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Louisiana woman forced to leave state to abort fetus with lethal condition

'Mental anguish and mental cruelty'
Nancy Davis
Posted at 4:49 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 17:49:56-04

BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana woman was forced to travel out of state to terminate her pregnancy of a nonviable fetus after being denied the procedure due to strict abortion laws.

Nancy Davis was 10 weeks pregnant when her doctors explained her fetus had the fatal abnormality of Acrania and was encouraged to receive an abortion, her lawyer said in a statement. Davis agreed to the procedure some four weeks later but was denied the abortion since the fetus now had a heartbeat despite the fatal and unlivable condition.

Acrania is when the fetus lacks a skull, and babies are stillborn or die within their first week of life, her lawyer and the National Library of Medicine said.

Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who is representing Davis, said her Louisiana doctors feared the possible repercussions under the state's new law.

He stated Davis was faced with two choices, to either "carry the fetus until its inevitable death, or to travel to another state to end pregnancy weeks after she made the incredibly painful decision to do so."

In a press conference outside the state's capitol on Friday, Crump said Davis was having to endure "mental anguish and mental cruelty" by the lawmakers who do not return until spring.

"Regardless of what Louisiana lawmakers claim, the law is having its intended effect, causing doctors to refuse to perform abortions even when they are medically necessary out of fear of losing their medical licenses or facing criminal charges," Crump said in his statement.

The "vague and ambiguous" law was also accused of inflicting physical and emotional trauma on Davis and other women in similar situations. He raised the question of how many Louisiana women will be affected in the coming months while the legislature is not in session.

The full statement is available to be read here.