Misinformation on Treating Ectopic Pregnancy Abounds

Women who are experiencing an ectopic pregnancy will not die because Roe v. Wade has been overturned.

Pro-abortion activists protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the last day of their term Thursday in Washington, DC.
Pro-abortion activists protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the last day of their term Thursday in Washington, DC. (photo: Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images)

Suddenly, pro-abortion Americans and their media allies are concerned about women carrying ectopic pregnancies. 

“Lifesaving treatment for these risky pregnancies may be delayed, physicians warn,” according to a headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The story recounts a story in another outlet where an unnamed woman with an ectopic pregnancy was turned away by unnamed doctors in Texas because they were worried about running afoul of that state’s Heartbeat Act.

That smacks of fake news to me and if it’s not, I worry that maybe doctors aren’t as smart as I thought they were.

Ectopic pregnancies occur about 100,000 times a year in the United States. The term refers to a fetus who is growing outside the womb, most often in one of the fallopian tubes. The pregnancy is not viable and it could kill the mother if left undetected.

Even physicians in Catholic hospitals — sticklers for the commandment that clearly states Thou Shalt Not Kill — will end an ectopic pregnancy, though they will be careful to use methods that do not constitute a direct abortion.

The media is concerned, suddenly, about “people” in states that have banned abortion not being able to get life-saving treatment for an ectopic pregnancy. That’s not a newsworthy story. It’s not a legitimate fear. It’s not going to happen.

“My heart is breaking that women are being made to feel fearful by the misinformation that’s out there,” said Dr. Christina Francis, an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. “Treating ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages or other life-threatening conditions in pregnancy is not the same thing as an abortion. … As a pro-life OB/GYN who’s practiced my entire career in hospitals that do not allow abortions, I have never been prevented from safely treating an ectopic pregnancy.”

Previous to the enactment of Texas’s Heartbeat Act in 2021, the media hardly ever mentioned ectopic pregnancy but it should have been news the day the FDA approved mailing abortion pills to women who had never been seen by a doctor. There should have been a warning flag about chemical abortion and ectopic pregnancy but again … crickets.

A 2004 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information wanted to ensure that screening procedures used to detect an abnormal pregnancy were effective. The researchers concluded they are.

“Various pretreatment screening methods that providers use to exclude patients with ectopic pregnancies are successful,” according to the study. 

That’s good news. Physicians are adept at finding ectopic pregnancies. 

Prior to the pandemic and the pro-abortion takeover of the White House, women who decided to have chemical abortions would have to meet with a doctor first. Even abortionists, one would hope, should be able to detect an ectopic pregnancy and refer the woman for treatment with someone who doesn’t kill for a living.

But now, thanks to our abortion-extremist-in-chief, a woman or girl seeking a chemical abortion never has to meet with a doctor, and can receive the deadly pills in the mail.

If she is experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, it will not be diagnosed, and the pills she takes will not end the pregnancy. But the pregnancy could end her life.

This should have caused a media uproar but the abortion-friendly press seems incapable of reporting anything negative about abortion. Ever. When the FDA decided to stop keeping track of adverse effects of chemical abortion other than the death of the mother, there was a similar silence. 

How many women go to the emergency room following a chemical abortion? Who knows. How often do chemical abortions fail and need to be followed with a surgical abortion? Again, your guess is as good as mine.

The Charlotte Lozier Institute commented on this situation:

“It has long been the goal of the abortion industry to remove all restrictions on chemical abortions so that they can be obtained outside of the medical system and unregulated by the legal system.  The removal of the FDA’s in-person requirement is a necessary key step toward reaching this goal.  This transfers the responsibility for risk solely to women, allowing the abortion provider to end unborn lives from afar, leaving women abandoned and suffering complications alone.”

Women who are experiencing an ectopic pregnancy will not die because Roe v. Wade has been overturned, and any doctor who is confused about whether and how to treat these women should call a Catholic colleague to find out.

Girls and women who believe chemical abortion is a safe and private way to end their child’s life without ever once seeing a physician are the ones in danger, whether those who favor abortion are willing to admit it or not.