Top Pro & Con Arguments


Abortion bans endanger healthcare for those not seeking abortions.

Medical treatment for nonviable pregnancies is often exactly the same as an abortion. [241] [242] [243]

Ectopic pregnancies occur when a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterine cavity. About one in 50 pregnancies are ectopic, and they are nonviable. Bleeding from ectopic pregnancies caused 10% of all pregnancy-related deaths, and ectopic pregnancies were the leading cause of maternal death in the first trimester. [241] [244] [245] [246]

Other pregnancies can be nonviable, including when there is little or no chance of the baby’s survival once it is born or if the baby has died in utero. The treatment for ectopic and other nonviable pregnancies is often the same as that for an abortion. [243] [247]

One out of every ten pregnancies ends in miscarriage. The drugs used for medication abortions are the only treatment recommended for early miscarriages. For later or complicated miscarriages, the same surgical procedure used for abortions is recommended. [242]

While some abortion bans include specific exceptions for nonviable pregnancies and miscarriages, other bans are too vague to be practicable. Healthcare providers may refuse to perform a procedure that could be interpreted as an “on-demand” abortion for fear of liability or prosecution. [248]

Arguing that doctors and others use them as loopholes for “on demand” abortions, lobbyists are working to eliminate exceptions altogether, which would further endanger and traumatize people seeking care for dangerous medical conditions. [246] [248]

Some pharmacists have refused to fill prescriptions for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, because the drugs can also be used for abortion. In Texas, pharmacists can be sued for “aiding and abetting” an abortion. [242] [245]

Further, bans are a slippery slope to contraceptive and other healthcare restrictions. For example, some already wrongly view Plan B (the morning after pill) as an abortifacient and are thinking of including it in abortion bans. [249]

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