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Abortion foes downplay complex post-Roe v Wade realities

46 Comments
By AMANDA SEITZ and JOSH KELETY
Abortion Misleading Claims
Luke Howard, of Avon, Ind, holds a crucifix aloft as anti-abortion supporters rally as the Indiana Senate Rules Committee met a Republican proposal to ban nearly all abortions in the state during a hearing at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, on July 26. Photo: AP/Michael Conroy,

When a 10-year-old Ohio girl traveled to Indiana last month to end a pregnancy forced onto her by a rapist, several conservative politicians and TV pundits called the report a hoax.

After horrific details confirmed the case was real, some tried a new tack: claiming, without evidence, that the child could have still legally obtained an abortion in Ohio under a near-total abortion ban that exempts only mothers whose lives or major bodily functions are at risk once fetal cardiac activity is detected.

Catherine Glenn Foster, president of the anti-abortion Americans United for Life, added another defense for young rape victims: She told the House Judiciary Committee that a 10-year-old's pregnancy “would probably impact her life and so, therefore, it would fall under any exception and would not be an abortion.”

In televised statements and interviews, anti-abortion advocates have used misleading rhetoric about abortion access to downplay fallout and complications from restrictive abortion laws as doctors, struggling to interpret laws that have largely been untested in courts, turn away pregnant patients for care.

Those efforts have had an immediate impact, casting a narrative about a post-Roe v. Wade world that overlooks how abortion laws enacted in recent weeks have complicated the way doctors treat rape victims, miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.

More than half a dozen doctors interviewed by The Associated Press said they feel compromised and uncertain operating in an abortion landscape fundamentally changed by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that rejected nearly 50 years of precedent that abortion was a protected constitutional right.

“It’s a horrible position for health care providers to be in, to be unsure about what’s legal and what's not legal, and to be questioning the care that they know that they should provide,” said Dr. Jennifer Kerns, an associate professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who initially questioned reporting of the 10-year-old girl's rape case, said in a Fox News Channel interview that she did not have to leave Ohio for abortion treatment, citing the state’s exemptions. Last week, Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis repeated the claim during a public forum: “She could have had that abortion here.” The law’s Republican sponsor said the same in a newspaper column.

But it’s not as clear cut as they’ve suggested.

The state’s nonpartisan Legislative Service Commission confirmed in an analysis that the age of a mother, alone, would not allow a girl to legally access the procedure in the state. Doctors in Ohio are required to document a medical condition and rationale if they administer an abortion to provide life-saving treatment.

Yost’s office did not return a request for additional comment. Gonidakis laid out “different scenarios” to the AP under which the girl might have been able to access the abortion in Ohio, such as if a doctor agreed her life was at risk because of her age, while noting that he had not reviewed her medical records.

Across social media, some conservatives have also minimized concerns about access to treatment for ectopic pregnancies, calling it “still legal in every state.” An ectopic pregnancy is defined as one in which a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, where it has no chance of survival.

Earlier this month, abortion opponent Erin Morrow Hawley told the House Reform and Oversight Committee that ectopic pregnancies had become the subject of “misinformation.”

“There have been social media posts suggesting that women won’t get treated for an ectopic pregnancy because doctors might be afraid of performing the procedure, but that’s absolutely false,” said Hawley, an attorney at the religious nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom. “Treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is not, in fact, an abortion.”

State abortion laws, however, have fueled confusion.

Doctors generally agree that the procedure to an end an ectopic pregnancy, which typically includes medication or surgery to remove the pregnancy, is not the same as an abortion.

But women reportedly have been declined care in states that have severely restricted abortion access, like Ohio, where an abortion is banned once fetal cardiac activity is detected. Fetal heartbeats can still be present in ectopic pregnancies. In one case, a central Texas hospital told a physician not to treat an ectopic pregnancy until it ruptured, per a letter from the Texas Medical Association.

In an email to the AP, Hawley said that doctors who have turned away ectopic pregnancy patients because of abortion bans are misinterpreting the laws.

Still, before Roe v. Wade was even overturned by the Supreme Court in June, some religious hospitals had policies against treating women for ectopic pregnancies.

And many states have not specified in their newly enacted abortion bans that an ectopic pregnancy can be treated as an exception. That's left doctors in some states leery of ending the pregnancy, said Dr. Kate White, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine. Lawmakers in West Virginia, for example, are considering an abortion ban that would carve out an exception for ectopic pregnancies.

“Clinicians may be afraid to treat it if the abortion law in their state does not explicitly carve out ectopic pregnancy. You can see their worry, ‘Hey, growing pregnancy, can’t interrupt it ever,'” White said. “They are afraid that the law is too broad.”

Kelety reported from Phoenix. Associated Press writer Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus, Ohio contributed.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

46 Comments

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Catholic abortion law is similar to Islamic Sharia law. If you don't agree with it, get out when it is implemented. Plenty of people regret not getting out of Afghanistan and Hong Kong when they could have done, more easily than they can now. Don't remain in a coathanger state and end up regretting it, if more restrictions and surveillance are brought in to stop out-of-state 'medical tourism' or monitor healthcare staff. Get out whilst you can. There are lots of job vacancies across America. It is a good time to move, particularly to an area that may be less badly hit by climate change extremes.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"We need to be the party of nationalism and I'm a Christian, and I say it proudly, we should be Christian nationalists,"

(Marjorie Taylor Greene)

I'm staying in Japan. The US is crazy. Trump is going to run for the Trump party again.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

They're backpedaling like mad to avoid looking like the complete monsters they really are. They are only pretending to act decently, however. In cases that aren't so well-publicized, that is, for girls or women who won't have the means to get this kind of attention from the media, there will be no "exceptions" granted.

There was a case in TX recently where a woman who was unable to get an D&C to remove an already-dead fetus, because doctors were worried about being sued for potentially breaking the abortion ban. She was very very ill, and suffered greatly. She was lucky that the infection didn't spread as rapidly as can happen in such cases, or she would have died just like Savita Halappanavar, that woman in Ireland who died of sepsis in 2012 because of Ireland's abortion ban. I remember reading about her case at the time, and getting so very very angry, that something like that could happen in a modern country like Ireland. I can't believe the same thing is now happening in the so-called "land of the free".

Overturning Roe is going to seriously harm, and even kill, young girls and women. It's barbaric, and pure misogyny.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Abortion foes downplay complex post-Roe v Wade realities

This is the reasonable way to address this issue, now that the Supreme Court decided terminating a fetus is not a Constitutional right, as opposed to hyperbolizing rare, potential scenarios.

It is up to the States to provide legislation to clarify any unclear aspects of current laws, if such do exist.

Nothing out of the ordinary.

This is probably a good time for people to start re-evaluating their behavior that might lead to unwanted pregnancies.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Just how do you expect ten year old girls to escape pregnancy when they are being abused? How about rape victims? How about failure of contraception? To be frank no one wants the messed up religious beliefs of the few imposed on their bodies. Y'all Qaeda and Vanilla Isis members don't need to have abortions if they don't want them, but have no right imposing their views on others.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Fear and LoathingToday  02:44 pm JST

Y'all Qaeda and Vanilla Isis members don't need to have abortions if they don't want them, but have no right imposing their views on others.

A racially diverse Supreme Court realized the errors in the original Roe v. Wade.

Now, it is up to the Staes and the non-Y'all Qaeda and non-Vanilla Isis members to get out and vote if they have a problem with the current laws. It's in the hands of those whose contraception might fail too.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

painkiller

This is probably a good time for people to start re-evaluating their behavior that might lead to unwanted pregnancies.

How do you think your words of wisdom will apply to rapists and incest? The 10-year-old child in the article was a victim of rape and unable to have a termination in her state of Ohio.

The anti-abortion laws will turn the clock back to darker times with more women dying from backstreet abortionists.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How many of the 50 states have held referendums or ballots on anti-abortion laws?

Abortion is banned in 8 states and 4 more with a 6-week limit.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

RedstormToday  03:13 pm JST

How do you think your words of wisdom will apply to rapists and incest? The 10-year-old child in the article was a victim of rape and unable to have a termination in her state of Ohio.

The anti-abortion laws will turn the clock back to darker times with more women dying from backstreet abortionists.

Not words of wisdom, just words of fact.

As I mentioned twice above, it is a very basic aspect of the US:

-It is up to the States to provide legislation to clarify any unclear aspects of current laws, if such do exist.

-Now, it is up to the Staes and the non-Y'all Qaeda and non-Vanilla Isis members to get out and vote if they have a problem with the current laws. It's in the hands of those whose contraception might fail too.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

painkiller

you didn't answer the question about rapists and incest. In the states which have banned abortions do you expect the number of rapes to decrease?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

RedstormToday  03:20 pm JST

you didn't answer the question about rapists and incest. In the states which have banned abortions do you expect the number of rapes to decrease?

That's a different question.

First, people in those States have the write to try and have legislation allow abortions under such conditions. That's the way the system is; it's not my opinion.

Second, I don't know what to expect; that is a separate issue that needs to be addressed by legislators and voters. The Constitution allows the voters a large range of rights to express.

Living in a free country has its advantages.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

A termination is a decision to be made between the pregnant female and her doctors, not judges and politicians.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

RedstormToday  03:27 pm JST

A termination is a decision to be made between the pregnant female and her doctors, not judges and politicians.

Factually speaking, this is not the case in every State in America.

Like it or not.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

painkiller

Living in a free country has its advantages.

But not with equal rights for males and females.

You expressed your opinion and are opposed to abortions. Easy for a man to state that. Your opinion was also

"This is probably a good time for people to start re-evaluating their behavior that might lead to unwanted pregnancies."

how will that prevent rape and incest?

How many states even have abortion on the ballot for the coming elections?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The majority of Americans support women's right to termination.

61% say abortion should be legal.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/06/13/about-six-in-ten-americans-say-abortion-should-be-legal-in-all-or-most-cases-2/

5 ( +5 / -0 )

RedstormToday  03:32 pm JST

But not with equal rights for males and females.

Equal rights are afforded for males and females in the US under federal and state laws.

You expressed your opinion and are opposed to abortions. Easy for a man to state that. Your opinion was also

That's your opinion.

"This is probably a good time for people to start re-evaluating their behavior that might lead to unwanted pregnancies."

Is it a fact that is how pregnancies occur except for the 1% or so due to rape and incest?

If you have a different theory on how those pregnancies occur, I'm all ears.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

painkiller

Equal rights are afforded for males and females in the US under federal and state laws.

Except women in states which have banned or restricted abortions do not have control over their bodies whereas men do.

On average, there are 463,634 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.

It is estimated that there are at least 100,000 incest cases in the United States each year, although no effective reporting system exists and most cases may go unreported.

 The national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0% per rape among victims of reproductive age (aged 12 to 45); among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year.

About 100,000 of the 400,000 children currently in the system are waiting to be adopted, either by their foster parents or by adoptive families who have not fostered before.

How many abortions every year?

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/06/24/what-the-data-says-about-abortion-in-the-u-s-2/

 Approximately 800 women in the US die each year during pregnancy and within 42 days after delivery.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

For many women in the US, it has become like a third-world country denying them healthcare along with about 40 million who can't afford any care.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

painkiller

Ectopic pregnancies still occur at a rate of 100,000 per year, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Abortion bans threaten to impede ectopic pregnancy treatment. For example ...

   Legislation that bans abortion care for those with an ectopic pregnancy or mandates how clinicians treat ectopic pregnancies does not reflect the clinical reality of ectopic pregnancy management and could result in delays or even denials of care.

   Abortion bans—even those with exceptions for ectopic pregnancy—can generate confusion for patients and health care professionals and can result in delays to treatment. Health care professionals should never have to navigate vague legal or statutory language to determine whether the law allows them to exercise their professional judgment and provide evidence-based care.

   Any application of an abortion ban that affects those in need of treatment for ectopic pregnancy is inappropriate and will certainly cost lives.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@girl_in_tokyo

that woman in Ireland who died of sepsis in 2012 because of Ireland's abortion ban. I remember reading about her case at the time, and getting so very very angry, that something like that could happen in a modern country like Ireland. I can't believe the same thing is now happening in the so-called "land of the free

It's perhaps interesting that Ireland has since legalised abortion. It seems to have moved in the opposite direction to the "land of the free".

Oh well, I guess they can issue guns to all ten-year-old girls to help prevent rape. (Sarcasm in case there are some out there who support the idea.)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

To summarise: @Painkiller sees NOTHING wrong with abortion being denied to anybody regardless of how they became pregnant. Raped. The act of Incest. Ectopic Pregnancy. Unviable Fetus. Abuse, Failed Contraception.

Just brush it all over and let the States decide if they wish to give the vote to the people. Problem is, most of the red states won't give the people the vote....thats pretty much a fact.

I note that Kansas IS giving people the vote however, cleverly wording the ballot paper that voting 'Yes' would in fact be banning abortion. More skulduggery by over 70 white Catholic males.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

theResidentToday  04:49 pm JST

Just brush it all over and let the States decide if they wish to give the vote to the people.

The Constitution does not allow any brushing over of the people's rights to vote for a State's law: not the other way around. If you have an issue with that, write your Congressman (if you are a US citizen).

Problem is, most of the red states won't give the people the vote....thats pretty much a fact.

The real problem is with people who disagree with the rights inherent in the Constitution when it goes against their beliefs.

Thankfully, America survives as a democracy despite such anarchist view.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Living in a free country has its advantages

Yes and that is why I choose to keep living in Japan where abortions are 100% legal, no one really cares about it, and in some cases are paid for with public funds. Trump people want to save the fetuses but then want open gun laws that allow all those children to be killed. Japan has neither issue and Trump people still choose to live in a pro abortion and anti gun country.

America? Sayonara. It's party time in Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@painkiller: Listen to you! It's 2022. What are you scared of? 61% of the country support abortion under sensible time limits/conditions. Sure - its not in the Constitution (and no one is asking it to be), so why is not on every ballot paper in every state at the same time as the mid terms? Surely that is democracy over what is such an important issue.

You KNOW that most Republican States won;t even let if get to a vote!

How on earth is my view anarchistic?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@painkiller : You are winding us all up aren't you? Tell me these are not really your beliefs?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The problem is a supreme court full of misogynists who decided to legislate their personal religious beliefs and overturn the true will of the people.

Get ready for more achingly young incest victims and rape victims becoming mothers, and women dying in hospital of sepsis.

And did you know that many states allow the rapist to sue for custody of their child? Oh yes - so not only will we have 10 year old rape victims forced into motherhood, but they will also be tied legally to their rapist for the rest of their life. And don't say it won't happen, or that it's hyperbolic - it has already happened, and will happen again - and again.

These men simply hate women, and that is all there is to it.

I urge women with US citizenship to never, ever date or have sex with a Republican man. Ever. And if you're already dating or married to one, DTMFA.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is probably a good time for people to start re-evaluating their behavior that might lead to unwanted pregnancies.

It sounds like Ted Haggard talking

3 ( +3 / -0 )

White male evangelicals setting their Biblical agenda. Thou shall not kill until with guns and bombs. Prominent in the Republican Party.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Where does it say "shall not be infringed" for fetuses?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

theResidentToday  06:04 pm JST

@painkiller: Listen to you! It's 2022. What are you scared of?

Sounds like I'm not the one scared. I'm all for following the laws of the land and allowing the States to decide this matter. You're opposed to this?

61% of the country support abortion under sensible time limits/conditions. Sure - its not in the Constitution (and no one is asking it to be), so why is not on every ballot paper in every state at the same time as the mid terms?

The question is, if 61% of the country actually support abortion as you detailed, why don't they put that question on the ballot?

Surely that is democracy over what is such an important issue.

A select portion of the population's opinion in an unregulated poll is more democratic than voting on the issue?

You KNOW that most Republican States won;t even let if get to a vote!

So, then you understand how the democratic system works, but you disagree when something doesn't go your way.

How on earth is my view anarchistic?

You want to impose your opinion over the legal process of passing or enforcing laws.

girl_in_tokyoToday  06:14 pm JST

The problem is a supreme court full of misogynists who decided to legislate their personal religious beliefs and overturn the true will of the people.

Darn female misogynistic Supreme Justices!

RedstormToday  06:53 pm JST

White male evangelicals setting their Biblical agenda. Thou shall not kill until with guns and bombs. Prominent in the Republican Party.

Racist remarks mixed with irrelevant diatribe.

Why don'T you get out and vote, or get people to vote on the issue in your home state?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Abortion is a wedge issue like prohibition. The Jesus freaks have too much power now. Not in Japan thank God.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

nishikatToday  07:53 pm JST

Abortion is a wedge issue like prohibition. The Jesus freaks have too much power now. Not in Japan thank God.

Didn't a former PM get assassinated here because of the influence of Jesus freaks on him?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

You're damn right I'm scared for women who have been raped, forced into incestuous relationships, been forced into prostitution (in many cases because they already have one child they can't support), woman who can't afford contraception because their backward thinking 'State' representatives won't even consider free condoms / CPs to be distributed or the Morning after pill being easily available -

In most of the free world, this isn't even a question. With these readily available alternatives to unwanted pregnancy the amount of women seeking abortion would significantly decline.

But your answer is to just 'stop having sex' if you cant deal with the consequences?

You are indeed living in the 19th century.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

theResidentToday  07:58 pm JST

You're damn right I'm scared for women who have been raped, forced into incestuous relationships, been forced into prostitution (in many cases because they already have one child they can't support), woman who can't afford contraception because their backward thinking 'State' representatives won't even consider free condoms / CPs to be distributed or the Morning after pill being easily available - 

The approximately 1% of those having abortions. And what about those who lie about being raped?

In most of the free world, this isn't even a question.

How is this relevant to US laws?

But your answer is to just 'stop having sex' if you cant deal with the consequences? 

Here is the answer again: use the Constitutionally protected voting process.

You are indeed living in the 19th century.

Roe v. Wade was decided in 2022. Which century us that?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

nishikatToday  08:03 pm JST

The Moonies? They worship and give money to a man they think is God (Mr. Moon). Their population is (thank God) not that hight compared to Trump evangelicals like Kenneth Copeland and Ted Haggard.

Sounds like the religious influence on political leaders is much stronger in Japan than America.

But I think the geriatric white Trump Fox people need to move on from this planet. It's pretty much about time too and new generation can take over who want to enjoy life and their bodies. The average fox viewer is in their 70s and 80s and it's obvious with all those Depends catheter commercials on Tucker. Time will change things and fewer people are hating evangelicals more. I'm glad they are not infiltrated Japan. 

Yes, well, the fact is, the highest court in the land made a decision that affects all the people. Anyone who is not a geriatric white Trump Fox person can use the democratic process to try and make the changes they want. No one is holding them back except themselves.

I guess this issue doesn't mean that much to them.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

painkiller

And what about those who lie about being raped?

how your arguments are reduced to victim blaming. Only a male would even suggest that.

Sounds like the religious influence on political leaders is much stronger in Japan than America.

Didn't you notice the post is about America, not Japan?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

painkiller

Someone making a false claim of rape is not the victim.

Only a man would say that. Only about 5-8% of reported rapes are false claims. How many rapes are not reported?

Only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to the police. That means more than 2 out of 3 go unreported.

   

https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system

You have more freedoms as an American in the US than an American in Japan.

That is because Americans in Japan are not citizens until you apply.

This is probably a good time for people to start re-evaluating their behavior that might lead to unwanted pregnancies.

According to your Bible sex is for reproduction and not pleasure.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

painkiller : You avoid the question over and over again... What are the chances of this actually making this choice available on your 'protected voting process'?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Should abortion be decided by the ballot or the Bible?

Abortion Policy in the Absence of Roe

https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/abortion-policy-absence-roe

4 ( +4 / -0 )

RedstormToday  08:28 pm JST

how your arguments are reduced to victim blaming. Only a male would even suggest that.

We'll see. And someone making a false claim of rape is not the victim. You do understand that?

RedstormToday  08:55 pm JST

Only a man would say that.

The law says that.

theResidentToday  09:13 pm JST

painkiller : You avoid the question over and over again... What are the chances of this actually making this choice available on your 'protected voting process'?

Pretty darn good-in fact, it has already happened in several states.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

painkiller

We'll see. And someone making a false claim of rape is not the victim. You do understand that?

And the

On average, there are 463,634 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.

It is estimated that there are at least 100,000 incest cases in the United States each year, although no effective reporting system exists and most cases may go unreported.

 The national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0% per rape among victims of reproductive age (aged 12 to 45); among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year.

About 100,000 of the 400,000 children currently in the system are waiting to be adopted, either by their foster parents or by adoptive families who have not fostered before.

Only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to the police. That means more than 2 out of 3 go unreported.

Do you have answers about these cases?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The post photo speaks a million words.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

wallaceToday  11:02 pm JST

The post photo speaks a million words.

This is a holdover from the UK.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

painkiller

The post photo speaks a million words.

This is a holdover from the UK.

The current situation in the USA over its abortion bans and bible-bashing republican white male evangelicals has nothing to do with the UK where abortion is allowed.

The post is about the USA, not the UK.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Overturning Roe is going to seriously harm, and even kill, young girls and women.

Abortion does that already, not to mention it kills the fetus.

It's barbaric, and pure misogyny.

You just made my point for me.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

bass4funkToday 04:30 am JST

Abortion does that already, not to mention it kills the fetus.

Then you value a life that hasn't begun yet over one that has. And think you should be able to make that decision for the person whose life is at risk.

You just made my point for me.

You only think I did. Others reading this feel that you do not value the lives of girls and women and reject that view.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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