Women's rights activists have been warning of the dangers that pregnant Americans face due to restrictive laws that place the importance of the fetus above the life of the person carrying it.
Taking to Twitter on Sunday, New York Magazine reporter Irin Carmon said that there are a few scenarios that she never predicted, even after spending over a dozen years reporting on the topic.
Anti-choice groups Live Action and LifeNews.com claim that overturning Roe v. Wade won't stop doctors from treating ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages. The Catholic News Agency even went so far as to call it a "myth" that ectopic pregnancies wouldn't be treated after Roe was eliminated. The problem is that is exactly what has happened.
"In the past week, an Ohio abortion clinic received calls from two women with ectopic pregnancies — when an embryo grows outside the uterus and can’t be saved — who said their doctors wouldn’t treat them," the Associated Press reported.
Texas's new abortion ban does allow for the removal of an ectopic pregnancy, but because hospitals aren't sure what to do, women are being forced to seek care elsewhere. It is putting pregnant people at risk, the Texas Medical Association said as part of its new request for state regulators to step in.
In a piece of Missouri legislation proposed by Republicans, the drug used to treat ectopic pregnancies would be banned.
Colleen McNicholas, the chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood in St Louis told Bloomberg, "this is what it looks like when uneducated politicians try and legislate our bodies."
“Ectopic pregnancies, if not treated promptly, become life-threatening. Banning any provision of care related to ectopic pregnancies will put people’s lives at risk,” she explained.
Those aren't the only pregnancies that are putting lives at risk, however. One Texas doctor told the AP that they had a "recent patient who had started to miscarry and developed a dangerous womb infection. The fetus still had signs of a heartbeat, so an immediate abortion —the usual standard of care — would have been illegal." The patient then became dangerously ill.
One Ohio child became pregnant at just 10 years old after being raped twice by a man that was later arrested. She was denied an abortion because she was just 3 days over the cutoff point in the state. The Republican attorney general, David Yost, not only denied the story was true but then began lying about the doctor that cared for her once the alleged rapist confessed.
"In South Carolina, where state lawmakers are considering new restrictions on abortions in a July special session, state Rep. John R. McCravy III supports a ban with no exceptions for rape or incest," the Washington Post reported. "But the Republican said that he favors exceptions to save the life of the mother and that concerns about limiting care for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages are overblown."
Republican Scott Herndon, an Idaho candidate who defeated a sitting state Senator, argued that ectopic pregnancies are still pregnancies and that he's opposed to adding an exemption allowing for abortions of those pregnancies.
\u201cThese people are incapable of self-government. \n\nhttps://t.co/JLTzQaSOEU\u201d— Aaron Astor (@Aaron Astor) 1658088643
The Oklahoma abortion law bans all "devices" that could be used for an abortion and is so vague that it could be used to ban an intrauterine device (IUD).
"We’ve asked some legislators, 'How are medical providers supposed to interpret the laws?'" said Dr. Dana Stone, who works in Oklahoma. "They say, 'They’ll figure it out.'"
Then there's the matter of drugs that are used to treat some diseases that can also be used to cause abortions.
In Kansas City, a group of 16 hospitals had to stop giving emergency contraception to rape survivors. The so-called Plan B doesn't even cause abortion, it simply prevents pregnancy.
The drug Methotrexate is a "folate antagonist," and in large doses, it can cause a miscarriage. So, for those suffering from things like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis (including psoriatic arthritis), the drug is no longer available in their state due to abortion bans.
The AP interviewed 27-year-old Becky Schwarz, who has lupus and lives in Virginia. She must stop taking the medication that helps her while her doctor's office "reviews its policies."
"For me to have to be essentially babysat by some policy, rather than being trusted about how I handle my own body ... has made me angry," Schwarz said.
"The Arthritis Foundation and the American College of Rheumatology have both issued statements of concern about patients’ access to the drug," the AP reported. "Steven Schultz of the Arthritis Foundation said the group is working to determine how widespread the problem is." He encouraged patients who can't access the drug to contact their helpline.
There are so many medical concerns that individuals face that no law can fully account for and the result has been catastrophic confusion that is harming people all over the country, pregnant or not.