Myth #1: Abortion is illegal in all 50 states and territories.
In June, the Supreme Court decision overturned its decision in the 1973 case of Roe v Wade. Therefore, the laws governing elective abortion have reverted back to the individual states to decide through their legislative process. Abortion laws will be more complicated because each state will have its own laws. Post-Roe Myths
In Texas, abortions are currently illegal. You can view helpful interactive tools on the latest abortion state law updates from the Guttmacher Institute.
With so many changes to the laws, call for your pregnancy test appointment to discuss all your options in Texas today. There’s never a charge for our services.
Myth #2: Women with ectopic pregnancies will not receive life-saving care.
The management of ectopic pregnancy remains the same pre- and post- Roe. This myth comes from the misconception that the removal of an ectopic pregnancy is a type of abortion. That is untrue.
An ectopic pregnancy is one that develops outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. Most of these embryos die before discovery that the pregnancy is ectopic but can still cause life-threatening internal bleeding for the mother. The typical treatment involves the use of medications or a surgical procedure to remove the lifeless embryo and possibly the fallopian tube.
These interventions are designed to save the mother’s life but may have the unintended consequence of ending the baby’s life in the rare case when the embryo still has a heartbeat. We lack the knowledge of how to transplant an ectopic embryo into the uterus, so there is no known treatment that will preserve its life.
Myth #3: Doctors will be hindered from treating women with miscarriages out of fear of being accused of performing an illegal abortion.
The Supreme Court decision was solely focused on induced or elective abortion that has as its intended consequence to end a viable pregnancy. The High Court’s decision does not apply to the treatment of nonviable pregnancies (known as a miscarriage).
The options available to obstetricians for managing miscarriages are likely to remain unhindered under the new ruling. Some confusion may be caused because another term for miscarriage is spontaneous abortion which is different than an induced (or elective) abortion intended to terminate a pregnancy. Further confusion is caused because the surgical technique used for treating a spontaneous abortion and an induced abortion is the same. The difference—where the law is concerned—is not about the mechanics of the procedure, but about under what circumstances it is used.
There are different levels of management for miscarriage or early pregnancy loss: 1
Expectant management follows a “watch and wait” approach, allowing the woman’s body to naturally pass the failed pregnancy. In the absence of signs of infection, or other contraindications, it is an acceptable management option.
Medical management uses drugs to cause the uterus to contract and expel its contents. Misoprostol is typically used and is generally effective.
Surgical management may be utilized if other methods of management have failed or was otherwise not selected.
Effective management of miscarriage requires taking the time to perform a proper evaluation, including repeat ultrasound exams and blood tests to measure pregnancy hormone levels, to arrive at a definitive diagnosis of miscarriage.
While the media has reported some confusion among physicians, if they rely on long-established diagnosis protocols — making certain there is not a living baby — it seems highly improbable that there would be any grounds for claims of performing an illegal abortion.
The first step to knowing if you have a viable pregnancy is to set up a pregnancy test appointment so we can then schedule you for an ultrasound exam. No charge. Call today.
Myth #4: Abortion is sometimes necessary to save the life of the mother.
It’s important to understand terminology.
The purpose of an elective or induced abortion is to terminate a pregnancy. There are rare instances when it is medically necessary to separate the mother and her unborn baby to save the mother’s life, cases when the highly likely outcome is that both patients, the mother and her unborn child, will die if the baby is not removed from the mother.
These are usually tragic situations when the baby is too premature to survive, and the unintended consequence of the procedure is that the baby’s life is lost.
When a life-threatening complication arises after the 22nd week of pregnancy, and it is necessary to separate the mother and the baby, a premature delivery may be performed, potentially preserving the life of both patients.
But what happens if the problem occurs prior to viability, that is, the time when the baby has a chance to survive outside the womb?
For example, consider the case of a pregnant woman who is 20 weeks pregnant in a car accident. Her placenta begins to peel away from the uterus, and she is bleeding profusely. There is no time to wait for the baby to mature enough to survive outside the womb. The obstetrician must remove the placenta to stop the bleeding, which has the unintended result of ending the baby’s life.
This is NOT an induced abortion; this is a medical intervention that separates the baby from the mother with the intention of saving the mother’s life that, unfortunately, also has the unintended consequence of ending her baby’s life.
Another example would be if there is an infection of the amniotic fluid that will cause a life-threatening infection. The required treatment involves emptying the uterus and delivering the baby to treat the infection.2 Both patients’ lives are taken into consideration…neither has a chance of survival without delivery, but if the baby is very premature, he may not survive.
It’s important to understand these rare cases when a pregnant woman faces a life-threatening complication and how the intervention to save her life may have the unintended consequence of ending her baby’s life. Therefore, these exceptional cases do not fall under the laws in any state that prohibits abortion.
Myth #5: If misoprostol (abortion pills) are unavailable, other areas of healthcare will suffer.
Certain drugs used to induce abortion, such as misoprostol, are also used for conditions unrelated to causing an elective abortion. For example, misoprostol can also be used to treat a miscarriage. Misoprostol was originally approved by the FDA as ulcer prevention in patients taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is also used off-label to ripen a woman’s cervix during the induction of labor.3
The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs did not address the distribution or availability of medications, even those used for abortion. In states that have outlawed abortion altogether, medical professionals should still have access to drugs like the ones mentioned for non-abortion related uses.
Questions about abortion pills? Make an appointment today to get your questions answered. All our services are free of charge.
1 American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists. (2018). ACOG practice bulletin No. 200: Early pregnancy loss. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 132(5), e197-e207. https://doi.org/10.1097/aog.0000000000002899
2Agustin Conde-Agudelo, Roberto Romero, Eun Jung Jung, Ángel José Garcia Sánchez, Management of clinical chorioamnionitis: an evidence-based approach, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 223, Issue 6, 2020, Pages 848-869, ISSN 0002-9378, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2020.09.044.
3Chatsis V, Frey N. Misoprostol for Cervical Ripening and Induction of Labour: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness, Cost-Effectiveness and Guidelines [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; 2018 Nov 23. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538944/