Many people still think abortion restrictions are a matter of ideological or religious beliefs. However, the impact of the overturn of Roe v. Wade put millions of lives in danger. Most recently, pregnant women are the ones bearing the brunt.

According to documents The Associated Press obtained, complaints that pregnant women were turned away from U.S. emergency rooms spiked in 2022. This is primarily due to the overall confusion strict abortion laws have sparked around the treatment doctors can provide.

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You don’t have to want to get an abortion to need one

In the recent information, the AP found one woman miscarried in the lobby restroom of a Texas emergency room as front desk staff refused to check her in. Another woman learned that her fetus had no heartbeat at a Florida hospital the day after a security guard turned her away from the facility. And in North Carolina, a woman gave birth in a car after an emergency room couldn’t offer an ultrasound. The baby later died.

“It is shocking, absolutely shocking,” said Amelia Huntsberger, an OB/GYN in Oregon. “It is appalling that someone would show up to an emergency room and not receive care — this is inconceivable.”

The new draconian anti-abortion measures in states like Texas and Florida have turned pregnant patients into “radioactive to emergency departments,” Sara Rosenbaum, a George Washington University health law and policy professor, told AP.

“They are so scared of a pregnant patient that the emergency medicine staff won’t even look. They just want these people gone,” Rosenbaum said.

Back to the Dark Ages

AP obtained dozens of investigations from a Freedom of Information Act request filed in February 2023. The media sought all pregnancy-related Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) complaints from the previous year. 

The documents show several cases, including a woman who was nine months pregnant and having contractions when she arrived at the Falls Community Hospital in Marlin, Texas, in July 2022. It was a week after the Supreme Court ruled on abortion. The doctor on duty refused to see her.

According to documents, “The physician came to the triage desk and told the patient that we did not have obstetric services or capabilities,” hospital staff told federal investigators during interviews. The nursing staff informed the physician that we could test her for the presence of amniotic fluid. However, the physician adamantly recommended that the patient drive to a Waco hospital.

Other pregnancies ended in catastrophe.

“At Sacred Heart Emergency Center in Houston, front desk staff refused to check in one woman after her husband asked for help delivering her baby that September,” the media reported. “She miscarried in a restroom toilet in the emergency room lobby while her husband called 911 for help.”


Appropriate management and treatment of pregnant persons is being delayed and they are suffering the consequences! #pregnancy #pregnancytiktok #dentist #ER #emergencyroom #emergencyintercom #dentistry

♬ Waiting For Heartache – BLVKSHP

It seems like the Supreme Court won’t do anything about it

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court appeared divided while grappling with Idaho’s near-total abortion ban. The Court was weighing whether provisions “unlawfully conflict with a federal law aimed at ensuring certain standards for emergency medical care for patients, including pregnant women,” NBC News reported.

The conservative court seemed skeptical about the Biden administration’s lawsuit that tried to highlight the restrictions on “potentially lifesaving treatment” for women suffering complications during pregnancy.

The federal government sued to block the state from enforcing medical care provisions required under the EMTALA, looking to avoid what the AP’s investigation has shown to be a nationwide concerning situation.

However, the conservative court might not agree with the federal government, putting millions of lives in danger.