August 1, 2022

Anti-choice zealots somehow believe that women and their doctors will lie to exploit an exception for the patient's health. So they came up with extremely narrow exceptions for the patient's life, requiring imminent death before terminating the pregnancy is legal. I never want to hear some right-wing ghoul call themselves "pro-life" again. When Roe was overturned, my first reaction was, "women will die," and here we are. Most of us saw that coming.

Via Slate:

After Roe's fall, ethics committees are taking on a new responsibility: determining whether a pregnant patient suffering a medical emergency may lawfully obtain an abortion. This task is actually a throwback to the 1960s and early 1970s, when states required hospitals to use "abortion committees" that decided when a pregnancy was dangerous enough to merit termination. The Supreme Court struck down those laws in a companion case to Roe, finding them "unduly restrictive of the patient's rights and needs." That decision, of course, has now been overturned. So, in 2022, committees formed for different purposes are suddenly undertaking a job that had been deemed unconstitutional since 1973: giving an up-or-down vote on an emergency abortion.

How did we get here?

The fundamental problem facing these committees is that the current crop of abortion bans were written with the most cramped and ambiguous health exceptions imaginable. Many of these laws allow termination only in the case of a genuine medical emergency—a term that is not defined, but suggests the patient's life must be in imminent peril. GOP lawmakers have consistently rejected a broader exception for the mother's "health" on the grounds that it creates a loophole allowing "abortion on demand." The Susan B. Anthony list, a prominent anti-abortion group, has condemned any "health exception" as "a dangerous carveout" that makes "abortion available throughout all of pregnancy without any meaningful restriction."

This won't go down well:

Hospitals are thus left to interpret draconian laws that ban abortion except when necessary to "save the life" or "prevent the death" of a pregnant woman. But when is a patient sufficiently close to death to justify termination? When her pregnancy has a 10 percent chance of killing her? 50 percent? 90? That, increasingly, is a question for the hospital ethics committee.

The outlet reports that this is already taking place in Missouri, which banned abortion just minutes after the conservative-leaning Supreme Court overturned Roe. The ban has no explicit exception for ectopic pregnancies, which are nonviable and deadly if not terminated.

Women will die. The problem is that Republicans don't care. It was never about the children. It's about control, up until the minute you die.

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