FACT CHECK: No, Dobbs Will Not Make Medical Care Illegal

July 13, 2022

There is no state in which a pro-life law would criminalize medical treatment for a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, both of which are NOT abortions under the law.  As the radical Left engages in fearmongering and fabrication to push a politically convenient narrative, we need to call them out for doing so at the expense of the very women they claim to support. 

In the wake of Dobbs, the pro-abortion radicals have spread fear, doubt, and uncertainty throughout the general population to undermine strong state pro-life laws. Some of the most viral content has also been the most misleading in its misinterpretation of laws and the sowing of mistrust between women and their medical care providers.

One of the top pieces of misinformation is that medical procedures undertaken to address an ectopic pregnancy – when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the womb, most often in a fallopian tube – are akin to performing an abortion.


AOC Screen Shot
Source: https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1545505082569117698

We know this is not true, thanks to an analysis from the lawyers over at the American Center for Law and Justice. Still, the Left pushes these lies, which could discourage women from seeking medical treatment and put lives at risk.

A close reading of the abortion statutes in each of the 13 states that have banned or will soon ban abortion illustrates that their pro-life laws do not prohibit life-saving procedures, including one to save a woman from an ectopic pregnancy. 

In each of the 13 states, specific language in their statutes makes clear that: 1) treatment for ectopic pregnancies is not considered the same as an abortion, and 2) depending on the state, the law may contain an exemption for the health of the mother and ectopic pregnancies are known to be dangerous for women. Even Planned Parenthood concedes that “treating an ectopic pregnancy isn’t the same thing as getting an abortion.” Additionally, 22 states directly reference ectopic pregnancies, stating that medical treatment of ectopic pregnancies is not abortion.

State laws also do not criminalize procedures in response to a miscarriage, though oftentimes the mention of miscarriage in abortion statutes causes confusion. Thirty-four states explain that miscarriage management does not fall within the definition of abortion, while the states that don’t specify as such are pro-abortion, meaning that even elective abortions are legal in those states.   

One distinguishing characteristic between abortion and miscarriage is intent. Miscarriages are not intentionally carried out by a woman or healthcare provider to end the life of an unborn child in the way abortions are. No state law would punish a woman for having or seeking medical attention in the event of a miscarriage.

Finally, anti-abortion laws are directed against those providing abortions, not against the women undergoing the abortion. The radical Left and the abortion industry love to claim otherwise for political purposes and so they can raise more money. It’s our job to fight back against these lies.