A dangerous lie is circulating on social media again, planting the notion in women’s and girls’ minds that pro-life laws ban life-saving treatment for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages.
Doctors, pro-life leaders, LifeNews.com and other publications have refuted the false claim numerous times, pointing to clear language in pro-life laws, medical facts, statements by medical professionals and providers.
But it resurfaced again this week after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a historic ruling and states began protecting unborn babies from abortion again.
This week, millions of impressionable women and girls heard from celebrities like Halle Berry and Meghan Markle that pro-life laws will put their lives in jeopardy and ban life-saving pregnancy care, according to The Federalist.
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“The treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is abortion,” Berry wrote in a tweet that amassed hundreds of thousands of responses. “… The treatment for a miscarriage that your body won’t release is abortion. If you can’t get those abortions, you die. You. Die.”
But they are not true, and the lie could put women’s lives at risk. Women suffering from life-threatening complications could delay seeking medical treatment because of the lie and put their lives at even greater risk.
“My heart is breaking that women are being made to feel fearful by the misinformation that’s out there,” said Dr. Christina Francis, a leading pro-life OB-GYN. “As a pro-life OB/GYN who’s practiced my entire career in hospitals that do not allow abortions, I have never been prevented from safely treating an ectopic pregnancy.”
Pro-life doctors and hospitals have and will continue to treat women suffering from miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, too, said Francis, of the American Association of Pro-Life OB-GYNs.
She said treating ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages or other life-threatening conditions in pregnancy are not the same as elective abortions, which is what pro-life laws prohibit. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that chemical abortions, or abortion drugs, cannot treat an ectopic pregnancy, Francis continued.
“I’ve never needed to perform an elective abortion, and yet I’ve been able to take care of women with ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages throughout my career,” she said.
Treatments for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies are not the same as abortions because the purpose is to save the mother’s life, not to kill an unborn baby. Even Planned Parenthood admits this on its website, lawyer Mary FioRito with the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture pointed out on Twitter this week.
Sharing an image from the abortion group’s website, FioRito wrote: “Catholic hospitals treat women with ectopic pregnancies every day. Abortion clinics don’t. Most abortion practitioners aren’t even ON/GYNs, much less surgeons. Planned Parenthood recommends women go to a local ER to be treated. Not to an abortion clinic.”
The Charlotte Lozier Institute also published a fact sheet this week that explains the facts about miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and abortion laws.
Legally, most laws that restrict or ban abortions specifically state that treatments for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies are not abortions, and all pro-life laws allow exceptions if the mother’s life is at risk, which includes such situations.
The truth is women’s lives matter to the pro-life movement, too. Many pro-life leaders have suffered miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and abortions themselves, and they know the heartache of losing a child. The pro-life movement is based on the fundamental belief that every human life is valuable and deserving of human rights, and that includes every mother and every child.