The case of Mayron Hollis, a Tennessee woman who was denied an emergency abortion for her ectopic pregnancy, resulting in infertility and the need for an emergency hysterectomy, highlights the devastating consequences of restrictive abortion laws.
Hollis had a cesarean scar pregnancy, a type of ectopic pregnancy where the embryo implants in the scar from a previous C-section. Her pregnancy was further complicated by placenta accreta, a condition where the placenta grows deeply inside the uterine wall.
Tragically, when Mayron Hollis and her husband sought medical assistance, they encountered a multitude of barriers imposed by Tennessee’s trigger abortion ban. This ban, enacted following the fall of Roe v. Wade, left Hollis in a precarious position, unable to access the necessary healthcare to address her life-threatening condition.
As her pregnancy progressed, Hollis experienced severe complications, including her placenta attaching to her bladder and placenta percreta, where the placenta grows beyond the uterine wall and attaches to surrounding organs. By the 25th week of her pregnancy, Hollis experienced severe bleeding and was hospitalized.
The next day, she underwent a cesarean delivery and an emergency irreversible hysterectomy to save her life. Hollis expressed that she did not want the hysterectomy but was left with no choice.
The delayed intervention resulted in the obvious loss of her fertility, dashing her hopes of expanding her family without medical assistance. Furthermore, Hollis’ infant faced significant challenges, spending months in and out of the hospital, and accumulating substantial medical bills. Premature birth through a cesarean delivery necessitated extended care and specialized attention, putting additional strain on Mayron Hollis and her family. The emotional, physical, and financial toll of this ordeal cannot be overstated.
Since the delivery of Hollis’ newborn on Dec. 13, the infant, Alayna, remained hospitalized for two full months; she was so premature that she spent her first month of life in an incubator. After going home, Alayna has been in and out of the hospital. The longest she’s been at home since February, Hollis told ABC News, was for two weeks.
“I thought I lost her one time for like five minutes. She turned colors and I had to wait on the ambulance to get here, doing CPR and an off-duty cop showed up,” Hollis said. “He did CPR on the hood of his car and saved her life.”
Hollis said the baby’s lungs are not fully formed and she is not growing as fast as she could be. She had only been eating through a feeding tube through her nose, but just started taking food by mouth, according to Hollis.
“[I’ve] just been stressed out a little bit not knowing what’s going to go on with my daughter, how I’m gonna get her what she needs, and what’s gonna happen next. So I’m just trying to hang in there,” Hollis said.
Following Hollis’ experience, Tennessee legislators added an exception to the state’s abortion laws allowing for abortion care in cases similar to Hollis’. However, doctors are concerned that this change may not significantly impact the situation.
The complexity of medical decisions and the regulation of such decisions can have harmful consequences and may result in people being denied necessary care, leading to preventable harm or death.
“They really had no answer for me the whole time I was pregnant. It was the scariest thing I ever did,” Hollis told ABC News. “[Doctors were] telling me that my pregnancy wasn’t viable, but we can’t send you anywhere and we can’t do anything to help you.”
Let’s hope little Alayna will eventually have a normal life, as it would seemingly end the story on a bright note. Nevertheless, her mom can’t have any more kids and, even more significantly, almost died.
States that are making abortion illegal should, at the VERY LEAST, be wary and respectful of pregnancies that are detrimental to the mother and/or child.
If they are trying to save lives, why are they putting so many at risk?
This case sheds light on the urgent need to ensure access to safe and timely abortion care for individuals facing life-threatening pregnancy complications. It also underscores the importance of comprehensive reproductive healthcare that prioritizes the well-being and autonomy of pregnant individuals.