Pro-lifers decry myths about anti-abortion legislation

"Taking care of an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion," said Sen. Roger Marshall, a doctor. "I think the Catholic Church agrees with that."

Updated: July 31, 2022 - 11:19pm

Pro-life advocates are decrying alarmist myths about anti-abortion legislation that pro-choice activists have been purveying since the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade in June.

The pro-choice side has, for example, been raising fears that ectopic pregnancies will be equated to abortions and therefore banned. Ectopic pregnancies are when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, which means it cannot survive and threatens the life of the mother.

Planned Parenthood recently massaged language on its website to blur the difference between the medical procedures employed in abortion and the termination of ectopic pregnancies.

The website used to read, "The medical procedures for abortions are not the same as the medical procedures for an ectopic pregnancy." It now says, "The medical procedures for terminating a pregnancy in the uterus are usually different from the medical procedures for terminating an ectopic pregnancy."

In an interview Wednesday on "Legislating for Life: The Next 12 Months," a Just the News and Heritage Action for America TV special, Kansas Republican Sen. Roger Marshall, a physician, explained that the medical treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is not the same as abortion.

"An ectopic pregnancy is life-threatening," Marshall told host John Solomon. "The moment you diagnose it, you need to be making a plan to take care of the situation.

"Taking care of an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion. I think the Catholic Church agrees with that. Every minister I talked to agrees with that, theologians of the Bible all agree that taking care of an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion and the mother's life is truly at stake."

Noting that "the other myth out there is taking care of miscarriages," Marshall said, "I feel very comfortable going forward that pro-life doctors have always taken care of miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, they're going to continue to do that."

Heritage Action for America's website lists myths and facts about the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision overturning Roe v. Wade, including those regarding ectopic pregnancies and septic uteruses, the organization's executive director Jessica Anderson said on the special. 

Decrying the "distortion and very dangerous lies" being spread about such issues, Anderson said that "it ends up actually hurting women that should be having life-saving care from the doctor, and now the doctor has politicized the most intimate part, frankly, of healthcare, which is when a woman is visiting her OB to get checked on and to have care for her baby."

Last month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced a bill in Congress "to crack down on false advertising that crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) employ to dissuade patients from getting the reproductive care they need, including abortion care."

Pregnancy resource centers "have been under fire and attack from the left," despite being "truly women's healthcare centers, and everyone, regardless of partisan persuasion, should be supporting care for women on the front lines like [such centers] do," said Anderson.

"So why the Dems want to vandalize — and these groups want to vandalize — these pregnancy centers that actually help the expecting mother, is beyond me," Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) said on "Legislating for Life."

She added that "we need to beef up those pregnancy centers, we need to beef up our adoption centers" and "just need the Dems to allow us to do that and stop burning the places down."

McClain blasted the alarmist messaging about Dobbs spread by the left and mainstream media. "When you have to scare people to see things your way, that should tell you everything you need to know," she said. "We need to stop this fearmongering and just present the facts."

Dispelling myths about the pro-life position, McClain said: "[W]e're not talking about ectopic pregnancies, we're not talking about when the life of the mother is in danger. So again, stop with the fearmongering, because it just doesn't work. And quite frankly, you look foolish."

Warning of the dangers of "the misinformation about whether women are going to be able to get treatments" in cases of, for example, ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, Stephen Billy, executive director of the Susan B. Anthony List's Charlotte Lozier Institute, said, "It's going to cause doctors to be hesitant to provide the care, it's going to cause women to be scared about getting the care, and it's not true." 

Billy also slammed "academia and the media" for "carrying the water for this pro-abortion narrative that chemical abortions are safe," citing "headlines out there that chemical abortions are as safe as Tylenol."

"It simply isn't true," he said. "Chemical abortions are very dangerous."

He said that "the rate of complications leading to emergency room visits from chemical abortions increased over 500% in a 12-year period."

Billy dismissed claims that pregnancy is more dangerous than abortion. "So we don't have the maternal mortality data that we need — in part, because we have so few maternal mortality deaths — to even try to make comparisons or make statements," he said.

"There's this claim out there that pregnancy is 14 times more dangerous than abortion," he continued. "You can't do that math. It's been proven over and over, there are peer-reviewed studies that take down that claim, that show we don't have data that supports that claim. And it's unfortunate that claims like that continue to be made when there's no scientific evidence to back them up."