The Pro-Life Movement Must Embrace Continuing Moral and Practical Obligations

Birch Smith

Birch studied philosophy and history at Hillsdale College before working as a teacher of history, government and economics. He is now embarking on graduate study at George Mason University, pursuing a Master of Arts in International Security. His non-academic interests include cooking, hiking, football ( or ‘soccer’ for those uninitiated in the beautiful game), and apparently changing cities as often as possible. Black coffee or a peaty scotch, always. You can find him on Twitter

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89 Responses

  1. Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful post. I brought some of this up in the initial thread here.

    “Encourage men to take equal reproductive responsibility, including enforcing paternal financial support where appropriate.

    Do not penalize women who choose to place children up for immediate adoption in any way.”

    I’d go even further and say there needs to be a shift away from the presumption that the child is the responsibility of the woman unless or until she either chooses to give up rights and/or somehow secures the involvement of the father. While I understand why, practically, this is the case, that doesn’t mean it needs to be how things work. As long as men have the freedom to walk away and women have to make prolonged active effort to get any involvement from a disinterested father, we won’t be anywhere even close to equitable in a “pro-life” world.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      I am blunter than you. Not “encourage men” but “require men”. Pregnancy requires two contributions, an egg and a sperm. The sperm donor gets off easy during pregnancy and delivery (as my wife has pointed out to me for decades). Absolutely no reason they shouldn’t bear a heavier burden from that point forward, especially in a society that grants them a favorable economic status.Report

  2. Dark Matter
    Ignored
    says:

    LOL!

    The Pro-Life movement has had a lot of time to do the sorts of things you suggest, they haven’t.

    They are interested in stopping abortion, opposing contraception, and opposing sex education. They are indifferent to the other things. That’s who they are.

    My expectation is they’re not going to change their ethics or their views to be consistent with the label “pro-life”, that’s a marketing label.

    They’ve not pro-life, they’re anti-abortion.Report

  3. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    If that strikes me as a lot of responsibility. Could I abdicate my responsibilities by claiming to be pro-choice?

    Seems like that would be the pathway of least resistance.Report

    • Chris in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Yes. When you don’t force women to be pregnant and give birth, you don’t have some of the obligations to help women who did not want to have a child, or cannot afford to have a child, etc.

      Though, perhaps not coincidentally, much of what is proposed here is either actual pro-choice policy (e.g., the tax credits, paid parental leave, anti-employment discrimination, etc.), and pro-life folks tend to support still more than make reproductive freedom more of an actual choice, by both making access to contraception and abortion easier and cheaper, and by lessening the burden of having and raising a child. So if you’re actually pro-choice, there’s a good change you already want this stuff anyway.Report

  4. John
    Ignored
    says:

    Given that a not insignificant number of pro-lifers, including many who occupy positions of power believe that:
    – miscarriages are rare, and are usually the woman’s fault
    – “science” proves that rape cannot produce a pregnancy
    – most forms of birth control are actually abortions

    … none of your proposals will make any headway in the movement.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to John
      Ignored
      says:

      Let’s add to that list…
      – Abortion is more dangerous than pregnancy, especially long term.
      – There is no good reason to have an abortion.

      The crisis pregnancy centers show where their heads are at.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        And… only the morally impure (i.e., sluts) have unwanted pregnancies and let’s-be-serious we know they really DO want those pregnancies, most often to “trap” men in relationships with them so, really, we should be protecting the interests of men who may be unwittingly caught by this stupid, craven, manipulative whores.

        I mean, had they just pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and been men instead of women (not TRANSITIONED to men, because that’s certainly not a thing)… had they simply BEEN men, we wouldn’t even be dealing with this. Why is it anyone else’s responsibility to protect them from their own failings (of not being men, of course)?Report

        • Rachel Kline in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          Well, if you read Guttmacher, you can clearly see that a substantial fraction of women getting abortions are doing it because a relationship “didn’t work out.”

          Serial Monogamy is an accepted part of American Dating Behavior.

          What is also accepted is that black women … aren’t competitive (this is easy to see in advertising to black men, which universally features a black dude with a white woman. Yes, I am mocking liberals who think this support for interracial marriage makes their advertising “inclusive.”)

          Now, everyone knows that condoms aren’t fun — but birth control isn’t exactly “enhancing” the experience (I’m sure I could pull numbers on “female sexual dysfunction”).

          And birth control isn’t nearly as safe as Plan B.

          Sure, if you want to be a dude’s dude, go screw dudes.

          As for me, It’s my body, it’s my choice. Even if I make dumb immoral stupid ones.Report

      • Chris in reply to Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        The pro-forced pregnancy movement is entirely based on a thin veneer built of mendacity, attempting to cover a vast ocean of misogyny.Report

  5. Pinky
    Ignored
    says:

    I support my local crisis pregnancy center, the Little Sisters of the Poor’s elder care facility in my area, and a home for children with developmental issues in Nicaragua. During the worst of the covid economy, I was donating regularly to the diocesan food bank. I’ve also never impregnated a woman.

    None of those are boasts. I’m just a single dude with some spare money. I believe that the charities I support are more efficient than any comparable government program, but if someone could convince me that government funding was better, I’d support it.

    Kazzy recently asked whether I supported paternal responsibility, and I’m still struggling with why that question is even on the table. I’ve only ever known one promiscuous pro-life male, and I could see him baby-trapping some woman before I could picture him shirking his fatherly obligation.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      “Kazzy recently asked whether I supported paternal responsibility, and I’m still struggling with why that question is even on the table. I’ve only ever known one promiscuous pro-life male, and I could see him baby-trapping some woman before I could picture him shirking his fatherly obligation.”

      It is relevant because one of the arguments in support of the pro-life position is that pregnancy is a potential consequence of sex so expecting women to see those pregnancies through is a reasonable expectation on them.

      Well, it takes two to tango. That woman didn’t get pregnant without a man’s involvement. As such, if we’re going to say to women, “Well, you should have thought about the possibility of getting pregnant before you had sex so now you’ve got to see it through,” then we should also say the exact same thing to men.

      Like, honestly, I’m struggling to see how you think it ISN’T relevant. Do you really not think that absentee fathers/deadbeat dads aren’t a thing because you don’t happen to know any?Report

      • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s not that the matter is irrelevant, it’s that the matter is in the “duh” category. If there’s any sense in which it’s irrelevant, it’s only because it’s not new to the situation. The father has responsibility whether abortion is legal or not, because of course he does. It’s like if we were talking about electric cars versus gasoline and someone said, “Have you thought about turn signals? Those electric cars will have to have turn signals.” Yes…that’s true, and it’s a good thing that no one on earth has a problem with that. If the law is failing on that point, then the law needs to be fixed, whatever else happens.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          “The father has responsibility whether abortion is legal or not, because of course he does.”
          Are his responsibilities equivalent to those on the woman?

          “If the law is failing on that point, then the law needs to be fixed, whatever else happens.”
          The law is indeed failing on this point and that was the crux of my question: if you’ll bang the drum for ending abortion because of your concern for the child that could result from a pregnancy, will you similarly bang the drum for all the systems and structures that allow men to avoid taking responsibility for that child?

          And, if not, why not?

          That, to me, is very very very relevant.

          And thank you for clarifying your position.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            As I said from the beginning, I don’t know the law, and I don’t know to what extent fathers are being allowed to shirk their duties. I just don’t know. As a voter I would support reform if it’s needed. I think this for the same reason that I don’t support bank robbery, and if someone demonstrated to me that the law was lenient about bank robbery, I’d favor fixing the law. I’ve never discussed bank robbery with any OT’ers, pro-life or pro-choice, but I would make the assumption that they’d take the same position on it as I do. We might argue about the appropriate sentences or other practical aspects of the law, but not the concept.

            So, if this is a conversation, a back-and-forth of ideas, we should each be getting answers to our questions. I’ve answered this question of yours repeatedly. You still haven’t answered my question, which is why you raised this in the first place. It’s not part of the pro-life position, it’s not implied in the pro-life position, it’s not even a strawman of the pro-life position. So why did you think you had to ask it?Report

  6. Rob Clive
    Ignored
    says:

    Enjoyed this article. I’m skeptical that the pro-life movement will consider this, as, in my more cynical times, I believe that compassion is against the current GOP’s religion. That doesn’t change the fact that you raise good points for the serious wing of the GOP/pro-life movement, and I hope that some good conversation and legislation will move forward.Report

  7. Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    Good post; as a culture/community/polity first sort of guy (vs. abstract legalistic approaches both Kantian/Platonic) my recommendations to pro-life fellow travelers has been to build up this infrastructure and social capital first; for moral, practical and political reasons. This is slow work, and hard; but genuine strides have been made and, honestly, we’re winning public opinion as these efforts bear fruit.

    I have my doubts that overturning Roe at this moment in time – which, to be clear, is a poorly reasoned decision, a terrible precedent and deserves overturning – will continue this progress. In some ways, this political ‘victory’ is the easier path and absent a broader cultural shift that comes with the cultural and communal focus that you touch on above we’ll quite likely see a pyrrhic result. A nominal overturning of Roe, but a codification of the same number of all abortions (~95% of all abortions occur before week 16 using current data, but that data will likely go up with changed laws) a’la the EU with policies that will settle in between 12-16 weeks – the ‘invisible’ phase of the abortion. Which, tbf, is where the polling clearly lands.

    Ironically the side that lost will declare victory, and the side that won, defeat.

    Touching on one of the sillier rhetorical nonsense flourishes I’m seeing (and which you bring up):

    “Some, like myself, will find the ethical and legal case against freely available contraception uncompelling, and advocate for that as a practical solution. Others, like my Catholic friends, may be compelled to disagree, perhaps quite strongly.”

    I can say as someone who managed fertility naturally that even among Catholics we are such a shocking minority (estimated at 3%) that there’s quite literally no constituency for any laws against contraception. We’re happy to discuss how our approach is better for women and couples (and, hey, much of the work in this area is done by lefty feminist women!) but the availability of contraception occupies absolutely no head-space. Further, Protestants (in general) don’t even share the moral qualms that we Catholics do… so there’s even less of a constituency among broader Christians. Honestly… this is *the* dumbest thing I see written connected to Abortion. I suppose I should count it as a philosophical victory that so many people associate Catholic Teaching with this — but, as I say from the bosom of the crazy minority practicing this stuff, there’s no there there.

    That said, I see people steal some bases under this rhetorical banner. People who are perfectly happy users of artificial contraception do not think that the collective *you* are the ones who should be deciding when their children learn and/or have access to contraception. That isn’t being anti-contraception. And, if that’s all you’ve got… it will be simply added to all the things that *you* think children should do/learn that are at odds with families. That’s a loser prop for y’all.

    So my counter-intuitive take is that while I won’t be sad to see Roe overturned (if that happens) – in fact I’ll consider it a good thing legally and morally – I’m concerned that ‘victory’ will mark a decline, not a beginning, to the sorts of pro-family/pro-natalist policies that we need to build consensuses for a durable and just change. Politics can be difficult that way.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Graphs to long term public opinion.

      https://news.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx

      IMHO we’ll be over the edge of the universe soon. There will be states that effectively outlaw abortion soon. We’ll see how that works out in RL.Report

      • InMD in reply to Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s going to be the dog that caught the car. I think March is probably right about the long term trajectory of abortion, whatever messy path leads us there. The US is an outlier on the liberal side of it (which is not by itself a bad thing, we’re on the liberal outlier of individual liberty on a lot of things, which is mostly good).

        Where I disagree with him is in the potential threat if this is done via the Alito knife to the guts of stare decisis and substantive due process. Total abortion ban is itself a minority opinion. Not nearly as small as whatever number of people would favor restrictions or bans on contraception or a return to enforcement of sodomy laws, but a minority nonetheless that appears to have won a great victory.

        Do we really think all of those activists and charities and networks and their connection to GOP politics are just going to declare victory and dissipate off into the ether? I don’t and to the extent those activists and groups can be useful politically I think there are a lot of people who will come up with reasons for them not to.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          Do we really think all of those activists and charities and networks and their connection to GOP politics are just going to declare victory and dissipate off into the ether?

          Of course not. They can’t walk away from their source of money and power, they need to try to get more.

          Thus after we have a total ban in some states, they’ll try to get it enforced. RU485(?) will be this massive FU to the law, they’ll try to enforce the law on other states. Or get more of a total ban than they have. Or just fight with the pro-choice people who will try to loosen things.Report

          • North in reply to Dark Matter
            Ignored
            says:

            Ten to one they try and go Federal, or try and get their new Supreme Court majority to issue an inverse Roe ruling (fetal right to life). Anything (preferably something unachievable) to keep the dukats rolling in.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        Which given the trajectory of most social issues is gobsmackingly counter-intuitive… not to mention the rapid un-churching that has also happened during the period being polled. In my theory, the opposition grows less Churchy and more NGO’ish but grows with the focus on families and women led primarily by women.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Out of curiosity, when both Savita Halappanavar and her baby were forced by the state to die from sepsis, was this a good or bad thing, legally and morally?Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        No? You realize that even Catholic medical ethics accounts for treating pregnant women and babies and that saving a mother’s life leading to the death of the baby isn’t prohibited? Most people agree that that particular case was an example of medical malpractice. But even so, the maximal abortion regime in the US isn’t necessary if that’s a particular outcome you’d like to further mitigate. The Mississippi law in question already has provisions for abortions to protect the health of the mother. And if that’s your only concern before joining with us, I think you’ll find most folks are perfectly amenable to that… so welcome aboard.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          The disconnect is between how the lay people manage their sex lives and how the church says they should.

          The Catholic church doesn’t set the morality of it’s followers. It just claims it does.

          For a different example, I had a long time Priest tell me (off the record) he thinks 80% of priests are gay.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          And yet, despite Catholic medical ethics, many of the new abortion bans specifically prohibit abortion even in cases such as hers, or ectopic pregnancies.

          This is what is called a “bad thing”, legally and morally.

          See, what’s happening here is that you very badly want to discuss this the way we have always discussed abortion, as some abstract hypothetical.
          Where we talk in broad philosophical platitudes and arcane vocabulary.

          But the Republicans have taken that away from us, forever.

          There isn’t a “in the event of” going on here. States are doing exactly what the pro-life crowd has always demanded, making abortion into murder, even when it is the only thing saving a woman’s life.

          They have chosen to make a stark binary, just as stark as an ectopic pregnancy, where the choices are:
          A. The fetus dies and the mother survives;
          B. Both the fetus and mother die.

          That’s it! There are no other choices, no other possible outcomes.

          And in America today, there are two political parties:
          A. The party which allows option A, allowing the mother to live.
          B. The party which demands option B, and demands that the mother die along with the fetus.

          That’s it!
          There are no other options available, despite the earnest and fervent desires of people in your camp.

          You’ve caught the car. Now you must chew on it.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          And if that’s your only concern before joining with us…

          I can’t be forced to donate blood to save my child’s life because of ethics.
          That sums up my problem with the movement right there.

          Pregnancy is far more damaging on a body than giving blood. It’s a lot longer, it’s life affecting in all sorts of ways, and I can tell my children to go die if they need my blood or any of my other organs.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      There’s some reason to believe that Catholics are more anti-contraception than the polls make it seem, which are usually asked as “have you ever used…”. That’s a bit like “have you ever had a drink and driven” as an estimate of how many people are driving drunk right now.

      On a separate topic, the really-low-information voter can’t be expected to understand that the upcoming ruling won’t make contraception illegal. The difference between low and really-low is way bigger than you’d expect.Report

      • InMD in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Some of the proposed state laws I’ve seen would seem to ban certain types of contraception. We will of course see what happens.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        That would be lovely; but I don’t think we’re in any danger of making up a constituency to sustain any sort of politician past one election when everyone else’s contraception was taken away.Report

  8. Ha Nguyen
    Ignored
    says:

    From one of my online newspapers (www.thestranger.com), comes this little tidbit:

    Because of course they are: Louisiana Republicans voted to advance a bill that would classify
    abortions as acts of homicide, which is the natural conclusion of these proto-fascists’ decades-
    long campaign to roll back the bodily autonomy of people who can get pregnant.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/05/us/louisiana-abortion-bill-homicide.htmlReport

    • InMD in reply to Ha Nguyen
      Ignored
      says:

      What is a people who can get pregnant?Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Ha Nguyen
      Ignored
      says:

      To be fair, there’s a lot of logical consistency to doing this.

      If you’re going to claim that a fetus is a full person and women don’t have the right to control their bodies (or just that the fetus has more right to it than they do), then you’re there.

      Now if you find yourself in a really stupid place and your logic is correct, the thing to do is realize one of your assumptions is wrong.Report

  9. Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    Well, at the least, pro-lifers should take the opportunity to listen to the heartbeat of a woman who’s going to die from an ectopic pregnancy.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Rufus F.
      Ignored
      says:

      I don’t think any state has laws against ectopic surgery.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes they do. Look it up.

        The only solution to an ectopic pregnancy is abortion, or death.

        Republicans have specifically made it clear they prefer she die rather than get an abortion.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          Actually, as I understand it, you can’t do a surgical abortion on an ectopic pregnancy. You can use chemicals to destroy the fetus the same as you would in an abortion, or you can remove the ovary or fallopian tube where the fetus has implanted. (I can’t find if the fetus can implant anywhere else.)Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            Yes and those procedures are now considered murder in some states.

            So Republicans have made it clear they prefer the woman die rather than getting the procedure.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          Ok. So I did. It returns two hits.

          1. Ohio HB 413 (2019) [never passed]
          2. Missouri HB 2810 (2022)

          The Ohio bill, besides never making it to the floor, is providing *exceptions* to the abortion law to preserve the health of the mother:

          2904.35 – “A physician who does all of the following is not subject to criminal prosecution, damages in any civil action, or professional disciplinary action, for a violation of this chapter:”

          In regards ectopic pregnancies:
          “(C) Takes all possible steps to preserve the life of the unborn child, while preserving the life of the woman. Such steps include, *if applicable,* attempting to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy into the woman’s uterus.” [emphasis added]

          That’s the full context of a bill that never was passed… and wouldn’t have passed in this state precisely for the imprecise language ‘if applicable’ … which at this time is (as far as I know) never applicable. In the future? Perhaps it might be applicable, and, despite the abortion rhetoric I think most women who are pregnant with ectopic pregnancies would welcome the medical advance, certainly as an option to ending the pregnancy. But again, in the situation of most ectopic pregnancies the baby is already dead – which also makes it by definition, not an abortion.

          But yes, we can agree that a Bill that was never passed and which would have had things like this clarified during the process is an example of why we should make sure that laws are properly worded before signed.

          Regarding Missouri the context is regulating the distribution of drugs within Missouri and is designed to protect women from coercion and (in Missouri’s opinion) poor medical supervision of the use of these drugs – which continue to be legal if used appropriately prior to 10 weeks – which is the recommended usage as described by the FDA and Mayo Clinic – after 10 weeks the law introduces penalties to the distributor.

          Here’s a decent explainer from an ‘atheist’ pro-life group:

          Missouri’s HB 2810 is not “a death sentence” and does not outlaw termination of ectopic pregnancy. Instead, it states:

          * Pharmacists can’t distribute abortion-inducing drugs by mail or delivery service; out-of-state pharmacists can’t be licensed in Missouri if they import abortion-inducing drugs into Missouri

          * Missouri law defines “abortion” such that treatment of ectopic pregnancies does not count as abortion. Physicians in Missouri can still treat ectopic pregnancies.

          * Anyone who gives illegal abortion-inducing drugs to a woman with an ectopic pregnancy may be charged with a Class A felony.

          Because mifepristone does not terminate an ectopic pregnancy, and because an untreated ectopic pregnancy can be deadly, the proposed revision also assures anyone who gives a woman experiencing an ectopic pregnancy an illegal abortifacient will face 20-to-life. This penalty is similar to Missouri laws pertaining to an accidental death after an overdose, in which a dealer did not intend for his customer to die, but is held criminally liable for the death. This revision does not pertain to physicians treating women for ectopic pregnancies because (as explained above) terminating an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion under Missouri law.

          https://secularprolife.org/2022/03/no-missouri-is-not-outlawing-treatment-for-ectopic-pregnancy/

          Again, this is still a bill in process and if people familiar with Missouri laws are concerned that this might impede actual medical care in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, it could be altered without changing the other intents.

          But the dis-information raging around so much of this makes me grateful for the coming DHS Disinformation bureau – which I’m sure will clear all this up.

          I’d include other links (if the site would allow), but I provided enough information for you to ‘look it up’ in the thread itself.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Marchmaine
            Ignored
            says:

            Thanks for doing the work on this. I figured it was something like that. You know, if overturning Roe were so awful, you’d think that they wouldn’t have to exaggerate about it.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
            Ignored
            says:

            Um, no.

            The actual language of the bill made it a felony to use ANY drug or DEVICE to induce an abortion in a woman with an ectopic pregnancy.
            Since any type of abortion requires both drugs and devices, a physician could be charged.

            And after backlash, they backed down and removed that paragraph.
            The big picture is that Republicans are now emboldened to close the common exceptions of rape, incest, and in this case, to save the woman’s life.

            Of the dozens of states passing bans, almost none include exceptions for rape or incest. The woman herself is always regarded as chattel, a vessel of no importance.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Also too:
              An early ectopic pregnancy without unstable bleeding is most often treated with a medication called methotrexate, which stops cell growth and dissolves existing cells. The medication is given by injection. It’s very important that the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy is certain before receiving this treatment.
              Salpingostomy and salpingectomy are two laparoscopic surgeries used to treat some ectopic pregnancies. In these procedure, a small incision is made in the abdomen, near or in the navel. Next, your doctor uses a thin tube equipped with a camera lens and light (laparoscope) to view the tubal area.

              In a salpingostomy, the ectopic pregnancy is removed and the tube left to heal on its own. In a salpingectomy, the ectopic pregnancy and the tube are both removed.

              https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ectopic-pregnancy/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372093

              So contrary to the prolife site, the medication treatment for ectopic pregnancy is very specifically a felony under the proposed bill, as is the one using the tube.

              To be fair, I honestly believe that the Republicans have no effing clue how pregnancy works or even what an ectopic one is. In this, they are like Sam Alito quoting that 15th century witch-hunting quack.

              But they are very sure that the most intimate medical aspects of a woman’s life are most properly decided in legislative committee, not in a conference with her doctor.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Which bill? You keep doing this… referring to ‘things’ and providing no links…

              I read the laws. I cut/paste the laws. Here’s the link to the Missouri Law I think you are talking about… the one referenced on twitter.

              https://house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills221/hlrbillspdf/5798H.01I.pdf

              Provide a link or look it up yourself … there’s a lot of disinformation you seem to be taking in from unreliable sources.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              I even went to Guttmacher to see who’s pre-banning… saw Utah (2020) … went to Utah’s site and read the law:

              (b) “Abortion” does not include:
              45 (i) removal of a dead unborn child;
              46 (ii) removal of an ectopic pregnancy

              [ellipsis]

              (1) An abortion may be performed in this state only under the following circumstances:
              88 (a) the abortion is necessary to avert:
              89 (i) the death of the woman on whom the abortion is performed; or
              90 (ii) a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function
              91 of the woman on whom the abortion is performed;
              92 (b) two physicians who practice maternal fetal medicine concur, in writing, in the
              93 patient’s medical record that the fetus:
              94 (i) has a defect that is uniformly diagnosable and uniformly lethal; or
              95 (ii) has a severe brain abnormality that is uniformly diagnosable; or
              96 (c) (i) the woman is pregnant as a result of:
              97 (A) rape;
              98 (B) rape of a child; or
              99 (C) incest;

              So Utah’s pre-ban *includes* protections for Rape / Incest / Life of the Mother / Serious bodily impairment of the mother / and for Fetal Abnormalities.

              And that’s Utah. To be sure, one of, if not the most restrictive law that will be enacted… but it doesn’t do what you say it does.

              https://le.utah.gov/~2020/bills/static/SB0174.htmlReport

              • Dark Matter in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                I think he’s talking about Texas.

                https://www.chron.com/politics/article/Texas-abortion-law-ectopic-pregnancies-legal-16691817.php

                Far as I can tell, there’s a general carve out for medical emergencies but not for ectopic pregnancy.

                So… an ectopic pregnancy will become a medical emergency. However is someone who is pregnant and currently doing fine in a medical emergency if their pregnancy is determined to be ectopic?Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                An ectopic pregnancy cannot result in a child. Placing any limits on removing it before it become an emergency is pure malice.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                From a board-certified OB-GYN in Portland, Oregon:

                https://www.today.com/parents/moms/ectopic-pregnancies-missouri-bill-rcna19683

                She also said that during her medical training, she was taught the phrase “never let the sun set on an ectopic,” meaning they need to be treated right away or can quickly become life-and-death situations.

                “I remember one case where my patient went from being very stable when I met her in the Emergency Department and diagnosed her with an ectopic, to it rupturing on the way to the operating room and there being over a liter of blood in her abdomen by the time we started surgery,” she explained. “She did fine because of where she was, but in places where access to care is limited or delayed the outcome may not have been as good.”

                Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                There are two outcomes to an ectopic pregnancy:
                – the fetus never makes it
                – the mother and fetus never make it

                That’s it. That’s all. There are no other outcomes currently.

                I’d call that an emergency.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                https://house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills221/hlrbillspdf/5798H.01I.pdf

                Here is the relevant language:

                3. The offense of trafficking abortion-inducing devices or drugs is a class A felony if:
                (1) The abortion was performed or induced or was attempted to be performed or induced on a woman carrying an unborn child of more than ten weeks gestational age;
                (2) The abortion was performed or induced or was attempted to be performed or induced on a woman who has an ectopic pregnancy;

                It specifically singled out the treatment of ectopic pregnancies as a felony.

                As I showed above, the first treatment for ectopic pregnancies is to administer a drug to induce an abortion.

                This would be a Class A felony in Missouri under the bill.

                Look, if you want to disavow yourself from this guy and say he is a fringe nutter, go right ahead.

                But at least a few Republicans, in positions of power are not afraid to take the position that even the life of the mother is no longer an exception.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Missouri lawmakers delete ectopic pregnancy provision from abortion bill after uproar

                https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article259664605.htmlReport

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                One would think common sense would prevail a bit sooner than draft legislation.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t know if that’s true.

                How many people are involved in creating “draft legislation”? Are we talking about 1 to 12 people ignorant of basic medical facts, or is this hundreds?

                At what stage in the process was this? Sausage making is ugly, showing the sausage while it’s being made is going to showcase that.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                A bill to criminalize medical activity drafted without talking to a single doctor is sausage made out of C-4 and hydrogen cyanide.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s like bills or decisions regarding curriculum and textbooks that don’t involve any teachers.

                “WELL, HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY WORK IN A CLASSROOM?!?!”
                [slowly raises hand]
                “IT WAS A RHETORICAL QUESTION, GROOMER!”Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Fear that a teacher is “grooming” children isn’t that different from fear that a doctor is going to find a way to perform an unwanted abortion. They’re both resentment of elites, where “elite” means anyone who has skills you lack.Report

              • InMD in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Stupid laws are passed all the time. If the courts are no longer going to draw a line on a particular issue I think it is totally fair to assume the worst and pick up the fight as though the most outlandish stuff is on the table.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Especially since these laws are going to be made by MAGA-majoity state legislatures, where Lauren Boebert would be the median member.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Actually, it was a real bill to be debated in the MO legislature. mea culpa

                How the ectopic pregnancy line survived any sort of scrutiny is beyond me. Someone’s gonna die as a result of these bills.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, that’s just not the case, at any level of government.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                The law says nothing about treating an ectopic pregnancy. The law targets trafficking in methotrexate, which is a treatment for ectopic pregnancy but also can end regular pregnancies. Anyway since the term abortion isn’t used for ectopic pregnancies, that portion of the law is meaningless.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                And thus won’t be used, due to the ethics that are universal among prosecutors.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                3. The offense of trafficking abortion-inducing devices or drugs is a class A felony if:
                (2) The abortion was performed or induced or was attempted to be performed or induced on a woman who has an ectopic pregnancy;

                Black and white, since apparently deleted.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                I should have said that the law doesn’t make it a crime to treat an ectopic pregnancy, and doesn’t mention surgical treatment at all. And since section (2) is definitionally impossible as near as I can tell, it could never be applied.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                It must be reassuring to know that a life-threatening condition can be treated if you can find a doctor that’s good at word games.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                No Chip –

                The context of these laws are all around the issue of pharmaceutical and by-mail issues of abortion pills – specifically contravening existing State or Federal laws.

                Providing mifepristone/misoprostol in the case of an ectopic pregnancy will not end the pregnancy and will leave the woman in danger.

                From the Mayo Clinic site: “However, your doctor can’t diagnose an ectopic pregnancy by examining you. You’ll need blood tests and an ultrasound.”

                Even on the Planned Parenthood website, prescriptions for these drugs require labwork to determine that the pregnancy is not ectopic… reading PP info, it isn’t clear to me how this works with tele-med and virtual – I’m assuming they are still adhering to this baseline of remote testing and reviewing results before issuing a prescription.

                However, existing Missouri law requires the prescriber to be present at administration:

                188.021. RU-486, administration of, requirements — limitation on prescribing certain abortion-inducing drugs and chemicals, when, complication plan required — rulemaking authority. — 1. When RU-486 (mifepristone) or any drug or chemical is used for the purpose of inducing an abortion, the initial dose of the drug or chemical shall be administered in the same room and in the physical presence of the physician who prescribed, dispensed, or otherwise provided the drug or chemical to the patient.

                https://law.justia.com/codes/missouri/2021/title-xii/chapter-188/section-188-021/

                But, In the event that the Drug was given for an ectopic pregnancy, the dispenser could be liable.

                That’s why it is specifically called out; the other aspects of the proposed amendment are also dealing with the prospects of drugs being dispensed by mail-order and being ‘illegally’ dispensed in basically cars, hotels and near schools, and potentially to women trapped in involuntary situations.

                It’s certainly possible to point out that the law might inadvertently impact regular and licit treatments for ectopic pregnancies… that seems to be what happened and the bill was amended.

                Moreover, the bill’s sponsor has repeated that the intent is as above… to prevent mail-order drugs to be dispensed contrary to Missouri requirements that they be prescribed and used under the direction of the prescribing physician.

                https://twitter.com/RepSeitz156/status/1506656471722962958?s=20&t=xxb8te0uWoe8TUG0fZXD6w

                That’s why I took up your request to ‘look it up’ because in all of our shady international cabal pro-life meetings, the intention of ‘dealing’ with ectopic pregnancies quite literally never comes up… there’s no pro-life angle. Which piqued my interest because social media seems to be saying things about this that just doesn’t apply to experience. But hey, its a big world out there.

                But whenever I go to any state so far, ectopic pregnancies are either specifically called out as ‘not an abortion’ (often owing to a previous definition which defines the condition to require the fetus is in the uterus for any laws to apply) or provides further exceptions ‘for the avoidance of doubt’

                It’s also interesting as I’ve done these look-ups in that random samples of the most restrictive bans have all had exceptions for Rap/Incest/Life and Health of the Mother.

                To be sure there are a lot of rando state legislators who might just proposal anything at all (and I’ve no interest in whacking every mole)… but the old 80s rallying cry of Rape/Incest/Life of the Mother seems to have been adopted by the pro-life movement as a matter of practical legislation in each actual law and ‘trigger’ law I’ve reviewed.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/03/17/nation/missouri-abortion-bill-is-drawing-pushback-over-its-inclusion-ectopic-pregnancies-its-one-many-aggressive-anti-abortion-measures-under-consideration/

                Discussing the reference of ectopic pregnancies in the Missouri bill, Seitz said at a public hearing last week that the measure “does nothing to curtail that legal activity, as it can present a clear and present danger to the mother.” Seitz also said during the hearing that he did not know how treating ectopic pregnancies worked.

                The context of this bill is around profound ignorance.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                The context of this bill is around profound ignorance.

                As opposed to every other bill?

                There are a bunch of subjects where wishful thinking and ignorance abounds and then lawmakers attempt to pass laws based on that.

                AOC thinking the state “saved” money that can be spent when she prevented Amazon from building a headquarters would be the same issue.

                All this is why I get nervous when the gov starts meddling with the economy and/or job creation.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                https://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article261038222.html

                S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster said Tuesday that he is willing to call the Legislature back to Columbia for a special session urging that they pass further abortion restrictions without exceptions in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. He also said he would sign more restrictive anti-abortion legislation that did not include exceptions, such as rape and incest.

                Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                Politicians aren’t in favor of “without exceptions no abortions, let them die” any more than they “really” want to get rid of the police.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Entire administrations were fine with “Don’t keep any information that might help reunite immigrant families” and “Don’t do any planning for the occupation of Iraq”, so who knows?

                But even for this guy, I presume no exception means no exception for rape and incest, not no exception for death.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                In Texas its currently legal to hunt abortionists and get a $10,000 bounty when you turn them in. DO not presume this is rhetoric anymore.Report

  10. Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    The “pro-life” movement also has to grapple with the implementing effects of poorly written laws:

    Dr. Lauren Thaxton, an OB-GYN and assistant professor at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas-Austin, has already heard about local patients who have been miscarrying, and couldn’t get a pharmacy to fill their misoprostol prescription.

    “The pharmacy has said, ‘We don’t know whether or not you might be using this medication for the purposes of abortion,'” she said.

    Under another new Texas abortion law, someone who “aids or abets” an abortion after cardiac activity can be detected — typically around six weeks — can be subject to at least a $10,000 fine per occurrence. Anyone can bring that civil action, posing a quandary for physicians and other providers. How do they follow the latest guidelines when numerous other people — from other medical professionals to friends and family members — can question their intent: Are they helping care for a miscarriage or facilitating an abortion?

    John Seago, legislative director for Texas Right to Life, described this type of hesitation as “an awful misunderstanding of the law.” Even before the passage of the two bills, existing Texas law stated that the act is not an abortion if it involves the treatment of an ectopic pregnancy — which most commonly occurs when the pregnancy grows in the fallopian tube — or to “remove a dead, unborn child whose death was caused by spontaneous abortion,” he said, pointing to the statute. Another area of Texas law that Seago cited provides an exception to the state’s abortion restrictions if the mother’s life is in danger or she’s at “serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function” unless an abortion is performed.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/05/10/1097734167/in-texas-abortion-laws-inhibit-care-for-miscarriagesReport

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