• The women said their fetuses had no chance of survival
  • They had to cross state borders to get medical treatment
  • Texas has one of the strictest abortion laws in the country

Five women have sued Texas, claiming they were denied abortions in the state despite facing grave risks to their lives or their fetuses during pregnancy. This is the first such move by pregnant women against the state's abortion laws since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

The lawsuit, filed in state court by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of the five women and two doctors, said they were "denied necessary and potentially life-saving obstetrical care because medical professionals throughout the state fear liability under Texas' abortion bans," reported NPR.

The fetuses of all five plaintiffs – Ashley Brandt, Lauren Hall, Lauren Miller, Anna Zargarian and Amanda Zurawski – did not have a chance of survival, with two of them having conditions that prevented the development of a skull, the suit claimed.

Texas has banned abortions with the exception of medical emergencies. While the state's abortion law allows the procedure in cases of a fatal diagnosis for the fetus or when the pregnancy poses a significant threat to the mother's health, the women alleged they were not given the required healthcare in time of need.

"An already extremely difficult situation had an extra layer of trauma because of medical decisions that were made by lawmakers and politicians and not by me or based on best medical practice," Zargarian said at a press conference Tuesday.

"Nobody should have to wait until they are at death's door to receive health care," added Nancy Northup, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Under Texas' abortion laws, doctors could potentially lose their medical licenses and face thousands of dollars in fines or up to 99 years in jail for providing abortion care. Such draconian measures have scared doctors across the state into not providing abortions even in serious cases.

"With the threat of losing their medical licenses, fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and up to 99 years in prison lingering over their heads, it is no wonder that doctors and hospitals are turning patients away - even patients in medical emergencies," the lawsuit read.

In the 91-page lawsuit, the five women chronicled the harrowing experiences they faced during their pregnancy. They were forced to cross state borders to get the medical treatment they required.

"Healthcare should not be determined by some politician with no understanding of medicine or the critical role that abortion care plays in pregnancy. How is it that I can get an abortion for a dog but not for me?" 35-year-old Miller said.

The suit calls for the state to bring more clarify to its laws.

The office of Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, who is named as a defendant in the suit, said he "will do everything in his power to protect mothers, families, and unborn children, and to uphold the state laws duly enacted by the Texas Legislature."

Representational image (pregnant woman)
Representational image (Source: Pixabay / TC-TORRES)