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National Democrats gather to mobilize on abortion, warn of threats to IVF and contraception

Anthony Man, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Political News

“Everything was going smoothly with my pregnancy besides experiencing the normal symptoms of morning sickness and being tired,” she said. The technician performing the screening had a troubled look on her face and summoned the obstetrician. The doctor informed Dorbert that her baby’s kidneys didn’t develop, meaning that the child would only live a short time after birth.

Despite medical advice, she said doctors told her the pregnancy couldn’t be ended because of the 2022 state law banning most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, and she was told she would have to carry the baby to full term. “The next few months were the hardest times of my life,” she testified.

At 37 weeks, labor was induced. “I held him in my arms and he passed away after 94 minutes,” she said.

“Even though the baby had a life-threatening condition, until my life was on the line, I couldn’t get induced,” she said.

The condition meant there was no amniotic fluid, making the pregnancy extremely painful because there was no cushion for the fetus in her body. The effects are with the family almost a year and a half later. “We’ve all really struggled with our mental health,” she said.

Sandra Elidor, a Broward resident, turned to IVF because of endometriosis, in which uterine-like tissue grows outside the uterus and makes pregnancy difficult. When the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in February that embryos created through IVF should be considered children, it created nationwide turmoil, Elidor said.

 

“Many of us were scared,” she said, and some stopped IFV treatments.

Decisions on IVF “should not be the government’s decision to make,” she said.

Dr. Ian Bishop, an obstetrician-gynecologist and assistant professor and director of family planning at the University of Miami Health System, warned the new restrictions would cost lives and impact the health care of many Floridians. (Bishop said he was speaking for himself, not the university.)

He said he is “compelled by my conscience to provide abortion” services to women who need them. But being “squeezed” between state law and his medical responsibility to care for his patients has changed his practice. “Nor being able to help the person in front of me as I hold their hand is devastating,” he said.

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