Can Women Die if They Can’t Have an Abortion?
With the historic overturning of Roe v. Wade in the summer of 2022, women’s access to healthcare has been a subject of concern and conversation across the United States. Because many states are starting to restrict abortion access, there are worries that this will prevent women from receiving lifesaving healthcare.
Guidance from Health and Human Services states that medical professionals must do everything possible to save a woman’s life from pregnancy-related medical conditions, such as ectopic pregnancy, complications of pregnancy loss, and severe preeclampsia.
In states with rigid laws restricting abortions, health provisions are typically included that allow exceptions if the pregnant woman’s life is endangered.
Read the rest of this article to learn what life-saving treatment women may require due to pregnancy-related emergencies.
According to Dr. Patricia Santiago Munoz, M.D., “Ectopic pregnancy treatment is not the same as abortion… particularly because many women with ectopic pregnancies planned to conceive and wanted to carry their pregnancies to term.”
Ectopic pregnancies, which are typically located in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus, are not eligible for the typical abortion procedure. They are usually treated with a medication called methotrexate or through surgical intervention.
In medical terms, a miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion, while a regular abortion is considered “elective” or voluntary.
According to the University of Missouri’s School of Medicine, the difference between the two is that one is involuntary due to “accidental trauma or disease” while elective abortion is “…the [deliberate and intentional] termination of a pregnancy…”
In many cases, women’s bodies naturally expel the fetus and pregnancy remnants after a miscarriage. Elective abortions always involve medication or surgical intervention.
Some miscarriages require assistance expelling the dead fetus with medications that are also prescribed for elective abortions, however, one is elective while the other is not.
In our state, abortion is protected by the state constitution, so the only way it would become illegal is through an amendment to the state constitution. Additionally, women will continue to have access to the healthcare they need in our state.
If you are considering an abortion, a recommended first step is an ultrasound, which we offer at no cost at Robbinsdale Women’s Center.
This important scan can give you essential information such as the age and viability of the pregnancy, which can affect your eligibility for a medication abortion (the abortion pill is only FDA-approved up to 10 weeks gestational age).