- Amanda Zurawski’s water broke four months into her pregnancy, leading to an infection.
- Doctors told her that she had to wait until her life was in danger to get an abortion in Texas.
- She said she was left with uterine scarring that may prevent her from getting pregnant again.
Amanda Zurawski never thought she’d be personally impacted by the fall of Roe v. Wade.
Although the 35-year-old was “furious” when Texas passed a ban on abortions after six weeks gestation, she couldn’t imagine terminating a pregnancy herself. At the time, she and her husband, Josh, were “desperately” trying to conceive, she wrote in an essay for The Meteor.
It took a year and a half of fertility treatments before she became pregnant in spring 2022.
But when Zurawski’s water broke just four months into her pregnancy, she would have to wait until she was “sick enough” to get an abortion, due to the tricky wording of Texas laws.
Two Texas laws have virtually outlawed abortion: the ban after six weeks gestation, which applies even in cases of rape or incest; and a “trigger ban” that enacted criminal penalties for abortion providers post-Roe, with narrow exemptions when the pregnant person’s life is at risk.
When she finally got the procedure — three days after her water broke — Zurawski had a 103-degree fever and a raging bacterial infection. She narrowly survived the ordeal, but her uterus was left scarred from the infection.
“Amanda almost died. That’s not pro-life,” her husband, Josh Zurawski, told CNN. “Amanda will have challenges in the future having more kids. That’s not pro-life.”
“Nothing about [this] feels pro-life,” she added.
She was told there was no chance that her fetus would survive
The Zurawskis went through a year and a half of fertility treatments before Amanda got pregnant.
In August — just four months into the pregnancy — Zurawski’s water broke. In her essay for The Meteor, she wrote that her pelvis felt “abnormally open” and she was leaking thick and yellowish discharge.
The doctor told her that miscarriage was inevitable.
“I just kept asking, ‘isn’t there anything we can do?’ And the answer was ‘no,'” she told CNN.
Despite the doctor’s certainty that the fetus would not survive, Zurawski would have to wait to terminate the pregnancy. At 18 weeks, she was too far along for doctors to legally induce labor — unless her life was at risk.
Doctors knew it was only a matter of time before Zurawski developed something like chorioamnionitis, an infection of the amniotic sac and placenta.
Still, she said her doctors sent her home and told her to come back only when she was “sick enough” that an abortion would be necessary to save her life, Zurawski told CNN.
The infection progressed and wrecked her uterus
The doctors said it could take hours or weeks for the infection to progress, Zurawski said. But the nearest “sanctuary state” for abortion was at least eight hours away by car, and she didn’t want to risk flying.
Zurawski ended up nearly dying of sepsis, a full-body shutdown in response to infection, in a Texas hospital days later. Her fever hit 103 degrees before the doctors decided an abortion was medically necessary and wouldn’t land them criminal charges.
Even after doctors terminated her pregnancy, the infection raged on. Zurawski was moved to the ICU, where doctors inserted a line near her heart so they could administer antibiotics and blood pressure medication. She eventually pulled through, but she was left with scarring to her uterus.
Zurawski said she faces months of procedures to remove the scar tissue and assess the harm done to her reproductive system.
“We don’t know yet whether the baby we want more than anything will ever be possible,” she wrote for the Meteor.