 2022-07-14 11:52:00

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