Abortion activists are trying to make Americans forget that pro-life laws save lives as the Florida Legislature debates a heartbeat bill this week.
Even though the pro-life legislation includes clear exceptions for situations where the mother’s life is at risk, a Planned Parenthood abortionist claimed women will surely die if it passes.
“I believe a six-week abortion ban will kill patients,” said Robyn Schickler, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida in Tampa Bay.
However, the pro-life bill does not ban abortions after six weeks. It protects unborn babies by banning most abortions once their heartbeat is detectable, which occurs at about six weeks of pregnancy. Notably, it also includes a number of exceptions, including for victims of rape and incest and cases when the mother’s life or health is at risk “of substantial and irreversible physical impairment.”
The legislation, which appears likely to pass, has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives every year.
But Schickler claimed the opposite in an opinion column published at the Tampa Bay Times this week.
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Imagining a future with the pro-life law in effect, she wrote:
Now, Florida doctors can no longer treat some of our patients when they’re in trouble. We can’t discuss options because there are none. Our only choice is to violate our Hippocratic oath and allow the patient to get sicker and sicker before we intervene.
Doctors are at the point where we have to say, “Yes, you will die if you don’t have an abortion. Yes, I am capable of providing an abortion. No, I am not allowed to provide that abortion because some politicians don’t like it, but here’s a state you can travel to instead.”
But Schickler’s hypothetical scenario is false. The bill – and similar pro-life laws in place all across the country – allow doctors to treat pregnant mothers who are suffering life-threatening complications, miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies. Abortion bans only ban elective abortions that kill unborn babies.
Importantly, the Florida bill includes fines and jail time for abortionists not only if they kill unborn babies but also if the abortion leads to the death of the mother, a clear indication that pro-lifers care about mothers’ lives, too.
Ignoring this, Schickler continued: “So, what does a doctor do when their patient’s organs are failing? In Florida, nothing. If your patient is pregnant, all you can do is sit on your hands and wait until they get sicker.” Later, she added, “Should we wait until there’s a 99% chance of death to intervene?”
The answer is no, according to research by Dr. Ingrid Skop, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., and lawyer Mary E. Harned through the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
“Each of these states permits abortion in those rare and heartbreaking circumstances when it is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman,” they wrote. “Physicians can make this determination based on their ‘reasonable medical judgment,’ a standard very common in the medical profession and used for any case involving medical malpractice litigation.”
More evidence that Schickler is wrong can be seen by the outcome of the laws themselves. The Texas heartbeat law has been in effect for almost two years, and no one has died. Quite the opposite, research suggests tens of thousands of babies’ lives have been saved.
And since June when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, 13 more states have banned or strictly limited elective abortions and no women have died as a result of their laws either. However, hundreds of women have died from legal abortions in the U.S.
Meanwhile, research by experts on both sides of the issue show that pro-life laws are saving babies’ lives. Research by Michael New, Ph.D., an assistant professor of practice at The Catholic University of America and an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, estimates at least 5,000 babies were saved by the Texas heartbeat law in just four months.
If the Florida heartbeat bill passes, it potentially would save tens of thousands of unborn babies’ lives every year. In 2022, there were 82,192 abortions in Florida, according to state health statistics.