An Ohio anti-abortion law would force doctors to perform a procedure that is medically impossible — or be charged with murder.
The bill would require doctors to “reimplant” embryos that have attached to the woman’s fallopian tube rather than inside her uterus — a complication known as an ectopic pregnancy. Doctors who don’t somehow “attempt” to move the embryo from the fallopian tube to the uterus would face charges of “abortion murder” if the bill passes, the Guardian reports.
There’s no way to make an ectopic pregnancy viable, and without medical intervention, a woman experiencing the complication could die. But, because the bill stipulates that an embryo is an unborn child, failing to “preserve” it could face criminal prosecution under the proposed law, House Bill 413, introduced in the lower house of Ohio’s legislature and sponsored by State Reps. Candice Keller and Ron Hood.
But doctors have swiftly responded to the lawmakers that there’s no way to “reimplant” an embryo from outside the uterus to inside the uterus.
“I don’t believe I’m typing this again but, that’s impossible,” Dr. David N. Hackney, an OB-GYN based in Ohio, writes on Twitter of the imaginary procedure. “We’ll all be going to jail.”
And, in many cases, the fertilized egg is not intact after an ectopic pregnancy, making it impossible to preserve an embryo even if the technology existed to move it, Dr. Donnica Moore tells Insider.
“There is no procedure to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy,” Dr. Chris Zahn, vice-president of practice activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists tells the Guardian. “It is not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy from a fallopian tube, or anywhere else it might have implanted, to the uterus.”
“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,” Zahn says.
Many of the lawmakers who sponsored or co-sponsored the legislation didn’t return the Guardian’s requests for comment, but Mike Gonidakis, the president of the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life, says he is still reading the legislation.
HB413 follows the contentious “heartbeat bill” signed by Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, which imposed one of the most stringent abortion restrictions in the nation, banning abortions after as early as five weeks — before most women know they’re pregnant. The bill was blocked from becoming a law by a federal judge.
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