Woman Forced To Continue Pregnancy For Two Weeks After Baby Died Due To Abortion Ban

Gabriella Ferlita

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Woman Forced To Continue Pregnancy For Two Weeks After Baby Died Due To Abortion Ban

Featured Image Credit: Marlena Stell/YouTube

A Texas-based woman was forced to carry her pregnancy for two weeks after her baby died due to an abortion ban in the state.

Marlena Stell, a popular beauty YouTuber, spoke to her followers about her traumatic miscarriage experience which left her waiting for weeks for medical intervention to pass the pregnancy.

The 42-year-old woman, who had moved from Washington DC to Texas, had been told by doctors in her new home state that her pregnancy was no longer viable during an ultrasound appointment when she was 9-and-a-half weeks pregnant.

Marlena said in a video: “I’m looking on the screen, and it looks like this black, empty tube, just hollow. The OB just got really quiet and I knew in my mind that something’s not right. 

“She kept looking for a little bit and she said, ‘you have a blighted ovum, I don’t see the baby in the sac anymore.”

Marlena’s first concern was obtaining medical assistance to help her pass the pregnancy as she had suffered from a previous missed miscarriage - which, according to the NHS, ‘is a miscarriage diagnosed during a routine scan’ - and was not able to expel the tissue naturally.

However, the abortion law which was passed in the state last year prevents doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication after the seventh week of pregnancy - even if intended to treat those who have endured early pregnancy loss.

The same law also prevents miscarriage patients from receiving a D&C procedure (dilation and curettage), which is surgery to remove the pregnancy matter. 

As a result, neither option of medical or surgical management was available to Marlena right away. 

Instead, she was forced to book another ultrasound appointment ‘to verify that this pregnancy is not valid before we can give you any sort of medical intervention’.

“I left the office just angry and frustrated and I have to get in the car and tell my husband what’s going on and my daughter’s in the car. I’m trying not to cry because I want to be strong for her but at the same time I’m devastated.”

Marlena then booked an appointment several days later at a different clinic for a second ultrasound to gain the required proof needed for her to obtain the medical treatment that she ‘wants and needs’ to induce a miscarriage.

“It’s supposed to be this happy experience and in my mind, I was like, ‘I’m actually here because I’m required to and I have to look at this empty screen again just to get medical intervention I feel that I want and need.’”

The ultrasound technician then told her: “‘Yes, it’s the same results. It looks like a blighted ovum.’”

A week after finding out that her pregnancy wasn’t viable and without her miscarriage spontaneously starting on its own, the woman still was not contacted by her OB GYN to organise treatment. 

“At this point, I’m desperate, I’m calling and I’m like, ‘I need something, I need intervention. Please tell me what to do.’”

Her doctor then scheduled a video call appointment with her and offered her the prescription needed for medical management, but Marlena did not feel comfortable passing the miscarriage at home.

After almost a week of calling her doctor ‘multiple times’ to send the ultrasounds required for her to book surgical treatment elsewhere, Marlena was finally able to book a D&C at an abortion clinic.

There, Marlena was subjected to protestors shouting “‘you don’t have to do this’” as she was escorted from her car to the clinic.

Two weeks of receiving her diagnosis, Marlena was finally able to receive treatment at the clinic - but still felt like she ‘did something wrong’.

“It’s like I was there because I did something wrong. I was so angry because I felt throughout this whole process like I was at fault for something that I had no control over.”

The NHS advises women who have been diagnosed with a missed miscarriage that if ‘the pain and bleeding have not started within seven to 14 days or are continuing and getting worse, this could mean the miscarriage has not begun or has not finished.’

Expectant management for miscarriages has an increased risk of excessive bleeding, which increases the need for a blood transfusion, and an increased risk of infection.

For abortion support in the US, visit Planned Parenthood here. For abortion support in the UK and Northern Ireland, visit the NHS website here. For abortion support in Ireland, which has been lawful since March 2020, visit HSE here.

Topics: News, US News, Health, Parenting

Gabriella Ferlita
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