Five women filed a lawsuit against Texas over the state’s strict sweeping laws. The women said the state laws prevented them from getting abortions despite the life-threatening circumstances of their pregnancies.
It marks the first big lawsuit brought on behalf of women denied abortions that have been filed against a state that has enacted a ban against abortion access.
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June, obliterating the federal constitutional right to an abortion, no state has been sued directly by women who have been prevented an abortion by the state.
The women are backed by an abortion-rights group, the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing the women in the case.
“The lawsuit aims to hold the state of Texas accountable for the consequences of multiple harmful abortion bans on pregnant people facing obstetric complication,” the Center for Reproductive Rights said in a statement.
The 91-page lawsuit on behalf of the five women that ask the court to clarify if doctors can make exceptions to the state’s abortion ban under certain conditions states that the law has caused “catastrophic harms”.
The group said the case represents “the tip of the iceberg.”
Current bans on abortion offer exceptions for certain medical emergencies, but health providers have faced questions determining what qualifies as an emergency under a state ban.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) led a state lawsuit against the Biden administration last year challenging its guidance to health providers advising that they could perform abortions in emergency cases and be protected under federal law, despite the bans in their states.
Women have been coming forward since the Supreme Court overturned Roe to share harrowing details of how bans on abortion have put their lives in danger.
Amanda Zurawski, one of the plaintiffs in the suit, said she developed sepsis after being denied medical intervention due to the statewide abortion ban and nearly died.