Ohio lawmakers have introduced a bill requiring doctors to ‘reimplant an ectopic pregnancy’ into a woman’s uterus or face charges of ‘abortion murder’.
The procedure of reimplanting ectopic pregnancies doesn’t even exist in medical science, and this is the second time practising obstetricians and gynaecologists have attempted to inform the lawmakers the procedure isn’t medically possible.
It comes after a wave of severe anti-abortion bills were introduced across parts of the country, as Republicans bid to ban abortion and force the bills to become legislature.
Ohio’s latest bill regarding ectopic pregnancies, which is where the embryo implants in the mother’s fallopian tubes rather than in her uterus – meaning the pregnancy is unviable – is by far the most extreme bill thus far.
Ohio obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr David Hackney took to Twitter to blast the bill, writing:
I don’t believe I’m typing this again but, that’s impossible. We’ll all be going to jail.
The new Ohio HB413, p.184: To avoid criminal charges, including murder, for abortion, a physician must “…[attempt to] reimplant an ectopic pregnancy into the women’s uterus”
— David N Hackney MD, FACOG (@DavidNHackney) November 19, 2019
Ectopic pregnancies are extremely serious and potentially life-threatening if the embryonic tissue grows unchecked.
The bill, named House Bill 413, also bans abortion outright and defines a fertilised egg as an ‘unborn child’, in addition to ordering doctors to defy science.
It goes on to say doctors, women, and children as young as 13 will be punished and charged with ‘abortion murder’ if they ‘perform or have an abortion’. The bill says this crime is punishable by life in prison. The bill also states another new crime, ‘aggravated abortion murder’, is punishable by death.
When it was first announced in May, researcher Dr David Grossman said reimplanting a fertilised egg or embryo is ‘pure science fiction’.
House Bill 413 is sponsored by representatives Ron Hood and Candice Keller, while being co-sponsored by 19 members of Ohio’s 99-member House.
Mike Gonidakis, president of the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life, declined to comment on the ‘approximately 700 page long’ bill, according to The Guardian, saying he’s still reading the legislation and is ‘taking off the rest of the week for Thanksgiving’.
Hi @BeckerGOP, I’m a practicing ob-gyn and researcher on abortion and contraception, and thought you might want some help understanding ectopic pregnancy since your bill (HB182) gets some things wrong. I’ll clear up a few things in this thread. https://t.co/BdXYHnCAtI
— Dr. Daniel Grossman (@DrDGrossman) May 8, 2019
While Dr Chris Zahn, vice-president of practice activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:
There is no procedure to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy.
It is not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy from a fallopian tube, or anywhere else it might have implanted, to the uterus.
Reimplantation is not physiologically possible. Women with ectopic pregnancies are at risk for catastrophic hemorrhage and death in the setting of an ectopic pregnancy, and treating the ectopic pregnancy can certainly save a mom’s life. [sic]
In summer, Ohio lawmakers passed a six-week abortion ban known as the ‘heartbeat bill’. However, reproductive rights groups sued and the bill never went into effect.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.