Feb 13, 2024 - News

Two Latinas tell their stories

Side-by-side photos of two women speaking at a podium.

Ashley Brandt (left) and Samantha Casiano. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images; Courtesy of the Center for Reproductive Rights

Samantha Casiano, an East Texas mother of four who is also raising her goddaughter, was excited to learn she was pregnant in 2022.

  • But she was devastated when she found out 20 weeks into her pregnancy that her daughter had anencephaly, a fatal condition in which her baby would be born without parts of her brain.
  • Casiano was told she'd nevertheless have to carry the baby to term, and she couldn't afford to travel out of state for an abortion.
  • In April, Casiano gave birth and named her Halo. She recalls Halo gasping for air for four hours before dying.

Although Casiano was worried about the backlash — some relatives no longer speak to her — Casiano tells Axios Latino she felt she needed to tell her story.

  • "When I met my daughter, I just knew I had to do whatever I could do to make sure that no other babies had to go through that ever, ever again — or any mothers at that — because it was hard. Very, very hard."

Ashley Brandt had to leave Texas for an abortion after one of her twins was diagnosed with a deadly condition that threatened the other twin's life.

  • After telling friends and family about her situation, she was surprised to learn how many had faced similar situations.
  • While she was concerned about how the publicity would affect her toddler son and the twin who survived, she felt she had to speak out.

Read more


Subscribe for more Axios San Antonio in your inbox.

Read the full edition

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More San Antonio stories

No stories could be found

San Antoniopostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios San Antonio.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more