False claims about a Missouri bill to protect women from dangerous abortion drugs flew across the internet Thursday as abortion activists claimed it would prevent women from receiving treatment for life-threatening ectopic pregnancies.
State Rep. Brian Seitz, R-Taney County, told Newsweek that he introduced state House Bill 2810 to protect women and babies after the Biden administration began allowing abortion drugs to be sold through the mail without a doctor’s visit.
His bill would create felony charges for anyone who sells or transfers abortion drugs or abortion devices for the purpose of “inducing an abortion on another person in violation of state and or federal law,” such as a forced abortion or an abortion on a victim of sex trafficking, he told the news outlet.
Seitz’s bill includes a line about ectopic pregnancies, which are dangerous and can be deadly to the mother if undetected, especially if she takes abortion drugs. But abortion activists interpreted the line to mean that pro-lifers would deny women treatment for ectopic pregnancies and allow them to die – which is false.
Kate Smith, an abortion activist and former CBS News reporter, appears to be a main source of the erroneous claim.
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“A bill in Missouri makes illegal to get an abortion if the patient has an ectopic pregnancy,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “Facts about ectopic pregnancies: They’re are not viable. Full stop. They’re the 1 cause of death for 1st trimester patients.”
Smith urged news outlets to cover the ectopic pregnancy claim, which many quickly did, and offered herself as a source to editors.
But pro-life leaders quickly responded to Smith’s and news outlets’ claims, emphasizing that no one opposes life-saving treatment for mothers suffering from ectopic pregnancies. An ectopic pregnancy involves the unborn baby implanting in the fallopian tube or another place outside the womb. It is a tragic medical problem where the unborn baby dies and the mother can, too, if not treated.
Sarah St. Onge, a pro-life advocate and writer at The Federalist, slammed abortion activists’ claim as an “outright lie,” saying abortion activists are misinterpreting the bill.
“It’s confusing because there is a line item in House Bill 2810 which seems to say this: ‘The offense of trafficking abortion-inducing devices or drugs is a class A 11 felony if the abortion was performed or induced or was attempted to be performed or induced on a woman who has an ectopic pregnancy,’” she explained.
However, this only applies to “medication abortion, which can kill a woman if she is suffering from an ectopic pregnancy,” St. Onge said. “The line item in the bill is an effort to stop illegal importation and distribution of mifepristone [abortion] medications, and to force doctors to do an ultrasound before prescribing medical abortions.”
An ultrasound is the best way to detect an ectopic pregnancy and save the mother’s life. But abortion groups who sell abortion drugs through the mail often do not provide them.
What’s more, St. Onge said the bill only applies to pharmacists and pharmacies, not doctors who treat ectopic pregnancies.
Speaking with Newsweek, Seitz also emphasized that his bill does not prevent women from receiving life-saving treatment for ectopic pregnancies. He said his desire is to save women’s and unborn babies’ lives.
With mail-order abortion drugs, “they don’t have the hospital machinery to tell if this is an ectopic pregnancy,” Seitz said. “They might just think it’s a normal pregnancy, and they want to abort that child. I would like to see that sort of unlawful activity stopped.”
Seitz also said he is willing to consider amendments to his bill.
Abortion drugs are dangerous and can be deadly to mothers as well as their unborn babies. Many states are working to enact new safety regulations to protect lives after the Biden administration began allowing abortion businesses to sell the abortion drug mifepristone through the mail without ever seeing the woman for a check-up.
England recently reversed its decision to allow mail-order abortion drugs after reports of serious complications and a massive hospitalization rate surfaced.
In the United States, the FDA has linked the abortion drug to at least 24 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications between 2000 and 2018. However, under President Barack Obama, the FDA stopped requiring that non-fatal complications from mifepristone be reported. So the numbers almost certainly are much higher.
One recent U.S. study found that the rate of abortion-related emergency room visits by women taking the abortion drug increased more than 500 percent between 2002 and 2015.