A pregnant Louisiana woman will be forced to travel to another state to abort her fetus, which is missing part of its skull and would die shortly after birth, according to the woman’s attorney.
Because the condition of the fetus — acrania — is not specifically mentioned in state law as an exception to Louisiana’s abortion ban, Nancy Davis, 36, will travel several states away to get an abortion.
“There is nothing I wanted more than this child,” she told the New York Times.
But she also explained to CNN affiliate WAFB in Baton Rouge that it was excruciating to think she was “holding him to bury.”
Davis’ attorney, David Crump, said in a statement Friday that “Ms. Nancy Davis got into one terribly cruel position.“
She “had to endure unimaginable emotional pain and increased physical danger,” Crump said.
The fetus was diagnosed after an ultrasound just ten weeks into the pregnancy, and Davis’ doctor recommended she have an abortion, according to Crump. But the hospital where Davis sought the procedure refused to terminate the pregnancy.
The state senator who authorized Louisiana’s abortion ban, Katrina Jackson, insisted to WAFB that the hospital should have authorized the termination of Davis’ pregnancy. Jackson said the statute includes exceptions for fetuses that are not viable outside the womb.
But Crump said in his statement that the law is confusing and intimidating to hospitals that fear performing an illegal abortion.
Without commenting on Davis’ case, due to medical privacy laws, a hospital spokesman told CNN that unsustainable pregnancies are difficult to navigate within Louisiana’s confusing and complex abortion ban.
“Even if a specific diagnosis falls under the medically futile exceptions provided by [the Louisiana Department of Health]laws dealing with treatment methods are much more complex and seemingly contradictory,” said Caroline Isemann, spokeswoman for Baton Rouge Women’s Hospital.
On Friday, Davis was planning to travel to Florida or South Carolina, where she would still be eligible for an abortion, given the fetus’s diagnosis.
Davis’ situation is one of a growing series of tragedies amid a wave of abortion bans in states after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Earlier this month, a Florida court ruled that a teenage mother was not “mature” enough to decide to have an abortion and should carry the fetus to term. The girl, 16, had argued that she was too young to be a mother.