A pro-life association released a backgrounder debunking several myths abortion advocates have pushed following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision this June.
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, founded the same year as the landmark abortion case in 1973, has ramped up its efforts to combat the abortion industry in its August report, “Correcting Misinformation on Maternal Medical Care.”
The report cites “abortion is an essential healthcare service” and “unrestricted abortion access is necessary for providing life-saving care for pregnant women” as two common myths that medical boards and media outlets have pushed.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, one of the largest OB/GYN medical boards in the country, has claimed that patients need unimpeded access to all medical care, including abortion.
Dr. Christina Francis, CEO-elect of the pro-life association and a practicing OB/GYN, told The Daily Signal in an interview that abortion advocates have turned to scare tactics in the wake of the Dobbs ruling. “When Roe was the law of the land, they didn’t have to work very hard to get their way in the courts,” she said.
Activists now must defend their position—that abortion should be legal anytime during a pregnancy with no restrictions. But only a small number of Americans support late-term abortion on demand, according to a CBS poll. So, activists must instead convince women “they are going to die from unsafe abortions, [or they] are going to die because they can’t be treated for ectopic pregnancies and other life-threatening conditions,” Francis explained.
Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, responded to the Dobbs decision with a warning that abortion restrictions will increase women’s risks associated with pregnancy.
“These oppressive laws will force many people to face the known risks associated with continuing a pregnancy, including potential pregnancy-related complications and worsening of existing health conditions, as well as the morbidity and mortality associated with childbirth,” Hoskins said.
In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants outside a woman’s uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. The embryo often dies after 7-8 weeks of gestation, but “the supporting tissues for the pregnancy often continue to grow and can cause life-threatening bleeding, either through rupture of the fallopian tube or other mechanisms,” the pro-life OB/GYN association explained. The association recognizes that women need surgical or medical intervention in this situation.
The pro-choice medical board has claimed that “abortion bans threaten to impede ectopic pregnancy treatment”—a claim they know is “blatantly false,” said Francis. “They know that we have always been able to treat ectopic pregnancies, even pre-Roe v. Wade, and in states that restricted abortion.”
The pro-life medical board has drawn a clear distinction between induced abortion and necessary medical treatments to save a woman’s life, even when such treatments result in the unintended death of the fetus.
Ninety-three percent of practicing OB/GYNs do not perform elective abortions, according to a study from the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute. However, these professionals have always been able to offer life-saving treatment to women, regardless of state abortion laws, the pro-life medical association noted.
“The problem is when a woman is pregnant, there are two bodies involved,” Francis explained. “The science is exceedingly clear … that at the moment of fertilization a new human being comes into existence.”
“As an OB/GYN, I’m caring for two patients,” she continued. “I can’t recommend something to my patient that ends the life of [another] one of my patients.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has also claimed that maternal mortality will increase as a result of the Dobbs decision. According to the board, childbirth in the United States is more dangerous than induced abortion.
“Open access to abortion does not improve maternal mortality rates,” Francis countered. “In fact, in many cases at worsens maternal mortality rates.”
“It’s a reality that the U.S. [has] the worst maternal mortality rate in the developed world,” she added. “Have 50 years of unfettered access to abortion … fixed that? In fact, it’s only gotten worse. Instead of just throwing an abortion at it, we need to sit down again, sit down at the table, look at the root causes, look at things as seemingly simple as transportation.”
As Francis said, many on both sides “can agree that women deserve excellent health care, that women deserve fully informed consent, that they deserve not to be subjected to procedures that are going to have lifelong impacts on their physical and mental health.”
To better support women, she contended, we must counter the misinformation the abortion industry has told them.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment by press time.
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