ABC News Studios' 'Impact X Nightline' Announces New Episode 'On the Brink' Streaming Dec. 14
ABC News Studios' "IMPACT x Nightline" announced a new special report, "On the Brink," led by ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer and senior congressional correspondent Rachel Scott. This news special uncovers the harrowing stories of pregnant women who have medical emergencies in states with laws restricting abortions and the physicians caught in a legal web when trying to provide essential health care. ABC News Studios' "IMPACT x Nightline: On the Brink" is available to stream on Thursday, Dec. 14, only on Hulu. "On the Brink," a collaboration with ABC News Digital that features a series of in-depth multimedia stories and reporting, brings viewers inside the hidden health care crisis playing out in clinics and exam rooms across the country. So many families are posing the question: is this what lawmakers intended?
Season one of "IMPACT x Nightline" began with Scott's report on the Supreme Court's landmark ruling to reverse Roe v. Wade, just as the decision on how to regulate abortion access was passed to the states. Now, more than a year later, 21 states have banned or severely restricted access to abortion, all with a narrow exception to save the life of the mother. Sawyer and Scott report on the hidden reality of the medical exceptions in the laws and the devastating consequences for thousands of families across the nation.
Sawyer and Scott traveled to Denton, Texas, where they sat down to speak with 18 women from 10 states. These women learned the heartbreaking news that the babies they desperately wanted were not, and would never be, viable. Several of the women experienced dangerous complications that required urgent termination to save their lives, health and future fertility. Some of the women say that because of the laws, they were sent home from hospitals and told to return once they became sicker — sick enough to qualify for care under the law. Many suffered severe health consequences as they got closer to the brink of death. Others fled their home states, sometimes traveling thousands of miles and spending their life savings to get health care.
Scott also spoke with the Texas woman Kate Cox, who filed a historic lawsuit against her state asking a judge to grant her a temporary restraining order that would allow her to get an emergency abortion. Cox's fetus has a severe anomaly that puts her future fertility at risk; she told Scott that she "desperately" wants to have another baby.
Over the course of reporting, Sawyer, Scott and the ABC News team spoke to nearly 100 physicians. Many described the challenges and confusion about what medical care they are allowed to provide, as well as fears for their patients' lives, as doctors attempt to provide care for their patients and protect themselves from prison time, large fines and loss of their medical licenses.
"IMPACT x Nightline" is produced for Hulu by ABC News Studios. Eman Varoqua is executive producer, and Candace Smith Chekwa is senior broadcast producer. Tess Scott Davidson is lead senior producer for "IMPACT x Nightline: On the Brink." "IMPACT x Nightline" is overseen by Justin Dial, vice president of Streaming News, and Reena Mehta, senior vice president of Streaming and Digital Content. ABC News Studios is led by Mike Kelley.
About ABC News Studios
ABC News Studios, inspired by ABC News' trusted reporting, is an award-winning, premium news and documentary original production house and commissioning partner of series and specials. ABC News Studios champions untold and authentic stories driving the cultural zeitgeist spanning true-crime, investigations, pop culture and news-adjacent stories. ABC News Studios' original titles include critically acclaimed documentaries "Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields," "Sound of the Police," "The Lady Bird Diaries" and "Aftershock," and popular docu-series and documentaries, including "Killing County," "Wild Crime," "Mormon No More," "The Randall Scandal: Love, Loathing, and Vanderpump" and "Jelly Roll: Save Me."