When the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade on June 24, Americans went to their computers to find out what life was going to be like in a post-Roe America.
From June 23 to 24, Google trends show a 98% increase in searches for the phrase “abortion rights.” And June 23 to 25 saw a 99% jump in those searching for an answer to the question, “Is abortion illegal?”
As Americans asked questions, pro-abortion advocates began to warn society of the consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision to overrule Roe in its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“A devastating blow to women’s rights in America,” a headline from Financial Times read June 24.
“How life-threatening must a pregnancy be to end it legally?” an NBC News piece asked June 30.
And PBS NewsHour wanted readers to know “Why some fear that big tech data could become a tool for abortion surveillance.”
Many of the opinions about life in America following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe are not based in fact or data.
Here are six myths asserted by pro-abortion activists since the high court reversed Roe.
1. Women Facing an Ectopic Pregnancy Won’t Receive Needed Medical Attention
Pro-abortion activists are asserting that in states where elective abortions are now illegal or limited, women with an ectopic pregnancy won’t receive the proper care.
The concern is that doctors may hesitate to provide care to these women for fear of legal ramifications. But is an ectopic pregnancy the same as an elective abortion?
An ectopic pregnancy occurs anytime an embryo is implanted naturally anywhere outside the uterus, which more than 90% of the time happens in a fallopian tube, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
An embryo cannot survive in a fallopian tube and often already has died by the time of discovery. In cases where the tiny baby is still alive at discovery, it is only a matter of time before the embryo will die because a baby cannot develop to the point of viability outside the uterus.
The “structure where it is implanted [may] burst, or rupture,” putting the life of the mother at great risk, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“Continuation of such a pregnancy cannot result in the survival of a baby and entails a very substantial risk of maternal death or disability,” the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists writes on its website.
Unfortunately, it is necessary in the case of ectopic pregnancy to “end the pregnancy surgically or medically,” the pro-life OB-GYNs say:
For these reasons the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians recognizes the unavoidable loss of human life that occurs in an ectopic pregnancy, but does not consider treatment of ectopic pregnancy by standard surgical or medical procedures to be the moral equivalent of elective abortion, or to be the wrongful taking of human life.
Both OB-GYN organizations recognize that a procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother and they concur that nothing can be done to save the life of the baby.
“Although treatment for ectopic pregnancy results in the unfortunate death of the embryo, this is not the intent of the treatment,” according to the pro-life OB-GYNs. “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.”
2. Women Won’t Receive Medical Care During a Miscarriage
Some pro-abortion activists claim that women having a miscarriage won’t be treated.
A miscarriage is a “loss of pregnancy,” according to the National Library of Medicine.
Miscarriages occur for a variety of reasons, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, but it is estimated that about 60% “occur randomly when an embryo receives an abnormal number of chromosomes during fertilization.”
In an email to The Daily Signal, Melanie Israel, a Heritage Foundation policy analyst, says that the “pro-abortion left is promoting dangerous disinformation by conflating ectopic pregnancy treatment and spontaneous miscarriage management with elective abortion, which deliberately and intentionally ends the life of an unborn child.”
“The left’s disinformation—part of its agenda promoting abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy—will put women’s lives in danger,” Israel said.
(The Daily Signal is the multimedia news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
Dr. Christina Francis, a board-certified OB-GYN and CEO-elect of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said she is unaware of “any physician, … who had good training in the field of obstetrics and gynecology, hav[ing] considered that an ectopic pregnancy or treating a miscarriage was an abortion.”
An abortion is a “procedure or a medication given with the intent of ending the life of a fetal human being,” Francis told The Daily Signal. “And that is simply not our intent when we treat an ectopic pregnancy, or certainly when we treat a miscarriage.”
Francis says she believes some of the confusion over treatments for miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy is purely “misinformation,” or could be caused by the fact that similar methods are used to treat miscarriages and abortions.
Pro-abortion advocates have raised specific concerns that women in Texas are not receiving necessary medical care during life-threatening pregnancies. Abortion is now illegal in Texas except to save the life of the mother.
“But the lack of clarity accompanying the threat of jail time and six-figure fines for medical professionals has led some hospitals and doctors in the state to deny or delay care for pregnancy complications,” The Texas Tribune reported July 20.
Texas law prohibiting abortion, in effect after the demise of Roe, states that an act is not an abortion if:
the act is done with the intent to: (A) save the life or preserve the health of an unborn child; (B) remove a dead, unborn child whose death was caused by spontaneous abortion; or (C) remove an ectopic pregnancy.
Francis said she has read Texas’ new law on abortion, and it doesn’t restrict medical care in cases of ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.
“My hunch is that it’s probably the hospital system not doing a good job of educating their physicians appropriately,” Francis told The Daily Signal, when asked why a doctor would hesitate to provide care in the case of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
The claim that abortion is necessary for women to get medical care during a miscarriage “never came up for why abortion needed to be legal,” the pro-life OB-GYN said, referring to the pre-Roe climate.
“Abortion is a very difficult position to defend unless they spread lies,” she said.
3. Women Will Be Prosecuted for Having an Abortion
More than a dozen states across the country now prohibit abortion in almost all cases, and more than half of states have laws in place to protect the unborn in some way.
Some states that restrict abortion, such as Tennessee, Utah, and Florida, have laws in place to prosecute abortion providers. No state has any law allowing the prosecution of women who receive any form of abortion.
“The leftist hysteria that women will be prosecuted for having abortions has no basis in reality,” Sarah Parshall Perry, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.
“In fact, those that value life, value it at all stages,” Perry said. “They recognize the loving care that women facing unplanned pregnancies so desperately need. No legislative proposal aimed at criminalizing their conduct—even if offered at the state or federal level—is likely to garner the support sufficient to pass.”
4. Data From Apps Could Be Used to Prosecute Women for Abortions
Immediately following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, women began emptying their smartphones of “period tracker” apps.
“Should I delete my period app?” a Vox article prompted readers. “The short answer is: Yes. If you want to keep your reproductive health and menstrual data private— especially if you’re worried about that data being part of a criminal investigation—don’t put it in an app.”
A Kaiser Family Foundation study in 2019 found that about 20 out of every 100 American women use such an app at least once a month.
Because state legislation or laws to prosecute women for having an abortion don’t exist, however, data stored on period tracker apps would not be used to prosecute the woman who had the abortion.
If the information from a menstrual cycle app were subpoenaed, it then could be used only against the abortion provider. Because app users input information without the oversight of a medical professional, and many users don’t input information consistently, it isn’t clear how heavily the data could be relied upon in a legal proceeding.
Kara Frederick, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Technology Policy, says pro-abortion advocates shouldn’t worry about data from one of these apps being used against them, since much of the technology industry is pro-abortion:
Peculiar that the left is suddenly concerned with the exploitation of Americans’ user data for political purposes when most were happy to see it weaponized during COVID lockdowns and now against Jan. 6 demonstrators. This is another example of how these protestations are motivated by ideology rather than genuine privacy concerns.
But they shouldn’t worry. Big Tech will continue to enforce its two-tiered justice system by offering special treatment to users with a leftist worldview. For instance, these companies continue to censor pro-life content while promoting pro-abortion narratives and protecting the data of those inclined to seek abortions.
In fact, Google has already bent over backward to grant special status to its pro-abortion users by agreeing to delete location history for those visiting abortion clinics. The new rules are: Discuss alternatives to abortion and you’re banned, but get an illegal abortion and we’ll scrub the digital evidence.
Popular apps that track menstrual cycles, such as Flo, have announced a new privacy mode with which users may remove all personal information from user accounts.
5. Guns Have More Rights Than Women Do
In the weeks following the May 2 leak of a draft majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, pro-abortion activists attended protests holding signs with sentiments such as “Women’s bodies are more regulated than guns” or “Your guns don’t deserve more rights than my daughters.”
Regarding the regulatory argument, Heritage’s Perry says she would like to know how women’s bodies were regulated in 1972, before the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade.
Then, as now, women could “get the medicine [they] want,” and can “see the practitioner that [they] want,” Perry said on a recent episode of The Daily Signal’s “Problematic Women” podcast.
Because of the long, hard-fought battles for women’s rights by women such as Susan B. Anthony, American law and the Constitution recognize men and women as equal under the law.
The Constitution grants equal rights to men and women, but not objects. Across America, guns are heavily restricted or simply not allowed in airports, schools, federal courthouses, national forests, even entire cities. Women, however, don’t need to acquire special permits to enter a city or travel across state lines.
Guns have no rights. Gun owners, whether men or women, have a right “to keep and bear arms” under the Second Amendment.
6. Women Are ‘Fetal Vessels’ Now
Images of women dressed in red robes, heads bowed under large white bonnets, have been a norm at pro-abortion protests and rallies since the Dobbs leak.
The costume alludes to the popular Hulu original series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on a novel depicting a dystopian world in which women have lost all rights and are used only as baby makers.
“In half the country, women are fetal vessels now,” The Nation told its readers a few days after Roe was overturned. “Their lives, their physical and mental health, their education, their employment, their relationships, their ability to care for their other children, their hopes, ambitions and dreams—none of that matters.”
If the “right to abortion” was the only right women had to separate them from becoming nothing more than a “fetal vessel,” it would follow that the work of women’s rights activists and suffragists such as Carrie Chapman Catt and Ida B. Wells-Barnett was all for naught.
Since Roe was overturned June 24, the Constitution has not changed, pro-life activists emphasize: Women maintain the same rights enshrined originally in the Constitution as well as those they fought for through the first and second waves of feminism.
Women have the right to vote (19th Amendment), the right to freedom of religion (First Amendment), the right to bear arms (Second Amendment), and the right to run for public office, even the presidency, just to name a few.
“Because life is winning with the American people, pro-abortion advocates have no solid argument. They resort to attempting to instill fear and engage in false narratives,” Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, which calls itself the nation’s largest women’s policy organization, told The Daily Signal.
“Pro-life Americans have always supported the woman AND the child,” Nance said in an email, and pro-life organizations will continue to help them.
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