Politics Abortion foes downplayed the complex post-Row vs. Wade facts

Abortion foes downplayed the complex post-Row vs. Wade facts


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WASHINGTON (AP) — A 10-year-old Ohio girl accused of being forced by her rapist last month when she traveled to Indiana to get pregnant has been called a hoax by several conservative politicians and TV pundits..

After the gruesome details confirmed the case was true, some tried a new tactic: claiming that, without evidence, the child could still legally obtain an abortion in Ohio. Under the almost complete abortion ban that excludes only mothers whose life-threatening or major bodily functions are at risk once fetal cardiac activity identified.

Katherine Glenn Foster, president of the anti-abortion Americans United for Life, added another defense for young rape victims: She told the House Judiciary Committee that a 10-year-old’s pregnancy “would probably affect her life, so that would fall under any exception and not abortion.”

In television ads and interviews, anti-abortion advocates have used misleading rhetoric about abortion access and the problems from restrictive abortion laws as doctors, struggling to understand laws that are largely untested in the courts, turn away pregnant patients. for care.


Those efforts had an immediate impact, sending the story of Roe v. Wade into the world It ignores how abortion laws enacted in recent weeks have complicated the way doctors treat rape victims, miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.


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  • More than half a dozen doctors interviewed by The Associated Press said they feel compromised and uncertain in the abortion landscape fundamentally changed by the US Supreme Court ruling. It defies nearly 50 years of precedent Abortion is a protected right granted by the Constitution.

    “It’s a scary position for health care providers to be in, unsure of what’s legal and what’s not, and they’re questioning the care they’re supposed to be providing,” said Dr. Jennifer Kearns. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco.

    Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost first questioned the reporting of the rape of a 10-year-old girl., citing the state’s exemptions, said in a Fox News Channel interview that she does not need to leave Ohio for abortion treatment. Last week, Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis repeated the claim during a public forum: “She could have had an abortion here.” The legislation’s Republican sponsor said as much in a newspaper column published Thursday.

    But not as clear cut as they suggest.

    An analysis by the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Service Commission concluded that a single mother would not allow the girl to legally access the process in the state. Doctors in Ohio are required to document a medical condition and rationale if performing an abortion in order to provide life-saving treatment.

    Yost’s office did not return a request for additional comment. Gonidakis laid out “different scenarios” in the AP under which the girl could have accessed an abortion in Ohio, noting that if a doctor agreed her life was at risk because of her age, he would not have reviewed her medical.
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    On social media, some conservatives downplayed concerns about access to treatment for ectopic pregnancies, calling it “still legal in every state.” An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, where it has no chance of survival.

    Earlier this month, abortion opponent Erin Morrow told the House Reform and Oversight Committee that ectopic pregnancies have become “misinformation.”

    “There are social media posts that suggest women don’t seek treatment for ectopic pregnancy because doctors might be afraid to perform the procedure, but that’s completely false,” said Hawley, an attorney at the non-religious nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom. “The treatment for ectopic pregnancy is not actually abortion.”

    But state abortion laws fueled the confusion.

    Doctors generally agree that the process of terminating an ectopic pregnancy, which usually involves medication or surgery to remove the pregnancy, is not the same as an abortion.
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    But it is reported that women are denied care In states that severely restrict access to abortion, such as Ohio, abortion is prohibited once fetal cardiac activity is detected. Fetal heartbeats may still be present in ectopic pregnancies. In one case, a central Texas hospital told a doctor not to treat an ectopic pregnancy Until it burst, according to a letter from the Texas Medical Association.


    In an email to the AP, Hawley said doctors who turn away ectopic pregnancy patients because of abortion bans are misinterpreting the laws.

    However, in June Roe v. Before the Supreme Court overturned Wade, some religious hospitals had policies against treating women for ectopic pregnancies.

    And many states did not specify that an ectopic pregnancy could be considered an exception in their newly enacted abortion bans. This has led doctors in some states to consider terminating pregnancies, says Dr. Kate White, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine. For example, lawmakers in West Virginia are considering an abortion ban that would exempt ectopic pregnancies..

    “Physicians may be afraid to treat ectopic pregnancy if their state’s abortion law doesn’t clearly address ectopic pregnancy. You can see their concern, ‘Hey, it’s a growing pregnancy, it can never be interrupted,'” White said. “They fear the law is too broad.”


    Keleti reported from Phoenix. Associated Press writer Julie Carr Smith in Columbus, Ohio contributed.


    Follow AP’s coverage of abortion at https://apnews.com/hub/abortion.

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