New Abortion Laws and Bans Disrupt Some Lifesaving Pregnancy and Other Medical Care

Miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and other common complications are now scrutinized, jeopardizing maternal health

Following the Extreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs that overturned Roe v. Wade, women across the country have experienced confusion and delays in obtaining care for miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, and other medical issues.

***Note to Fundie Freaks: As with the case of the 10 year old rape victim who traveled from Ohio to Indiana to obtain an abortion, you don’t get to know the names of these women nor the contents of their uteri; neither are any of your business. Go stuff a shoebox.

Michigan:

A woman suffering from a life threatening ectopic pregnancy traveled to Michigan to obtain healthcare. A doctor in her undisclosed home state worried that the detection of a fetal heartbeat could run afoul with her state’s new abortion restrictions.

***Another note to Fundie Freaks and other science denying people: Ectopic pregnancies cannot be reimplanted into a woman’s uterus like some Ohio bill suggested.

Missouri:

A woman had to wait for “pharmacist approval” to obtain medications used to stop postpartum hemorrhages. Hospital administrators temporarily required it since some of the medications can be used for abortion.

Wisconsin:

A woman bled for more than 10 days from an incomplete miscarriage after emergency room staff would not remove the fetal tissue because…abortion restrictions.

Carley Zeal, an OB/GYN in southern Wisconsin recently treated a woman who suffered an infection following a miscarriage. With an 1849 law banning almost all abortions back in effect, healthcare providers at another hospital are struggling with what medications or procedures are acceptable; the hospital refused to remove the fetal tissue from the patient’s uterus. She ran the risk of infection and severe bleeding.

Texas:

After Texas’ ban on abortion, reports that pharmacists started questioning patients about miscarriage medications, suspecting they may be used instead for abortions have occured.

The need to intervene in a pregnancy with the same medication or surgical procedure used in elective abortions is not unusual.

As many as 30 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, the spontaneous demise of a fetus, commonly because of chromosomal abnormalities. The methods of managing a miscarriage are the same as for abortion, using a combination of drugs — mifepristone and misoprostol — or a brief surgery known as dilation and curettage, or D&C, to dilate the cervix and scrape tissue from the uterus. Left untreated, some miscarriages resolve naturally; others lead to complications such as infection or profuse bleeding.

WaPo:

Dr. Munoz an OB-GYN in San Antonio, Texas, who treats high-risk pregnancies, recently had a patient “who had started to miscarry and developed a dangerous womb infection. The fetus still had signs of a heartbeat, so an immediate abortion — the usual standard of care — would have been illegal under Texas law.”

“We physically watched her get sicker and sicker and sicker” until the fetal heartbeat stopped the next day, “and then we could intervene,” he said. The patient developed complications, required surgery, lost multiple liters of blood and had to be put on a breathing machine “all because we were essentially 24 hours behind.’’

Some women who live in states that have enacted strict abortion laws or banned abortion all together have chosen sterilization. Julie Ann Nitsch, a sexual assault survivor in Texas, chose sterilization at age 36 rather than risk getting pregnant by another rapist. Many women fear long-acting birth control or other contraceptives could also become targets of the Extreme Court.

Becky Schwarz, a 27 year old lupus patient, recently “received a notice from her doctor saying she’d have to stop taking a medication that relieves her symptoms — at least while the office reviewed its policies for methotrexate in light of the Supreme Court ruling. That’s because the drug can cause miscarriages and theoretically could be used in an attempt to induce an abortion.”

The Associated Press:

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