Women impacted by abortion restrictions campaign for Biden in Wisconsin

NOW: Women impacted by abortion restrictions campaign for Biden in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Women who've struggled during pregnancy due to abortion restrictions campaigned for President Joe Biden in Wisconsin Tuesday.

It comes as Democrats are betting on abortion rights to be a key issue for voters this fall.

At a coffee shop in Milwaukee, Amanda Zurawski and Kaitlyn Joshua shared their experiences of losing their child in a post-Roe world.

Both live in states that implemented near-total abortion bans after Roe v. Wade was overturned, a decision they say made it extremely difficult for doctors to intervene during their medical complications.

"My first trimester was smooth sailing and then suddenly at 18 weeks I suffered catastrophic complications," said Zurawski, of Texas. "I was told by hospital staff I had to wait until my life was considered in danger to be treated, which is one of the only medical exceptions in Texas."

Zurawski, who claims she nearly died from a miscarriage, has been traveling the country sharing her story and most recently became the focus of a new Biden ad that targets former President Donald Trump.

It was released the same day Trump clarified his stance on abortion and said he believes states should determine their own abortion restrictions.

Zurawski is also part of a group of women suing Texas to ensure lifesaving procedures are clarified in state law.

When Joshua found out she was pregnant, living with her husband in Louisiana, she couldn't be more excited to grow her family.

At about six weeks of pregnancy, she tried to book her first prenatal appointment but was told she couldn't in wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that paved the way for states to curtail or ban abortion rights.

Joshua didn't have access to a doctor and said she feared, especially being a Black woman who is at a higher risk for maternal death rates compared to white women, she could lose her child.

Weeks later, she began having complications and she drove herself to the hospital. Health professionals gave her an ultrasound and was told her fetus stopped growing, she recalls. However, she said staff did not treat her or confirm she had a miscarriage.

It happened when there were growing concerns from doctors who feared they could be prosecuted if they treated patients with a miscarriage due to the near-total abortion ban.

"I realized I was having a miscarriage and I wanted confirmation, but because of the abortion ban, staff was too afraid to tell me what was happening with my body," said Joshua.

Joshua left the hospital without any treatment and over the next several weeks things got progressively worse.

She's now an abortion rights advocate, highlighting the differences on abortion views in the presidential race. Joshua and Zurawski shared their stories during a series of women's roundtables in Milwaukee, Madison, and Eau Claire Tuesday.

"We're simply asking for the most basic level of maternal health care, but because of Donald Trump's laws we’re being denied basic care," Joshua said during a roundtable discussion in Madison.

Lynne Patton, senior advisor for the Trump campaign, denied that the former president has shifted his views on abortion and said, "the best approach" is allowing states to make their own decisions on the procedure.

"I think Americans should make their own decisions, and to many voters, the values of those who live in Wyoming or Wisconsin differ," Patton said. "The Supreme Court agreed and kicked it back to the states, so that is something we think is the best approach in this 2024 election."

Patton also encouraged people who don't support abortion laws in their state to "get involved."

Trump's statements on abortion have changed throughout the years. In 2016, he embraced a federal abortion ban and promised to overturn Roe v. Wade on the campaign trail -- a move he's since bragged about after nominating three conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Most recently, Trump said he wouldn't sign a federal abortion ban.

Voters in about a dozen states could decide the fate of abortion rights on the November ballot through constitutional amendments. While that doesn't include Wisconsin, the state will still play a key role in deciding who wins the White House.

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