As a senior citizen and mother who cares deeply about the health and well-being of women, I’m appalled at Texas’ six-week abortion ban (TX-SB8), which strips a woman’s choice even in the case of rape or incest and ignores the possibilities of serious pregnancy complications. I know firsthand that not all pregnancies have fairytale endings.

In 1983, my husband and I joyously awaited the birth of our first child. Prenatal care showed all green lights, but at eight months, I suffered a painful emergency breech birth and delivery of a nonviable infant. Undetected by all, our daughter had Potter syndrome – no kidneys and only one feeble lung. She couldn’t sustain life. The depth of sorrow, mental anguish and physical trauma was excruciating.

For subsequent pregnancies, detection was possible with chorionic villus sampling, a test performed at 11 to 14 weeks. If Potter syndrome or another medical problem existed, the choice of a safe abortion was legally available.

If my younger self lived in Texas today, would I have to plead my case to statesmen or greedy informants? Would I be denied an abortion because the fetus had a heartbeat while umbilically connected? Because chorionic villus sampling is performed after the law’s six-week cutoff, would I be forced to carry full term and deliver a dead baby?

Statistically, according to a federal survey, nearly one in every five women is sexually assaulted or abused within her lifetime, and dangerous pregnancy complications have skyrocketed to over 50,000 per year. This ignorant, cruel law must be revoked to protect all women.

Christina Paul
Old Orchard Beach

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