State Watch

Missouri bill seeks to ban terminating life-threatening ectopic pregnancies

Pro-life activists demonstrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., Monday, November 11, 2021 as the court hears oral arguments for Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson and United States v. Texas regarding the Texas abortion laws.
Greg Nash

Missouri state Rep. Brian Seitz (R) introduced a bill in the state House that would ban the termination of ectopic pregnancies.

These pregnancies, which occur when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the uterus, most often in the fallopian tube, can be life-threatening for the pregnant person if left untreated, and the fetus can’t survive being carried to term, according to Mayo Clinic.

The bill, if passed into law, would make performing, inducing or attempting to perform or induce an abortion for such a pregnancy a class A felony. Insider reported that such a charge could carry a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

Ectopic pregnancies comprise roughly 1 to 2 percent of all U.S. pregnancies, according to a 2020 study published by American Family Physician. Those that grow and cause the fallopian tube to rupture account for 2.7 percent of all pregnancy-related deaths in the country.

Missouri state Rep. Keri Ingle (D) pointed out that Seitz’s bill would criminalize those devices or drugs used to treat ectopic pregnancies, according to Newsweek

“Do you know that one of the one of the medications that you’re trying to outlaw is one of the main drugs given to an unruptured ectopic pregnancy?” she asked him, per the outlet.

Ingle said that very “pro-life” people she knew had undergone treatment to terminate ectopic pregnancies and would be “horribly offended by the language in the bill,” Newsweek reported.

Seitz said that the bill would not prevent the legal use of ectopic pregnancy treatments, except in cases in which a woman was a victim of sex trafficking or was outside the care of a hospital or doctor, according to Newsweek.

“They don’t have the hospital machinery to tell if this is an ectopic pregnancy,” Seitz said to Newsweek. “They might just think it’s a normal pregnancy, and they want to abort that child. I would like to see that sort of unlawful activity stopped.”

Tags Abortion Brian Seitz Ectopic pregnancy Missouri
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