Jessica Sarrach ‘24, Lyonlife.org Editor-In-Chief and Peyton Lewis ‘23, Managing Editor/Layout Director
Since the Texas Heartbeat Act—a bill which criminialized abortions after the six week mark—was passed on Sept.1, 2021, it has opened the doorway for other states to make an attempt at passing strict and harmful abortion legislature. Missouri, a Republican led state, recently proposed a bill by Representative Brian Seitz entitled HB2810—which contained numerous extremely restrictive laws against abortion. This includes the criminalization of abortions performed on eptopic pregnacnies and on woman who have been pregnant for more then 10 weeks. The bill has since been revised to omit the clause about ectopic pregnancies amid outrage, but the very fact that it was initially included was a cause of concern for many.
HB2810 included a line criminalizing abortion on ectopic pregnancies which said, “(2) The abortion was performed or induced or was attempted to be performed or induced on a woman who has an ectopic preganancy.” An ectopic pregnancy is when a fetus grows outside of the main uterine cavity. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable as a fetus cannot survive outside of the uterus. They are also harmful for the mother, as they pose a high risk of internal bleeding if the egg were to rupture in the fallopian tube.
Pro-Life Missouri legislators view these bills as a necessary means to “protect” a baby’s “life”; however, the smallest amount of research, or a short conversation with any doctor, will explain that ectopic pregnancies are not viable and will never result in life. Those in opposition of abortion claim to value life above all, yet do not seem to express any concern over introducing legislation that will put the mother’s life in danger over a fetus which will never have the chance to grow outside utero.
In an original draft of the bill, aborting an ectopic pregnancy would have been a Class A felony, punishable by 10 to 30 years or even a life sentence in prison. However, a prison sentence is far from the first thing on these women’s minds when the alternative is a death sentence resulting from being forced to carry an ectopic pregnancy. Even though this clause has been removed from the newer, more updated version of the bill, it is still extremely frightening that it even was included at all. It shows a clear lack of judgment, understanding, and basic medical knowledge from the lawmakers who hold every woman’s right to choose in the palm of their hand. On March 22, the Missouri House officially passed this bill, and while the ghastly ectopic pregnancy clause has since been removed, the bill still threatens the abortion rights of every woman in Missouri. An article by Fox said that this bill is one “that would ban the trafficking of abortion-inducing drugs or devices used to perform or induce abortions in violation of state or federal law.” In the same article, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood said, “The use of these medications help make certain procedures safer and more comfortable for patients. This bill could make it impossible for Missourians to access these medications for any reason.” So while women suffering from ectopic pregnancies remain safe from harmful legislation, many are still left to fear for their futures when forced to carry to term. Missouri is just another state involved in the worrisome pattern of abortion-restricting legislature sweeping the country.