Ectopic Pregnancy and Elective Abortion

There has been some confusion regarding whether or not the treatment of an ectopic pregnancy is considered an abortion. Another quandary is if abortion is restricted or banned altogether, will this pose a health risk to women needing treatment for an ectopic pregnancy? In short, the answer to these questions is, “no.”

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy in which the fetus develops outside the uterus. Maternal harm, even death, may result if an ectopic pregnancy is not treated right away. These types of pregnancies are not viable, meaning that they are not able to successfully continue. Immediate medical intervention is required to protect the health of the mother. This treatment is not elective, it is required as a life-saving measure for the mother.

How is ectopic pregnancy treated?

Medications such as Methotrexate are given as an injection to prevent the pregnancy from developing further. “Laparoscopic procedures may also be used to remove the ectopic pregnancy” (Mayo Clinic, 2022). Methotrexate may also be used, with another medication, to end an early pregnancy that would otherwise be expected to continue to a full-term live birth. This would be considered an elective abortion procedure, which is not the same as treating an ectopic pregnancy.

Miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies are not the same as elective abortions.

Miscarriages are spontaneous in occurrence; they do not happen on-demand. Most often, there is no clear cause for why a miscarriage happens. Miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies are both treated as non-viable pregnancies. Treatment for ectopic pregnancies or failed miscarriages is not the same as elective abortion.

Will abortion restrictions affect access to ectopic pregnancy treatment?

Obstetricians/gynecologists confirm that the treatment of ectopic pregnancies will not be affected by abortion restrictions or bans, as stated below,

“Although treatment for ectopic pregnancy results in the unfortunate death of the embryo, this is not the intent of the treatment. The intent is to save the life of the mother. The sole intent of an abortion is to end the life of the developing human being. Therefore, legislation restricting induced abortion should not be seen to limit a physician’s ability to treat ectopic pregnancy” (AAPLOG, 2022).

When making any decision, it is important to know the facts. If you or someone you know is facing an unplanned, or unexpectedly difficult, pregnancy and would like to learn more about our services, please contact us here or by calling 540.665.9660 in Winchester or 304.726.6582 in Martinsburg.

AbbaCare is a nonprofit Pregnancy Resource Center currently serving in the Winchester, VA and Martinsburg, WV areas. Please contact us to schedule a free and confidential consultation appointment today.

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