By Anna Visser, Right to Life of Michigan Director of Communication/Education
To say that people are confused about miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy treatment since the overturning of Roe would be an understatement.
Within the last week, social media, the news, and abortion activists have successfully misled the majority of Americans, even medical professionals, into believing that abortion bans will impact miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy treatment.
First and foremost, we need to establish that there is a difference between having a miscarriage and having an abortion. A miscarriage is when an unborn child dies in the womb either spontaneously or accidentally, as opposed to an abortion where the unborn child is intentionally killed. These are two very different circumstances with one ending in violence and the other ending naturally.
An ectopic pregnancy is when the unborn child implants on the outside of the uterus, most often in the fallopian tubes. This situation is frequently life-threatening for the mother and requires that the pregnancy be stopped and removed. Sometimes with ectopic pregnancies, the embryo dies due to a lack of nutrients and passes naturally, but often it is necessary to use medicines to halt the growth of the pregnancy tissue (placental tissue) and remove it surgically This would consequentially also remove the unborn child. Procedures and drugs that are used during miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy treatments like D&C and Mifeprex or Methotrexate would not be banned under Michigan’s 1931 abortion law. These drugs and procedures are, however, illegal to use under the 1931 law if used for the purpose of performing an abortion.
Ectopic pregnancy treatment is not considered an illegal abortion under the 1931 abortion ban. To treat a mother who is suffering from an ectopic pregnancy would be to preserve her life. A “life of the mother exception” is carved out in the 1931 abortion law, which bans abortion starting at fertilization.
Doctors who refuse to treat women suffering from miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies are committing malpractice and negligence and should be held accountable for any further complications that arise from the prolonging of care.
These are confusing times due to the misinformation being spread. Governor Whitmer and Dana Nessel have recently added more fuel to the fire of misinformation by implying that women will be prosecuted for having abortions which is totally false. Under Michigan law, women are not prosecuted for abortions, and trying to scare women into thinking that prosecutors will somehow use period trackers to come after women for abortions is preposterous!