Two obstetrician-gynecologists (OBGYNs) debunked some of the popular talking points surrounding abortion and maternal health in interviews with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Corporate media outlets have raised concerns that new abortion restrictions following the overturning of Roe v. Wade will endanger women by preventing doctors from performing life-saving medical interventions. Dr. Christina Francis and Dr. Catherine Stark explained that, as pro-life physicians, they treat ectopic pregnancies and perform other medical interventions that end pregnancies without performing elective abortions.
Dr. Christina Francis, an OBGYN hospitalist, and Dr. Catherine Stark, and OBGYN who retired from private practice after 25 years and currently works in a pregnancy resource center, explained that, as pro-life physicians, they treat ectopic pregnancies and perform other medical interventions which end pregnancies without performing elective abortions, combatting concerns raised by media outlets that new post-Roe abortion restrictions would prevent doctors from providing life-saving interventions to women.
“I take care of women in high and low risk pregnancy situations. I take care of obstetric emergencies, both on the labor and delivery unit and in the emergency room. I take care of ectopic pregnancies. I take care of miscarriages,” Francis told the DCNF.
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“The only thing I don’t provide my patients that someone who performs abortions would is elective abortions, meaning procedures that are intended to end the life of a fetal patient,” she said.
Numerous national headlines since the overturning of Roe have stirred fears that doctors will not be permitted to treat ectopic pregnancies, which occur when an embryo implants outside the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies never result in a viable fetus and pose a serious health risk to mothers, including internal bleeding and — in some cases — death, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
In reality, the treatment for ectopic pregnancy is not the same as an abortion, Francis told the DCNF. Ectopic pregnancies are treated with laparoscopic surgery or with the medication methotrexate, according to ACOG.
Laparoscopic surgery is done with a small camera inserted through a small abdominal incision, and is often done when an ectopic pregnancy results in a rupture of the fallopian tube, according to ACOG. Methotrexate is used when rupture has not yet occurred to stop the embryo from growing further, ending the pregnancy without surgical intervention, according to ACOG.
Planned Parenthood used to state that “treating an ectopic pregnancy isn’t the same thing as getting an abortion” and that “the medical procedures for abortion are not the same as the medical procedures for an ectopic pregnancy,” but that language was removed from its website after the Supreme Court overturned Roe.