Anti-abortion extremists are trying to fool you about the effects of the laws they passed

Erin Morrow Hawley, an anti-abortion lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom (and wife of Sen. Josh Hawley), told Congress it was “misinformation” to suggest that abortion bans would affect ectopic pregnancies. 

There have been social media posts suggesting that women won’t get treated for an ectopic pregnancy because doctors might be afraid of performing the procedure, but that’s absolutely false,” she said. “Treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is not, in fact, an abortion.” Whatever the relationship of ectopic pregnancy treatment to abortion, it is absolutely a fact that, in some cases, doctors have been afraid to treat ectopic pregnancies, which pose an imminent threat of rupture and hemorrhage. In one Texas case, for instance, a hospital told a doctor not to treat an ectopic pregnancy until it ruptured.

Should abortion bans affect ectopic pregnancy treatment? Maybe not, but because these laws create an atmosphere of fear for doctors and hospitals and don’t explicitly spell out that ectopic pregnancy treatment is allowed, there will be cases where it is denied, and that could be fatal.

Similarly, forced-birth proponents want the public to believe that miscarriage care won’t be affected. Someone having a miscarriage, after all, is an object of sympathy. Hearing that an abortion ban forced her to continue carrying a non-viable pregnancy until her health was actively at risk isn’t a very good look for the abortion ban and its backers. But rather than acknowledge that their laws have these consequences, they try to convince us it’s not happening, often by accusing the people telling these stories of spreading misinformation. 

Abortion ban backers should have two choices: They could change their laws to explicitly say that treatment of ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage was allowed, or they could admit that this is worth it to them, that they prefer to endanger the lives of pregnant people rather than to change their laws. Unfortunately, they’re going to refuse to change the laws and keep up the claim that what’s happening—the hospitals and doctors blocking care for people at medical risk until the risk turns into a deadly emergency—isn’t happening, that it’s all some pro-abortion lie.

Whether they’re claiming a pregnant 10-year-old rape victim doesn’t exist right up until her rapist is charged with the crime or claiming that ectopic pregnancy treatment and miscarriage treatment aren’t being compromised, extremist anti-abortion voices are lying to us about what their laws are doing. Do not let them get away with it.


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