Two items from RH Reality Check today. First, I’m in a minor comment war over this post about the pro-life view on ectopic pregnancy. Pro-lifers generally don’t even think of ectopic pregnancy treatment as being an abortion at all. If an unborn baby is doomed to die, and the mother is at risk if the baby’s body is not removed, what moral objection could there possibly be?
Physicians for Life basically agrees with that assessment. However, they point out that some ectopic pregnancies resolve on their own, and so women who are not facing an immediate threat may want to take a “wait and see” approach to possibly avoid surgery. They also point out that it is a very bad idea to just reflexively use methotrexate, without checking to see if there is a twin correctly implanted in the uterus:
One patient was diagnosed with a tubal ectopic pregnancy by her obstetrician, and he informed her that they were fortunate to have made the diagnosis early and that she should have a methotrexate abortion. The patient was pro-life, and did not want to take the medicine, but the physician insisted. The baby was not going to survive, he argued, and a chemical abortion now could prevent the need for a surgical procedure later. The chemical abortion would lessen her chances of a rupture of her fallopian tube and subsequent life-threatening hemorrhage. The chemical abortion was also better at preserving future fertility than surgical removal of the ectopic pregnancy later. Feeling like she had no other reasonable alternative, she took the methotrexate.
However, there was a complication. Two weeks later, she still had vaginal bleeding and pelvic discomfort. A repeat ultrasound confirmed the physician’s worst fears: his patient was pregnant with twins – one in the fallopian tube, and one in the uterus! He missed the uterine pregnancy in his ultrasound examination, and that baby was dying from his prescription.
Holding off surgery and watchful waiting in this case might have resulted in spontaneous resolution of the tubal pregnancy or would have required surgical removal of the tubal pregnancy when the embryo was likely to be dead, but in both cases the uterine pregnancy would probably have survived. Unfortunately, the chemical abortion killed both babies, much to the dismay of this young pro-life woman.
The RH Reality Check article finds Physicians for Life’s position to be completely unreasonable. The article was passed around the #prochoice echo chamber on twitter as “proof [that] #prolife is about #misogyny.” When of course, the opposite is true: these pro-life physicians are trying to do whatever is best for the patient’s particular circumstances. So it goes.
The second RH Reality Check post I’d like to bring to your attention is a guide to instilling pro-abortion beliefs in your toddler.
Let me just allow that to sink in for a moment.
SPL’s facebook fans had some great responses. Starting with Nick:
Wait what? You mean using obscure words like “discontinue” or “terminate” gives us less understanding about what abortion truly is? Gee, you don’t say?
“… she was about as disgusted by the anti-choice position as you could ever expect a pre-schooler to be.”
Well I, for one, am shocked that a pre-schooler would take the same side as her parent on something she has no way of comprehending.
And finally Jen:
I personally am amused at the “fetus is no bigger than an orange” statement. So, I ask, “what exactly is going on with that orange, anatomically, anyway?”