“All modern abortion laws immunize the woman seeking abortion from liability."
Speaking more broadly, there is a commonly cited study, called the Turnaway Study, which advocates of abortion say proves that most women do not regret their abortions, and that women who were denied abortions at certain points in their lives had worse mental health and economic outcomes than those who were not. The study has since been widely debunked, with its research methods and potential conflicts of interest being criticized. Many women who regret their abortions have joined the pro-life movement.
Myth 3: Women could now be jailed after having miscarriages.
About one in five pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Every woman will respond and process their grief differently, but needless to say, such an intensely personal and emotional occurrence should be met with compassion and loving care.
Some pro-choice activists have falsely stated that in countries such as El Salvador — where abortion is prohibited entirely — women have been investigated and jailed following miscarriages. In fact, reporting from ACI Prensa has found that the 140 cases often cited by pro-choice activists in El Salvador of women being jailed actually involve aggravated homicide of their newborn babies, rather than naturally occurring miscarriages.
In the U.S., incidents where a mother could be jailed for a miscarriage are relatively rare, and often involve instances where women used illegal and harmful drugs during pregnancy. For example, an Oklahoma woman was sentenced last October to four years in prison after her baby died in her womb at 17 weeks. In that case, the 21-year-old woman admitted to using methamphetamines while pregnant, and traces of meth were found in the unborn baby’s body.
About two dozen states have laws defining substance use during pregnancy as child abuse under civil child welfare statutes, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. But, "There is also no serious likelihood of the incidental criminalization of contraception, [in vitro fertilization] and management of ectopic pregnancy or miscarriages," Snead, the legal scholar, wrote.
Myth 4: A majority of women will live in states with no surgical abortion.
Because several of the most populous states in the nation — such as California, New York, and Illinois — have moved to codify abortion into their laws, a majority of women will likely live in states where surgical abortion is still accessible. Many of the most pro-life states in the country have relatively small populations, despite being geographically large.
That said, populous states such as Texas and Florida have made moves toward more pro-life policies in recent years.
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Myth 5: Treatment for ectopic pregnancy is considered an abortion, and thus many women will likely die from lack of treatment in states where abortion is illegal.
Ectopic pregnancies occur when an embryo implants outside the uterus, usually in the Fallopian tube. Though relatively rare, the most recent data available from the CDC shows the rate of ectopic pregnancies increasing to about 1.4% as of 2013, and may today be as high as 2%.
Once implanted, the embryo’s growth is likely to rupture the Fallopian tube, which can cause the death of both mother and child. And whether treatment is done or not, the embryo is highly unlikely to survive.
There are three common medical procedures to address ectopic pregnancies, two surgical and one involving a drug. In all of the procedures, the embryo dies. From a Catholic perspective, direct abortion — the intentional killing of an unborn baby — is never permitted, but a procedure to save a woman's life that has the unintended effect of an unborn baby's death is morally permissible.
But medical professionals have noted that virtually every state regulation or ban on abortion contains an explicit exception for ectopic pregnancy treatment — which, again, is generally not considered the same as an abortion.
True enough, some recent state legislative proposals — which have garnered frenzied media attention — have included references to ectopic pregnancy that have worried some medical professionals for their ambiguity. But state legislatures have taken steps to address this problem and make sure that ectopic pregnancy treatments are allowed and accessible.