A new advertisement has surfaced online as justices prepare to hear oral arguments in the the case United States v. Dobbs where a woman asks the court to strike down Ohio’s so-called “heartbeat bill.”
The Dobbs case will decide if abortion restrictions, such as mandatory ultrasounds and 24-hour waiting periods, are constitutional, and if states can restrict late-term abortions.
The ad, launched by the Campaign for Life, a social advocacy organization, features Scott Santurski, a transgender woman from Ohio who survived an abortion attempt in 2016, when she was just 16 years old.
Santurski was given three weeks to live without an abortion and survived. She talks about surviving the abortion attempt and how she feels about the Supreme Court cases on abortion in Ohio and nationwide.
Her story helps illustrate how multiple laws can make abortion past a certain point harder, rather than easier.
If they pass these laws then we have the opportunity to see what babies look like when they’re born and then they can put the second trimester bills we have on the books. It gives everyone a chance to weigh in. – Sierra Martin
He was 16 and growing up in Youngstown, Ohio. Santurski was a good student, she wanted a sibling for her younger brother, and was hopeful about a future, until her parents called with bad news.
“They picked out a name, they told me what I had. It was awful,” he recalls. Santurski says that his parents told him: “you know you’re a boy.”
Santurski woke up in the emergency room with his siblings waiting for him in the room. It was the beginning of his life as a transgender woman.
“It was literally making me feel like I’m not even who I am,” Santurski said.
His sister and brother were relieved and even started calling him “Scottie” and “Scottie boy.”
Santurski says that she felt like the abortion attempt was unfair because she had just been 16 years old and had committed no crime. A law states that minors can be tried as adults if they commit a violent crime.
Santurski has chosen to live as a woman, but some worry that the Ohio’s law could give pedophiles another step closer to selling babies.
“This legislation is basically allowing someone to buy an abortion and then abuse the baby after the fact. That’s appalling,” says Michael Markarian, executive director of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the president of the Children’s Television Workshop.
Santurski has found comfort in her story of surviving and sharing it with others.
“I think sharing my story has gotten people’s attention because it can change people’s minds. People think it’s so easy to just get an abortion. I think getting a [birth] certificate and everything, the waiting period and all the things that people think you need to be approved to have an abortion, when I applied it all together, it was a lot of things I didn’t know about,” Santurski said.
She also says she is optimistic about the court cases in Ohio.
“I think it’s going to be easy to pass these laws. There’s a lot of, like, upstanding people and good legislators in Ohio and I think they’re going to look at these laws and see the types of things that they say are scary laws and what they’re going to do about it, and I’m just going to pray for them,” she said.
Santurski is optimistic that the court will take a more pro-life position.
“I think that we’re going to see a huge shift in the future,” she said. “I just know that it’s going to happen. I think it’s going to be hard to be able to convince people that these laws should be overturned. It doesn’t make sense to me, in this day and age, in the information that we have. If they pass these laws then we have the opportunity to see what babies look like when they’re born and then they can put the second trimester bills we have on the books. It gives everyone a chance to weigh in.”
Santurski’s case will be heard on Tuesday, March 12.