Woman denied abortion in Louisiana for foetus with no skull speaks out on heartbreaking ordeal
A pregnant woman in Louisiana has revealed she had no choice but to “hold my baby and bury my baby” after she was refused an abortion for a fetus with no skull and no chance of survival.
Mother-of-three Nancy Davis, who is planning to have a fourth child, spoke at a harrowing news conference on Friday, saying she hoped no other woman had to go through what she was going through.
Six weeks ago, at 10 weeks pregnant, Ms Davies received devastating news that the fetus growing in her womb had a skull.
Skullosis is a rare and fatal condition in which the skull of the fetus does not form in the womb, causing the brain to be destroyed.
According to the Fetal Medicine Foundation, if such a pregnancy continues to term, the baby will die within the first week of life.
But despite the fatal diagnosis, Ms Davis said she was denied an abortion in Louisiana because of confusing anti-abortion laws introduced in her home state after it was overturned. Roe v. Wade.
Holding her one-year-old daughter on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge on Friday, Ms. Davis said Louisiana doctors told her she needed an abortion but their hands were tied.
“The doctors told me my baby was going to die soon after birth,” she said, next to her partner Chedrick Cole and lawyer Ben Crump.
“They told me that the pregnancy should be terminated. They couldn’t perform the procedure because of Louisiana’s abortion ban.”
She said doctors told her — under state law — that she must carry the baby to term.
“Basically, they said I had to hold my baby and bury my baby,” she said.
“They seem to be confused by the law and afraid of what would happen if they had a criminal abortion under the law.”
Ms Davies spoke of the toll it had taken on her as she had to be pregnant for another six weeks while she tried to raise funds to travel abroad for surgery.
Now, at 16 weeks pregnant, she plans to travel about 1,000 miles to North Carolina, where abortion is still legal.
“I want you to imagine what it’s like to continue your pregnancy for six weeks after this diagnosis,” she said.
“It’s not fair to me, and it shouldn’t happen to any other woman.”
Mr Crump, a prominent civil rights lawyer representing Ms Davis, condemned the “risk and emotional toll” the situation took on her while she was forced to continue her pregnancy.
“Davis and her family are very grateful to everyone who has donated to her so she can arrange travel,” he said.
“When Ms Davis undergoes the surgery she needs next week, she will be another month and a half pregnant.”
Mr Crump accused state lawmakers of causing “indescribable pain, emotional harm and physical risk” to Ms Davis and other Louisianans over their “vague and confusing” abortion laws, which he slammed “like clear as mud.”
He urged the state legislature to hold a special session to deal with a “public health disaster,” while warning that other women would find themselves in a similar predicament due to confusion over state laws.
“Ms. Davis is one of the first women to be caught in this mess as Louisiana rushes to restrict abortion. But she won’t be the last,” he said.
Since Ms. Davis’ case came to light, state Sen. Katrina Jackson, the drafter of the state’s ban, has claimed her pregnancy was an exception to the law and that doctors should have given her an abortion.
But Ms Davis is just the latest in a growing number of women being forced into unviable and sometimes dangerous pregnancies as medical professionals try to resolve post-pregnancy confusion.roe And seek to avoid jail time for violating sudden injunctions and unclear laws.
Back on June 24, the mostly conservative U.S. Supreme Court overturned the milestone Roe v. Wade For half a century, the ruling cemented abortion as a constitutional right for the American people.
Since then, Republican-led states have rushed to tighten restrictions, banning abortion across the board and denying reproductive rights to women and pregnant women across the United States.
Louisiana is now one of 12 states that ban abortion, as is rape or incest.
There are some exceptions for deadly medical conditions, but mysteries are not explicitly mentioned in this list.
Meanwhile, the ban has driven abortion providers out of the state, with Louisiana’s last remaining clinics closing earlier this month.