Thursday, March 25, 2021

Arizona’s Senseless Restrictions Compromised My Access to Care

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 11:30 AM

My husband and I were delighted to learn we were expecting twins just three weeks after our wedding at my “advanced maternal age” of 37. Our joy abruptly dissipated when we discovered that our son had a critical heart defect that was causing blood to pump into his lungs. Continuing to carry him to term presented high risks for him, for his perfectly healthy twin sister, and for me.

A bill moving through the Arizona Legislature and closing in on the Governor’s desk is about to make this very difficult situation much harder for everyone involved. Senate Bill 1457 would potentially criminalize the relationship between my doctor and me, and could put every miscarriage, pregnancy complication, or procedure like I survived under a legal microscope with your freedom and your doctor’s on the line.

After the diagnosis, our doctor explained the selective reduction procedure, warning us that though this procedure was medically quite simple, she only knew of one facility in Arizona that would perform it. Later that evening she called to inform me that this facility could not provide a selective reduction, but she was calling doctors she knew all over the country to find one that could. She said to have my bags packed and be prepared to leave town on a moment’s notice. We knew under the circumstances that this was clearly the safest choice we could be making for our family, though it was the most difficult, traumatic, and emotionally painful decision of our lives.