How the Texas Law Banning Dilation and Evacuation Will Kill and Maim Women
Sometimes a pregnancy half fails. The membranes rupture before viability and an infection sets up shop in the uterus. Medically the pregnancy has to end, whether the fetus is still alive or not does not matter. If an infected uterus is left unevacuated the bacteria will eventually spread to the blood stream and it will be fatal. This is fact.
At times the body offers a consolation and goes into labor. It doesn’t seem like it at the time but it is more than a small mercy. When the uterus does not start contracting the patient has to choose, drugs to induce labor or a surgical procedure called dilation and evacuation (D & E). It is like starring in a horror movie where you choose the weapon.
Labor is labor. It hurts and can take days. A premature uterus, especially an infected one, often does not cooperate. Days of both grieving and waiting to grieve break even the strongest. No one has assigned fault, in fact everyone has said the opposite, but the pathways of sadness and self-doubt and blame cut deeper and deeper with each taunting contraction. A brain fuddled by lack of sleep, medication side effects, days without fresh air, and the stench of sweat from the bed sheets cannot possibly reframe this experience. When women tell me they “can’t even get this right” I want to cry.