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Ohio Doctors Face Murder Charges If They Don't 'Reimplant' Ectopic Pregnancies

Ohio Doctors Face Murder Charges If They Don't 'Reimplant' Ectopic Pregnancies

Ohio has introduced a new bill into its legislature which could force doctors to "re-implant ectopic pregnancies," or face murder charges.

An ectopic pregnancy typically occurs after a fertilised egg implants itself in an ovary or fallopian tube - not only rendering the the pregnancy unviable, but also putting the mother's life at risk, as a rupture is likely to cause mass bleeding.

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As if this wasn't traumatic enough for women, Bill 413 - put forward by the state's conservative lawmakers - suggests that doctors should reinsert the foetus into the woman's uterus rather than terminate the pregnancy.

And the worst part? It was proposed despite the fact that obstetricians and gynaecologists have repeatedly warned the US state that to do so would be medically impossible. Right then.

Ectopic pregnancy can be incredibly traumatic for women (Credit: Shutterstock)
Ectopic pregnancy can be incredibly traumatic for women (Credit: Shutterstock)

The legislation, officially introduced by the midwestern state on Thursday, says that a fertilised egg is to be considered a person, and warns doctors they could face prison if they terminate it.

It states that a doctor should "[Take] all possible steps to preserve the life of the unborn child, while preserving the life of the woman. Such steps include, if applicable, attempting to re-implant an ectopic pregnancy into the woman's uterus."

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And as it went through, Ohio gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr David Hackney shared a picture of the bill, and wrote on Twitter: "I don't believe I'm typing this again but, that's impossible. We'll all be going to jail."

He added: "In addition to being bizarre, misogynistic & misinformed, "ectopic re-implantation" legislation is profoundly insensitive".

While Ohio officials seem intent on ignoring the scientific evidence, it's a simple fact that an ectopic pregnancy only lasts to term in an incredibly rare one in three million cases, and, to make matters worse, there's no scientific evidence an unborn child would survive being re-inserted into the uterus.

Pro choicers have been debating the bill since it was first proposed (Credit: PA)
Pro choicers have been debating the bill since it was first proposed (Credit: PA)

Much like the Ohio experts refuting the bill, the NHS warns: "Unfortunately, it's not possible to save the pregnancy. It usually has to be removed using medicine or an operation."

And what's more, Dr. Donnica Moore tells Insider: "Attempting to reinsert an ectopic pregnancy could result in an infection, a miscarriage, or the body rejecting the re-implantation".

Unfortunately, as Hackney goes on to warn, "ectopics are the crazy cherry atop a nightmare sundae," that is the 700 page bill.

As well as putting doctors in a catch 22 where they have to conduct a physically impossible medical procedure or go to jail, the legislation also states that any woman from the age of 13 upwards who goes through with a termination would also be charged with "abortion murder" and face life in prison.

How dystopian is that?!

Mike DeWine, signed the 'heartbeat bill' back in summer (Credit: PA)
Mike DeWine, signed the 'heartbeat bill' back in summer (Credit: PA)

Another crime mentioned in the legislation, known as "aggravated abortion murder" is punishable by death. Doesn't sound very pro-life to us.

And it's not even clear how this new crime would occur. It's defined as "an abortion while committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, rape, aggravated arson, arson, aggravated robbery, robbery, aggravated burglary, burglary, trespass in a habitation when a person is present or likely to be present, terrorism or escape."

Ohio passed its first controversial abortion ban, known as the 'Heartbeat Bill' last summer, stating that termination of any foetus of six weeks or over was to be made illegal. After mass outrage and reproductive rights group suing, the law never made it into effect.

The first time it attempted to go ahead, Planned Parenthood said it would "irreparably harm" the state's non-traditional families, while researcher Dr David Grossman described the concept of re-inserting the foetus as "pure science fiction".

To donate to Planned Parenthood, who strongly condemn the bill and are working to stop it, click here.

Featured Image Credit: PA/ Shutterstock

Topics: News, abortion

Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]

 

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