Abortion rights activist Rachel Bailey (C) chants during an International Women’s Day abortion rights demonstration at the Texas State Capitol on March 08, 2023, in Austin, Texas.
Credit: Brandon Bell / Getty

In 2023, a woman walked into a health centre in Houston trailing an IV pole. She was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum — essentially, an extreme form of morning sickness. The woman was vomiting constantly, could not retain food or fluids, and was being kept alive by being fed through a drip.

“She had been to the ER so many times,” family medicine provider and physician Bhavik Kumar told openDemocracy, “and she was so frail and thin that the ER sent her home with an IV pole. I’d never seen that before.”

The patient asked for an abortion, which affords rapid relief from hyperemesis gravidarum. Before the fall of Roe v Wade, which constitutionally protected the right to abortion, in 2022, Kumar could have provided that care in his outpatient clinic. But because Texas’s new near-total ban, he couldn’t help.

When asked what happened to the woman with the IV […]

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