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Anti-Abortion Bill Requires Doctors to Perform Procedure That They Say Does Not Exist


Lawmakers in the Ohio State Legislature recently introduced an anti-abortion bill which forces doctors to “re-implant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus or face a  felony “abortion murder” charge. However, according to doctors, there is a substantial problem with the bill – no such procedure exists in medical science.

House Bill 413, which was introduced by a bloc of staunch conservatives in the state’s House of Representatives with nearly 20 co-sponsors, says that in order for physicians to avoid criminal charges for murder, they must attempt “to re-implant an ectopic pregnancy into the women’s uterus.”

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants and begins to grow outside of the uterus, most often on the fallopian tube. Ectopic embryos are not viable, but their growth can cause life-threatening bleeding in pregnant women.

There has never been a documented case in which an ectopic pregnancy was removed and re-transplanted into a woman’s uterus, experts say.

“I don’t believe I’m typing this again but, that’s impossible,” Dr. David Hackney, an OB/GYN specialist wrote in response to the bill. “We’ll all be going to jail,” he added.

Dr. Daniel Grossman, a clinical OB/GYN and public health researcher on abortion and contraception attempted to rebut the legislature’s apparent misconception regarding ectopic pregnancies, explaining that the technology for the proposed reimplantation simply does not exist.

“Somewhere between 1-3% of pregnancies are ectopic. Based on that, I estimate that at least 2,000 Ohio women have an ectopic pregnancy each year,” Grossman wrote.

“Unfortunately, an ectopic pregnancy cannot be “re-implanted” into the uterus. We just don’t have the technology. So I would suggest removing this from your bill, since it’s pure science fiction.”

“There is no procedure to re-implant an ectopic pregnancy,” Dr. Chris Zahn, vice-president of practice activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reiterated to the Guardian. “It is not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy from a fallopian tube, or anywhere else it might have implanted, to the uterus.”

“Women with ectopic pregnancies are at risk for catastrophic hemorrhage and death in the setting of an ectopic pregnancy, and treating the ectopic pregnancy can certainly save a mom’s life,” Zahn said.

The Ohio bill also bans all abortion procedures and legally classifies a fertilized egg as an “unborn child.”

In a public statement, Rep. Candice Keller, one of the bill’s main sponsors, said, “The time has come to abolish abortion in its entirety and recognize that each individual has the inviolable and inalienable right to life.”

[Image via Saul Loeb/Getty Images]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.