Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade at the end of June, there has been a lot of information about abortion laws on social media. Not all of this information is accurate. Trigger laws were put into place when the decision on Roe v. Wade was released. These are abortion laws decided beforehand at the state level that would go into effect if and when Roe v. Wade was overturned. No trigger abortion laws were enacted in Massachusetts. However, you might still have questions about what the abortion laws in other states mean for ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, and scenarios. This post aims to clarify these questions.
Elective Abortions vs. Miscarriages
There is a difference between elective abortions and “threatened” or “spontaneous abortions” which refer to miscarriages. This is one of the many misconceptions on social media about the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade. The first is that abortion is banned across the nation, which is not true. Secondly, the bans in specific states refer to elective abortions – choosing to end a baby’s life through surgical or other medical means. This does not include miscarriages and stillbirths despite the fact that some social media posts point to the medical coding language to support their position.
Abortion Laws and Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancies occur when a fertilized egg implants into a fallopian tube or area other than the uterine wall. A pregnancy cannot be sustained outside of the uterus. These scenarios are rare and can be fatal for the mother if left untreated. The procedure to save the mother’s life during an ectopic pregnancy is not the same as one for an abortion. Women will still be able to receive life-saving treatment for ectopic pregnancies in states where elective abortions are banned.
Some medications like mifepristone and misoprostol are used in elective abortions, particularly in the first trimester. However, these medications also have other uses beyond elective abortion. For example, doctors and other care providers can prescribe misoprostol to induce labor, ripen the cervix, and reduce hemorrhaging. The abortion laws put into place in 2022 do not restrict the use of these medications for non-elective abortion uses.
A procedure commonly used in elective abortions is dilation and curettage – otherwise known as a D & C. An abortion, involves removing the baby and placenta from the uterus. Women who suffer miscarriages often choose to have a D&C. This is not the same as an elective abortion and the abortion laws allow for provisions in these cases.
Abortion Laws and Early Delivery
Sometimes a doctor will deliver a baby earlier than viability due to risk to the mother’s life. These are rare circumstances. However, in states with restrictions on elective abortions, early delivery due to maternal health is not in the same category.
Since the reversal of Roe v. Wade, there has been an influx of misinformation spread on social media about abortion laws and their impacts. We hope this resource has been helpful to you. For more information on abortion laws and how they affect Massachusetts and other states, contact Clearway Clinic today.