If the U.S. Supreme Court really does overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion would effectively become illegal in 13 states — and heavily restricted in many others — because of trigger laws designed to go into effect either immediately or within weeks. Each of these laws is a little different, but all of them make some kind of exception for the health or life of the mother.
But determining when someone’s health or life is at risk is not always straightforward.
Medical science doesn’t come with tidy boundaries between life and death, emergency and non-emergency. Sometimes it’s not clear if an emergency is life-threatening until it’s too late. Other times, a medical problem could mean losing years of one’s life or struggling with long-term health problems but not necessarily dying today or tomorrow.
We’re looking for patients, clinicians and hospital administrators who have had to navigate these kinds of situations. We’re especially interested in talking to people who have had to ask a hospital board to approve an abortion in this kind of case, or who have been on the boards considering such cases. We want to understand how biology and medicine leave patients and the people who care for them in gray areas that can’t be easily legislated.
If this describes you, we’d like to hear from you. Please fill out this form and we may get back to you about an upcoming story.