A proposed abortion bill in the Ohio state legislature requires doctors to conduct a medically impossible procedure, or risk being charged with “abortion murder.”
House Bill 413, sponsored by Ohio State Reps. Candice Keller and Ron Hood, was introduced earlier this month. The 700-page legislation outlaws abortion outright, defining a fertilized egg as an “unborn child.”
The bill also calls for doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a patient’s uterus following an abortion, or risk being charged with murder — but medical professionals say this procedure does not exist.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg is implanted outside a uterus, typically in the patient’s fallopian tubes or ovaries, according to the Mayo Clinic. This, however, renders a pregnancy unviable — the embryo can’t survive outside the uterus — and could turn into a life-threatening medical emergency for patients if embryonic tissue grows unchecked.
Dr. Chris Zahn, vice president of practice activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told The Guardian that along with posing a potentially fatal threat to the mother, it is also impossible to later move an ectopic pregnancy from outside to inside a uterus.
“There is no procedure to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy,” Zahn said. “Reimplantation is not physiologically possible. 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.”
HB 413 charges doctors and patients as young as 13 who perform or have an abortion with “abortion murder,” which would be punishable by life in prison, according to the bill. Another new charge, “aggravated abortion murder,” would be punishable by death.
“I don’t believe I’m typing this again but, that’s impossible,” Ohio obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. David Hackney wrote on Twitter, addressing ectopic pregnancy reimplantation. “We’ll all be going to jail.”
The new Ohio HB413, p.184: To avoid criminal charges, including murder, for abortion, a physician must “…[attempt to] reimplant an ectopic pregnancy into the women’s uterus”— David N Hackney MD, FACOG (@DavidNHackney) November 19, 2019
I don’t believe I’m typing this again but, that’s impossible.
We’ll all be going to jail@ACOGAction pic.twitter.com/KtnNRShZLW
This is the second time the Ohio state legislature has discussed reimplanting ectopic pregnancies in a patient’s uterus. In April, State Rep. John Becker (who also co-sponsored this legislation) introduced House Bill 182, which restricted insurance from covering abortions but made an exception to cover this nonexistent procedure, The Washington Post reports.
Abortion is currently legal in all 50 states, but states such as Alabama and Georgia have pushed to pass restrictive legislation that could end up before the Supreme Court, directly challenging Roe v. Wade. Ohio is also part of that charge. Last summer, the Ohio state legislature passed its “heartbeat bill,” which bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy — before most patients know they are pregnant.
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