by Hadley Heath Manning
Abortion advocates say that new laws limiting access to abortion will deny women necessary health care, like treatment for miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. They say the new laws could prohibit IUDs (intrauterine devices) and IVF (in vitro fertilization).
Of course, none of the above is true. But now there’s a new addition to the line-up of lies: Women won’t have access to life-saving medication (medication they need to treat other non-pregnancy-related conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, osteoporosis and more) because these medicines can end a pregnancy.
This Jezebel headline says it all: “Non-pregnant women and girls are being denied lifesaving medications due to fear of abortion laws.” That’s right. Read closely: It’s fear, not the law, causing problems. And by fanning the flames of women’s fears – in an election-driven frenzy — the left is making matters worse.
Several outlets are reporting on the story of Emma Thompson, a 14-year-old rheumatoid arthritis patient, whose prescription for methotrexate (a drug that can cause pregnancy loss, and is also used to treat ectopic pregnancy) was not immediately filled. Emma’s doctor believes this happened because of her state’s new abortion law. Her state happens to be Arizona, which happens to be in the midst of very competitive elections for governor, U.S. Senate, and other offices.
Sometimes health care is hard to get. A woman in New York who just experienced an ectopic pregnancy had to go to the ER 5 times and spend $80,000 to get treatment. And New York has some of the country’s (and the world’s) most liberal abortion laws. It’s not right that this woman had to spend so much or fight so hard for treatment, but the culprit is not abortion law.
Similarly, Emma’s experience isn’t the result of Arizona’s new law limiting abortion. Nothing in the law says that doctors or pharmacists cannot provide medicines treating chronic conditions like methotrexate. There’s no law like this in any of the 50 states.
That said, methotrexate is a serious drug. If taken while pregnant, it can cause serious birth defects or pregnancy loss. It’s not unreasonable or sexist for doctors to screen for pregnancy, or require birth control use, before providing certain drugs. This has always been the case. Doctors want to “first, do no harm.”
Emma’s short story (she ultimately waited 24 hours for her prescription) has a happy ending. She got her medicine. She is fine. But her experience helps pro-abortion advocates raise the specter of horrible unintended consequences related to laws limiting abortion.
As if they need help! The political left is working overtime to scare women about access to health care but women should know: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Doctors aren’t delaying or withholding care for any pregnancy-related issue because of laws enacted post Dobbs. Despite what you may have heard, new abortion laws provide clear legal protection for miscarriage care, treatment for ectopic pregnancy, and even abortion to save a mother’s life.
If a doctor or other health professional is delaying or denying care because of new abortion laws, it’s because he or she misunderstands the law. And who is to blame for this? It’s the pro-abortion propaganda machine, which intends to inspire fear in voters, but as an “unintended consequence” is inspiring unnecessary and potentially dangerous fears in doctors and patients.
These baseless fears will not just affect behaviors at the ballot box, but elsewhere as well. Claims that basic healthcare services are no longer available to women amount to misinformation, and we all know that misleading health information can be deadly.
We can disagree on what abortion laws should say. But let’s have the debate in good faith. Women deserve to know the facts. There’s more than an election at stake.
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