While nothing could be more painful than the death of a child, a couple had to suffer through something even more agonizing all because of the ignorant and outdated health laws that are plaguing the United States.
Texas native Taylor Mahaffey was about 20 weeks pregnant and awaiting the birth of her first child, along with her husband Daniel, when she encountered a major complication — the 23-year-old’s cervix dilated. The couple, whose previous pregnancy had ended in a miscarriage, immediately rushed to the hospital, though by the time they got there, the baby’s feet were pushing through the mother’s cervix and the sack was already out of the womb.
The doctors tried a number of emergency measures, but nothing worked.
“The only humane thing to do at that point would be to pop the sack, and let little Fox come into this world too early to survive outside,” the husband wrote on Reddit. “However, thanks to Texas' frankly inhumane and cruel ‘Women's Health Laws,’ this wasn't an option.”
The unborn baby, whom the Mahaffeys had planned to name Fox after one of the Lost Boys in “Peter Pan,” still had a heartbeat. However, since inducing labor at that stage would have unmistakably resulted in abortion, the hospital could not do anything to remove the baby from the mother’s uterus, as it would have been illegal under the Texas law HB2.
As a result, the couple had to return home and for days, Taylor had to feel her baby struggle for life. As the Daily Beast reports, Daniel worried for his wife to hemorrhage or develop any other complication. Once she started bleeding, the couple went back to the hospital, but since the baby was still alive, no one could legally help them.
“Eventually she was just screaming at them to get the child out of her,” the husband said, noting that Taylor delivered their stillborn baby four days later. “One nice thing is we got to hold him. That’s the only silver lining.”
The state of Texas bans abortions because of the unscientific belief that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks, or halfway through most pregnancies. Although there are a few exemptions for cases where a mother’s life is in danger or when severe fetal abnormalities are present, the Mahaffeys did not satisfy any of those.
At a time when the entire nation is embroiled in a heated debate over abortion, stories like these serve as an eye-opener. The laws and regulations based on archaic believes force scores of people every year to suffer through similar traumatic experiences, but instead of reviewing them and making them more flexible, some politicians are promoting even more draconian laws that do anything but protect women's health, be it physical or emotional.
It is an appalling situation and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight to this issue.