Amanda Zurkowski, a Texas woman who recently faced a second-trimester pregnancy loss, says she almost died from sepsis after she was forced to carry the nonviable pregnancy longer than she should have—all due to the Texas abortion ban.

Now she’s one of five women suing the state of Texas for denying them abortion care while facing pregnancy complications. When discussing Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn (R-Texas) while testifying at a Senate hearing Wednesday, she said she nearly “died on their watch.”

Zurawski, four other women and two doctors filed a lawsuit in state court last month against Texas, seeking to clarify the medical emergency exceptions under the state’s six-week abortion ban. When she was 18 weeks pregnant in 2022, Zurawski was diagnosed with an “incompetent cervix,” according to the suit, and was told her baby would not survive. This condition occurs when the cervix ruptures prematurely—it’s a common cause of late miscarriages.

Since her baby still had a heartbeat, Zurawski was told there was no other care the hospital could provide. Because of this, she became septic. It wasn’t until then, when she was fighting for her life, that the Texas hospital agreed she was sick enough for them to induce labor. The baby died upon delivery.

“I wasn’t permitted to have an abortion and the trauma and the PTSD and the depression that I have dealt with in the eight months since this happened to me is paralyzing,” Zurawski said at a Senate hearing about a ruling from a federal judge in Texas that attempted to block to sale of a popular abortion pill, mifepristone. “On top of that, I am still struggling to have children.”

Zurawski then addressed both Cruz and Cornyn—who were present for the hearings but not in the room when she spoke to them—arguing the senators supported the policy that kept her from receiving an abortion.

“I wanted to address my senators, Cruz and Cornyn, neither of whom, regrettably, are in the room right now. I would like for them to know that what happened to me… it’s a direct result of the policies that they support,” Zurawski said. “I nearly died on their watch… as a result of what happened to me, I may have been robbed of the opportunity to have children in the future.”

Related: Idaho hospital stops delivering babies because of the state’s near-total abortion ban

When the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade last summer, the decision had deep and widespread consequences. Multiple states, including Texas, immediately moved to ban abortion in various ways. Approximately 30 million women now live in a state where abortion care is banned in some form—and Zurawski is one of them.

At 18 weeks pregnant, Amanda suffered a miscarriage after enduring 18 months of fertility treatments to try and conceive a baby with her husband, Josh. She recounted her tragic experience—including the horrors that unfolded for her after learning of the pregnancy loss—in an essay for The Meteor published last fall.

After rushing to the doctor back in August due to leaking fluid, Amanda was informed that her cervix was incompetent and had dilated far too early. Miscarriage would be inevitable in her case.

“That was horrific,” she says. “I crumbled.”

Due to the near-total ban on abortion in Texas, doctors couldn’t do anything to remove the unviable fetus unless Amanda’s life was at risk. She was told she’d either have to get sick enough for them to intervene, or miscarry the 18-week-old fetus on her own. She and her husband left the hospital not knowing what would happen, or how long they’d have to suffer.

Related: This woman was forced to carry her dead fetus for 2 weeks due to the Texas abortion ban

“It could be days, it could be weeks. And knowing that we just had to live with that, it was incapacitating,” Amanda says. “I was unable to function. I didn’t work, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep. I was left wanting to either get so sick that I almost died or, praying for my baby’s heart to stop beating—this baby that I had wanted and worked to have for 18 months. Every time they did an ultrasound, to be hoping to hear her heartbeat, but at the same time, to not hear her heartbeat…it’s the most anguishing feeling.”

Because she was forced to carry her nonviable, dying fetus, Amanda posed a risk for infection. After a few days, she became sick with sepsis—a life-threatening medical emergency. According to the CDC, sepsis happens when an infection you already have triggers a chain reaction throughout your body.  Infections that lead to sepsis most often start in the lung, urinary tract, skin, or gastrointestinal tract. Without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.

Amanda entered the hospital to deliver their daughter “feverish and weak,” according to her husband Josh.

“She’s the toughest person I know in the world, and for her to start crumbling before me, I knew there was something serious going on,” Josh says.

After the delivery and infection, Amanda was incoherent and was admitted to the ICU where she was fighting for her life.

Related: Many women don’t even know they’re pregnant at 6 weeks

“It took three days at home until I became sick ‘enough’ that the ethics board at our hospital agreed we could begin medical treatment; three days until my life was considered at risk ‘enough’ for the inevitable premature delivery of my daughter to be performed; three days until the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals were allowed to do their jobs,” she writes.

The most frustrating part, the Zurawskis say, is that the entire ordeal of Amanda’s life-threatening illness and the psychological trauma of having to carry a non-viable pregnancy could have been avoided, had there not been a Texas abortion ban.

“We asked all of our doctors and our nurses, isn’t there something you can do, and they said no,” Amanda says. “I couldn’t make the decision for myself, we couldn’t make the decision for our daughter, our doctors couldn’t make the decision. They were just as furious as we were because their hands were tired. Had they acted, they would have been charged with a felony.”

Amanda continues to face health issues after her medical emergency—she has to have a build-up of scar tissue surgically removed, and it’s unclear whether she’ll ever be able to carry another child because of it. The only thing she and Josh know for sure is that waiting three days for proper healthcare has left permanent physical and psychological damage.

Related: Is a D&C considered an abortion?

As long as abortion bans remain in place, more women will die or face life-threatening, life-altering, permanently disabling medical traumas. That is not speculation—that’s a fact.

“When the Texas law got passed and then when Roe v. Wade was overturned, of course I was furious and I didn’t agree with it,” says Amanda. “But I didn’t think it would really impact me personally. I never in my wildest dreams thought that the laws that I was so angry about would also pose a threat to my life and prevent me from accessing safe healthcare in 2022 in the United States of America.”