As states across the country target reproductive rights with their horrific anti-abortion laws, pregnant people are bearing the consequences. With no provisions for rape or incest, several of these laws are only making exceptions for saving the life of the pregnant person. As a result, pregnant individuals are facing complications and other health issues with doctors in states with bans refusing to treat them.
Many of those who previously voted for abortion laws are now regretting it as they see the consequences of the policies they voted for. Explaining why he will not vote further on abortion bans, a South Carolina lawmaker choked up Tuesday when speaking about the consequences the state's fetal abortion law—which he voted for—had on a young woman.
Republican state Rep. Neal Collins shared the story with the state's House Judiciary Committee as they discussed a proposed near-total abortion ban that would not include exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
He shared that he was unable to sleep after learning doctors refused to extract the fetus from a 19-year-old woman whose water broke at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
"That weighs on me," Collins said during the committee meeting. "I voted for that bill. These are affecting people and we're having a meeting about this. That whole week I did not sleep.”
Collins got emotional and his voice cracked when he explained that the woman had to wait at least two weeks before the fetus could be extracted without a beating heart. So while the woman’s health was at risk, because the fetus had a heartbeat, lawyers advised doctors that they could not remove the fetus.
According to Collins, because the woman would have to pass the fetus in the toilet, doctors said there was a "greater than 50% chance that she's going to lose her uterus,” in addition to a 10% chance that the woman could die of sepsis.
Collins voted for the state’s "heartbeat bill," which went into effect in June after the reversal of Roe v. Wade banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected. He got the call regarding the woman two weeks after the ban took effect.
"What we do matters,” he said. "Out of respect for the process, I'm not voting today. But I want it to be clear that myself and many others are not in a position to vote for this bill without significant changes to the bill.”
Of course, the horrific story did not have an effect on the heartless committee and Collins was cut off by the chairman. A vote was held on the bill, which the committee approved 13-7, the Associated Press reported. The bill will now go to the state House floor.
Watch the emotional segment below: