Saturday, November 30, 2019

This Ohio anti-abortion bill says that ectopic pregnancies can be moved to the uterus — but that isn't scientifically possible

Ohio seems to be competing with Mississippi for the silliest state.

I have a relative who found out she had an ectopic pregnancy when she went to the emergency room and found out she was bleeding to death.

By Danielle Garrand
May 16, 2019 / 1:46 AM

An Ohio state representative introduced a new bill [Ohio House Bill 182] last month, which aims to prohibit insurance coverage of abortions that occur where the mother's life is not "endangered if the fetus were carried to term." The bill includes exceptions, including one for a procedure that does not exist.

GOP Rep. John Becker introduced House Bill 182, which allows for two situations where insurers could offer coverage for abortion services. One is a "procedure, in an emergency situation, that is medically necessary to save the pregnant woman's life."

The other, the bill says, is a procedure for an ectopic pregnancy, "that is intended to reimplant the fertilized ovum into the pregnant woman's uterus."

In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tubes outside the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy is not a viable pregnancy and it very often can put the mother's life at risk. The pregnancy either ends in a miscarriage or is ended with drugs or surgery. "An ectopic pregnancy cannot move or be moved to the uterus, so it always requires treatment," according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The exception in the bill for an ectopic pregnancy, therefore, is not scientifically possible.

"That doesn't exist in the realm of treatment for ectopic pregnancy. You can't just re-implant. It's not a medical thing," said Jaime Miracle, deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, earlier this month, according to the Statehouse News Bureau.

She also told the outlet that under this bill women would be forced to wait until the ectopic pregnancy became life-threatening to get an abortion. "This bill will have grave impacts on Ohio's infant and maternal mortality rate," Miracle said.


The bill also aims to make additional changes in the state, including expanding the definition of a "nontherapeutic abortion," according to the legislation's analysis. Currently, the definition of a "nontherapeutic abortion" is an "abortion that is performed or induced when the life of the mother would not be endangered if the fetus were carried to term" as well as an abortion for a pregnancy that is not the "result of rape of incest reported to a law enforcement agency." In this bill, Becker removes the rape or incest condition from the definition, meaning women who seek an abortion for a pregnancy from rape or incest would not be covered by insurance.

Also, the bill would not allow coverage for drugs or devices that "prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum."


[Doctors have said it is not possible to do this. So what did Ohio republicans do in response. Mandate that doctors try to do the impossible.]

Jessica Glenza
Fri 29 Nov 2019 03.54 EST
First published on Fri 29 Nov 2019 03.30 EST

A bill to ban abortion introduced in the Ohio state legislature requires doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus – a procedure that does not exist in medical science – or face charges of “abortion murder”.

This is the second time practising obstetricians and gynecologists have tried to tell the Ohio legislators that the idea is currently medically impossible.


In addition to ordering doctors to do the impossible or face criminal charges, House Bill 413 bans abortion outright and defines a fertilized egg as an “unborn child”.

It also appears to punish doctors, women and children as young as 13 with “abortion murder” if they “perform or have an abortion”. This crime is punishable by life in prison. Another new crime, “aggravated abortion murder”, is punishable by death, according to the bill.

The bill is sponsored by representatives Candice Keller and Ron Hood, and co-sponsored by 19 members of Ohio’s 99-member House.


“There is no procedure to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy,” said Dr Chris Zahn, vice-president of practice activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. “It is not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy from a fallopian tube, or anywhere else it might have implanted, to the uterus,” he said.

“Reimplantation is not physiologically possible. Women with ectopic pregnancies are at risk for catastrophic hemorrhage and death in the setting of an ectopic pregnancy, and treating the ectopic pregnancy can certainly save a mom’s life,” said Zahn.

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