'I did not sleep': GOP lawmaker vividly describes the horror inflicted by an abortion bill he voted for
Many far-right Republicans have been claiming that the pregnancy-related horror stories being reported in mainstream media outlets after the overturning of Roe v. Wade are exaggerated — that anti-abortion laws in red states aren’t having the terrible consequences that feminist groups and abortion rights activists predicted. But one Republican who is now speaking out against the “heartbeat bill” that he voted for is Rep. Neal Collins, who has been serving in the South Carolina House of Representatives since 2014.
During testimony at a recent hearing in his state, Collins described a troubled pregnancy and how South Carolina’s abortion law made things even worse. Abortion rights activists have been arguing that anti-abortion laws and severe abortion restrictions not only affect women who are seeking abortions — they also affect women suffering from difficult, complicated pregnancies. And the case that Collins described, according to abortion rights supporters, is a perfect example.
Collins testified, “A 19-year-old appeared at the ER. She was 15 weeks pregnant. Her water broke. And the fetus was unviable. The standard of care was to advise her that they could extract, or she could go home. The attorneys told the doctors that because of the fetal heartbeat bill — because that 15-week-old (fetus) had a heartbeat, the doctors could not extract.”
The South Carolina Republican went on to say, “They discharged that 19-year-old. The doctor told me, at that point, there’s a 50 percent chance — well, first, she’s going to pass this fetus in the toilet. She’s going to have to deal with that on her own. There’s a 50 percent chance — greater than 50 percent chance — that she’s going to lose her uterus. There’s a 10 percent chance that she will develop sepsis and herself die. That weighs on me. I voted for that bill. These are affecting people…. That whole week, I did not sleep.”
Collins’ disturbing testimony is receiving a great deal of responses on Twitter, where Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern devoted an entire thread to the subject. Stern posted, “I’m haunted by this South Carolina Republican, Rep. Neal Collins, realizing that the anti-abortion bills he supported are now forcing women and girls to carry nonviable pregnancies at risk of sepsis, death, and loss of the uterus. All these outcomes were inevitable and predicted…. I can only hope that someday in the future, anti-abortion advocates stop denying the veracity of these stories — or placing the blame on a sweeping conspiracy between pro-choice doctors, lawyers, and journalists — and amend these laws to lessen their lethality. I'm not optimistic.”
Stern predicted, “So long as health care providers risk prosecution and incarceration every time they terminate a pregnancy, these horror stories will just keep coming. Abortion bans have a devastating impact on maternity care.”
Journalist Emily C. Singer expressed similar thoughts on Twitter, writing, “Republicans were told about these issues. They chose to go extreme anti-abortion for political reasons. Now it's causing real problems for real people who could die because of their actions.”
Twitter user Jeff Dale, @batmanx_xx, was critical of Stern, posting, “You didn't sleep for a week because of choices you made despite all evidence showing this is exactly what would happen. Boohoo. My sympathy is for the person who now has to lose part of themselves or possibly die because of choices made for them.”
Watch the video below or at this link:
\u201cI\u2019m haunted by this South Carolina Republican, Rep. Neal Collins, realizing that the anti-abortion bills he supported are now forcing women and girls to carry nonviable pregnancies at risk of sepsis, death, and loss of the uterus. All these outcomes were inevitable and predicted.\u201d— Mark Joseph Stern (@Mark Joseph Stern) 1661267201
READ MORE: The post-Roe dynamics of abortion: report
- Abortion providers' lives in growing peril following Roe reversal ... ›
- Mike Pence calls for nationwide abortion ban following Roe's ... ›
- Violent anti-abortion crusaders accuse Sonia Sotomayor's office of ... ›