MO Lawmaker Can't Wait To Watch People Die From Ectopic Pregnancies

MO Lawmaker Can't Wait To Watch People Die From Ectopic Pregnancies

One thing that really tends to get under the skin of anti-choice legislators and activists is the fact that the only treatment for ectopic pregnancies, other than just letting the pregnant person die, is abortion. For years, they have tried to deny this fact. In 2019, an Ohio legislator even tried to pass a bill requiring doctors to try to "reimplant" the fetus from the fallopian tube into the uterus, despite the fact that this is not scientifically possible to do. That would be the same bill that called for the death penalty in the case of an abortion performed in the course of a robbery. A new bill, proposed in Missouri by state Sen. Brian Seitz (R-Branson) is no less cruel and no less stupid.

The purpose of Seitz's bill is to make "trafficking abortion" a thing. He wants to make it illegal to import or export any device or drug meant to be used to induce an abortion, so that once the Supreme Court gets rid of Roe and Missouri makes abortion immediately illegal, they can throw people in prison for ordering Mifepristone off the internet. But it gets far, far worse than that.

HB 2810 reads:

A person or entity commits the offense of trafficking abortion inducing devices or drugs if such person or entity knowingly imports, exports, distributes, delivers, manufactures, produces, prescribes, administers, or dispenses or attempts to import, export, distribute, deliver, manufacture, produce, prescribe, administer, or dispense any instrument, device, medicine, drug, or any other means or substance to be used for the purpose of performing or inducing an abortion on another person in violation of any state or federal law.

2. The offense of trafficking abortion-inducing devices or drugs is a class B felony.

3. The offense of trafficking abortion-inducing devices or drugs is a class A felony if:

(1) The abortion was performed or induced or was attempted to be performed or induced on a woman carrying an unborn child of more than ten weeks gestational age;

(2) The abortion was performed or induced or was attempted to be performed or induced on a woman who has an ectopic pregnancy

So it actually is more illegal to perform an abortion in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, where the person will very likely die without an abortion, than in other cases. The goal here is to inure people to the idea of people dying in pregnancy — which much of the anti-choice brigade considers a good thing and a beautiful sacrifice, even if the fetus doesn't survive either. Much of the anger about abortion has less to do with precious fetuses than with a deep anger towards women, "mothers" in particular, being "selfish."

There is also a desire among some to separate "treatment for an ectopic pregnancy" from abortion, despite the fact that it is in fact an abortion. This is because they want to be able to say there is "no such thing" as a life-saving abortion. Of course, all abortions are life-saving abortions in one way or another — whether they allow the person having the abortion to live their life or to feed and care for their other children.

On Twitter, Seitz responded to criticism of his desire to make it illegal for those with ectopic pregnancies to obtain life-saving abortions, writing "Fact: treating an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion, improper treatment (such as improper abortion drugs and implements) for an ectopic pregnancy can kill the woman being treated, this bill does nothing to curb or prohibit the necessary treatment of an ectopic pregnancy."

This is, of course, not true. While the standard Mifepristone-Misoprostol combination is not used to treat ectopic pregnancies, Methotrexate is the most common and safest way to end one — by stopping the cells from growing, which ends the pregnancy. Methotrexate is also used in medication abortions in combination with Misoprostol. Clearly, Seitz just saw something about how Mifepristone is contraindicated by the FDA for the treatment of ectopic pregnancies and went on his merry way writing this bill.

It's clear that he did not think a lot when writing this bill and seemed quite perturbed when asked about it during a House debate on the bill by Rep. Mark Ellebracht (D-Liberty), who had expected him to have some understanding of what his bill was actually calling for. Rep. Seitz did not know how long the prison sentence was for felonies in his state, but said — after being informed that this meant people could be going to prison for five to 15 years for a Class B felony or 10 to 30 years in prison for a Class A felony — that he didn't think those went far enough for what he considers "the murder of an infant in the womb." Rep. Seitz also added that the use of these medications or instruments in an illegal manner could result in the death or injury of the pregnant person, without a hint of understanding that this is actually why people want safe, legal and accessible abortions.

When asked if he would consider the death penalty in such cases, Seitz responded that they could revisit that with future legislation.

Rep. Ellebracht then asked Seitz to consider various scenarios in which people could be sentenced to 15 years in prison for ordering abortion medication online. Seitz explained that he didn't have to consider any of that and would have become a prosecutor if he wanted to do so.

Rep. Seitz was also questioned by Rep. Keri Ingle (D-Jackson) about whether he wanted to throw victims of rape, incest, or sex trafficking in prison for trying to access abortion, to which he just kept saying that he "would like to see the life of the unborn protected."

Like most Republicans pushing bad abortion legislation (or any other legislation for that matter), Seitz has not given much thought to what his bill will actually do. He does not want to think about the impact. He wants to be allowed to continue to believe that those with ectopic pregnancies don't need abortions and that if his law passes, the only people who get thrown in prison for having abortions will be those he would personally find unsympathetic, and everything will be super great and he'll never have to think about any of this ever again.

Of course, given his inability to get pregnant, his lack of empathy, and his lack of interest in finding out what his bills would even do, that would actually be entirely possible for him.

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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