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Texas woman says she was denied abortion care after her miscarriage

Marlena Stell said she asked for a common procedure to remove the fetus after a miscarriage to prevent infection. Multiple doctors refused.

AUSTIN, Texas — A Conroe, Texas, woman who suffered a miscarriage last year says the state's restrictive abortion law put her into a dangerous health situation.

According to a report from ABC 13 in Houston, Marlena Stell miscarried nine-and-a-half weeks into her pregnancy in early September 2021. She asked her doctor for a dilation and curettage, or D&C, a common procedure to remove the fetus after a miscarriage to prevent infection.

But she miscarried after Texas banned abortion for pregnancies after around six weeks. 

Stell told ABC 13 that she was first required to get a second ultrasound. Then, she said every doctor she called in the Houston area refused to perform the procedure, citing confusing abortion bans.

"You feel like a walking coffin. You're just walking around knowing that you're carrying a loss," Stell told ABC 13. "It felt like I was jumping through so many hoops just to get care for something that had already happened. I already had lost the baby."

Stell told ABC 13 she carried the unviable fetus for two weeks before ultimately going to an abortion clinic for a D&C procedure. That clinic stopped offering abortion care after Roe v. Wade was overturned and is now closing, according to the report.

"That's the story that a lot of people don't realize. That it's not just affecting those that aren't ready to be moms," Stell told ABC 13. "It's people like me who want children, but need care. Because I cannot expel a miscarriage. It's just as simple as that. If there is medical intervention available, why do I have to fight to get it?"

Stell, who publishes beauty vlogs on YouTube, shared her story in a video posted in October. That video has nearly nearly 80,000 views as of Aug. 4.

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