Louisiana woman refused abortion despite fatal fetal abnormality to travel to North Carolina | Abortion

A speaker Louisiana A woman carrying a skullless fetus that would die almost immediately after birth has cemented her intention to travel to North Carolina to terminate her pregnancy, she said Friday.

Nancy Davis36, was faced with the choice of carrying the fetus to term or traveling to multiple states for an abortion after saying her local doctor would not perform the procedure amid confusion over whether the ban on the Abortion by the state prohibited it.

Standing on the steps of the Louisiana Capitol in his hometown of Baton Rouge, Davis announced his trip would take place next week. The trip is funded by over $30,000 in donations raised through an online platform GoFundMe campaign which was launched after going public with its fate earlier this month.

Her attorney, prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, also called on Louisiana lawmakers to at least clarify the wording of their abortion ban — or repeal it altogether — to prevent anyone from scamming. other to go through what Davis and his family have gone through over the past few years. weeks. He said state Governor John Bel Edwards should call a special legislative session ahead of the one due to begin in April next year to do so if necessary.

“Louisiana lawmakers have inflicted indescribable pain, emotional damage and physical risk on this beautiful mother,” Crump said, pointing to Davis, who was joined Friday by her partner, Shedric Cole, their young daughter and her parents. two stepchildren. “They replaced care with confusion, privacy with politics, and options with ideology.

“Ms. Davis was among the first women to be caught in this crosshairs of confusion due to Louisiana’s rush to restrict abortion. But she won’t be the last.

Louisiana is among the US states that have banned abortion with very few exceptions following the US Supreme Court’s decision in June to strike down nationwide abortion rights that were in place since the 1973 decision in Roe v Wade.

Davis was around 10 weeks pregnant in late July when an ultrasound at Baton Rouge Women’s Hospital revealed that her fetus was missing the top of her skull, a rare but devastating condition known as acrania that kills bones. babies within days – even minutes – of birth. .

Because Louisiana’s list of conditions warranting an exception to the state’s abortion ban did not explicitly include acrania, hospital officials refused to terminate Davis’ pregnancy, apparently fearing that they could face jail time, costly fines and the confiscation of their operating licenses if they went through with the procedure.

“They basically said I had to carry my baby to bury my baby,” Davis remarked on Friday.

Her providers said her Medicaid insurance wouldn’t cover the procedure anyway and referred her to an abortion clinic.

Still, Louisiana abortion clinics have announced plans to leave the state amid ongoing legal battles over whether the ban can be constitutionally enforced.

After Davis went public with her story and hired Crump to help sort out her options, the state senator who drafted Louisiana’s abortion ban, Katrina Jackson, insisted the hospital for Women could have legally terminated Davis’ pregnancy. The law contains a general exception for fetuses that cannot survive outside their mother’s womb.

However, Crump said, that exception was clearly not worded in a way that gave Davis’ suppliers confidence that they could proceed without potentially being heavily penalized.

Davis instead raised money through a GoFundMe that attracted more than 1,000 donors and booked arrangements to travel with Cole, her partner, to North Carolina. This state – more than 900 miles from Baton Rouge – allows abortions up to the 20th week of pregnancy.

“The law in Louisiana is clear as mud,” Crump said. “We’re going to prepare to get out of state and trust the people who say they can perform pregnancy termination safely and without anyone going to jail.”

Cole asked the public on Friday to imagine what Davis and the rest of her family had been through since learning of their baby’s fatal diagnosis and being forced to make the decision to travel to North Carolina. to abort the baby the couple was expecting.

“It’s really complex – it’s really difficult,” Cole said. “From a distance, it’s really easy to have an opinion on something… but you don’t understand how complex it is” until you have experienced it personally.

Davis, for her part, said, “It’s not fair to me and it shouldn’t happen to any other woman.

“Being a mother begins when the baby is in the womb, not outside, [because of] the attachment and all that goes with it. As a mother, as a parent, it is my duty to have my children’s best interests at heart.

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