Louisiana Woman Denied Abortion After Fetus Diagnosed with Fatal Condition

A pregnant woman in Louisiana said she was denied an abortion despite the fetus being diagnosed with a rare fatal condition that means the baby would be born skull-less and to likely die within hours.  

Nancy Davis was then faced with a gut-wrenching decision to either carry the fetus to term to die shortly after birth or travel several states away to obtain an abortion. 

Davis has retained lawyer prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump as she becomes the latest to embody the decisions women are being forced to make after the Supreme Court stripped away the national constitutional right to an abortion. 

Louisiana is among the few states that have outlawed abortion with extremely little exception. Davis said she tried to have her pregnancy aborted after the 10-week ultrasound revealed the rare disease, which means the baby is either still-born or will die within minutes or hours of birth.

The case is one of the biggest yet since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and shows how the decision has created confusion over when women can be granted exemptions to new state abortion bans. 

Louisiana has a “trigger” law in place that would make nearly all abortions illegal, but a state district judge blocked the ban while the lawsuit filed by one of Louisiana’s abortion clinics and others continues.

Acrania is not explicitly included in Louisiana’s list of conditions justifying an exception from the abortion ban.  The hospital that treated Davis turned down terminating her pregnancy, which, as of Friday, was in its 13th week.

The medical center, Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, directed Davis to an abortion clinic, saying her Medicaid insurance wouldn’t cover the procedure. But Louisiana’s abortion clinics have announced plans to leave the state amid legal battles over the ban’s enforcement.

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