Missouri’s latest anti-abortion bill blocks ectopic pregnancy care – SheKnows

In a decade of difficult years for the reproductive rights movement, 2022 is proving particularly challenging — with many restrictive state-level anti-abortion laws advancing through state legislatures in states that have already limited access to abortion care resources. One of the latest to be introduced is a Missouri bill that seeks to restrict the type of abortion care available to pregnant women whose pregnancies are not viable and could prove fatal without intervention.


According to the text of the bill, House Bill 2810 seeks to recognize “the offense of trafficking in abortive devices or drugs is a class A 11 crime if…”. including many conditions like a gestation of more than 10 weeks and whether “the abortion has been performed or induced or has been attempted to be performed or induced on a woman who has an ectopic pregnancy”.

“This is what it looks like when uneducated politicians try to legislate our bodies,” said Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis and Southwestern Missouri Area. in a statement to Newsweek about the proposed language. “Ectopic pregnancies, if not treated promptly, are life threatening. Banning all care related to ectopic pregnancies will put people’s lives at risk.

Republican State Rep. Brian Seitz said Newsweek that the bill seeks to prevent drugs and devices that enable abortions in cases where people are trafficked for sex, which led his fellow Democratic state Rep. Keri Ingle, to point out that the wording of the provision would criminalize the means of obtaining devices or drugs for the treatment of ectopic pregnancies from people who need them.

“Do you know that one of the drugs you are trying to ban is one of the main drugs given in the event of an uninterrupted ectopic pregnancy?” Ingle asked Seitz at a Wednesday legislative panel in Missouri to discuss the bill, adding that even the most extreme anti-abortion activists might take issue with and be “horribly offended” by the choice of language in the bill. of law.

While the various bans that are being introduced at the state level remain devastating in themselves for people who can get pregnant, this particular line has drawn critical in recent days for being particularly cruel, unnecessary and counter-intuitive to the goals of life support and health care.

Ectopic pregnancies, for the uninitiated, are by definition non-viable. – because the embryo does not implant in the uterus (the place where it can get nutrients and grow to term) but rather on another part of the person’s body (often the fallopian tube or even an ovary or part of the abdominals). This type of pregnancy can be extremely dangerous for the individual and require intervention to avoid harm to the person.

As SheKnows previously reported, “most [pregnancies] can be medically treated with a drug called methotrexate if diagnosed early enough,” according to Dr. G.Thomas Ruiz, the chief OB-GYN at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif. “Laparoscopic removal of the pregnancy from the tube or removal of the affected tube if the diagnosis is not made early enough. The most severe cases may involve an open procedure – abdominal incision. An ectopic rupture is a surgical emergency.

Although ectopic pregnancies are rare – occurring only in about two percent of all pregnancies – people who have had one ectopic pregnancy are 15% more likely to experience it again and those who have had two are 50% more likely, leading to a group of people who could be particularly vulnerable if legislation like this is signed into action.

In addition to this line on ectopic pregnancies, the bill also targets abortion providers, seeking to make those who assist in the abortion of an ectopic pregnancy (via medical abortions legal and safe) guilty of Class A felonies (which carry a hefty 10-year minimum prison sentence).

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