Texas Woman Forced To Carry Fetus For Two Weeks After Miscarriage

Marlena Stell, woman who had to carry unviable fetus for two weeks
instagram | @marlenastell

With the U.S. Supreme Court reversing 50 years of precedent in striking down Roe v. Wade and, in turn, the right for U.S. women to access safe abortion services, we're seeing more and more stories of pregnant women who've found themselves in difficult medical situations.

A popular beauty influencer recently shared her story of her experience with miscarriage, one that forced her to carry an unviable fetus for two weeks.

Marlena Stell is an influencer who specializes in beauty products.

You can find her on Instagram @marlenastell, and generally Marlena shows off beauty tips and products, along with pics of her, her husband, and her family. But a traumatic experience with a recent pregnancy compelled Marlena to speak out.

She lives in Texas.

Texas state flag blowing in the breeze
Unsplash | Adam Thomas

It's worth noting that Texas lawmakers have traditionally had some of the staunchest anti-abortion views in the country. After moving from Washington, D.C. to Texas, Marlena found this out in just about the most brutal way possible.

Here's her story.

Make sure to watch the full video to get the whole story, but here's the short version: Marlena was pregnant at age 42 and had been told during an ultrasound appointment that her pregnancy was not viable.

It was a crushing blow.

"I'm looking on the screen, and it looks like this black, empty tube. Just hollow," she said. "The OB just got really quiet and I knew in my mind that something's not right."

Then came the bad news, as the OB told her, "You have a blighted ovum. I don't see the baby in the sac anymore."

She still needed to pass the pregnancy.

Marlena needed a way to get the unviable fetus out, but there was a problem: Texas abortion laws prohibit doctors from giving their patients abortion-inducing medication after the seventh week of the pregnancy, even for unviable cases like Marlena's. Doctors also aren't allowed to perform surgery to remove the fetus.

She was forced to endure another ultrasound appointment to ensure that the fetus was unviable.

Unsurprisingly, the ultrasound technician confirmed what Marlena already knew: that her ovum was blighted and her fetus was unviable. Even after this, Marlena was not contacted by any of her doctors to arrange for treatment.

Finally, Marlena was able to get the procedure done at an abortion clinic.

She passed by protesters who shamed her for entering the clinic.

"I was so angry because I felt throughout the whole process like I was at fault for something that I had no control over," she said."

Her story has picked up traction.

Ever since sharing her traumatic experience, Marlena's story has been picked up by media both at home and abroad. It's just another example of the ways that restrictive abortion laws can negatively affect women's health.

Unfortunately, this is the new normal.

The U.S. Supreme Court
Unsplash | Anna Sullivan

It will take significant change within the Supreme Court to bring back women's reproductive rights — change that we likely won't see for decades.

If you or someone you know needs abortion support, contact your local Planned Parenthood office.