Episode 9: A Matter of Life or Death
When staying pregnant is a matter of life or death, when does the survival of the mother, or pregnant person, become the priority? As abortions are removed as an option in the treatment plan for patients with severe health conditions – can the consequences prove fatal?
Abortion care is not just an essential part of reproductive healthcare but a necessary component of holistic healthcare decisions. When pregnant people are diagnosed with life-threatening conditions, when does their survival become the priority? With the recent overturn of Roe v Wade, these decisions are more complicated. Doctors in states with bans that only allow abortion in the case of “imminent danger” to the mother’s life are unsure how to proceed. It’s difficult for them to interpret the law and determine a treatment plan when they could face a felony charge for performing an abortion while their patient’s life is on the line. An oncologist from the University of Wisconsin shares stories of cancer patients unable to receive treatment, and a Maryland woman who had a pregnancy onset stroke, shares how she took her survival into her own hands when she couldn’t obtain the abortion she needed. As healthcare becomes politicized, who has a mother-to-be’s best interests in mind when it’s a matter of life or death?
Thank you to Dr. Lisa Barriolet, Dr. Noelle Loconte, Layla Houshmand, Nurse-Midwife Morgan Nuzzo from Partners in Abortion Care, Cinthya Maldonado, University Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and everyone who shared their stories.
Go to plancpills.org to learn how to access abortion pills. If you live in a restrictive state go to AidAccess.org. Need help funding your abortion? Check out National Network of Abortion Funds and the Abortion Freedom Fund. Need advice or have questions about a miscarriage or abortion? Go to M+A Hotline. Have legal questions? Go Repro Legal Helpline. Destigmatize self managed abortion by supporting Abortion on Our Own Terms. Advocate for youth access with URGE. Access trusted abortion care information at AbortionFinder.org and reproductive health information at Bedsider.org.
This podcast is brought to you by Population Media Center. Executive Producers are Lisa Caruso and Alex Demyanenko, with Co-Producer Kathleen Bedoya and Associate Producer Dominica Ruelas. This episode was field produced by Charity Tooze. Edited by Bruno Falcon with production services provided by Pidge Productions. Production coordination is by June Neely. Charity Tooze leads impact strategy. The narration is read by Tatiana St. Phard. Original music is composed by Valeri Ortiz.