Even Planned Parenthood knows ectopic pregnancy treatment isn’t abortion

abortion pill, mothers, abortion, hyperemesis gravidarum, assisted suicide

A recent viral post from an abortion-friendly registered nurse alleges that a doctor in an unknown hospital in an unknown state failed to treat a woman for an ectopic pregnancy. The nurse claims that he failed to treat the woman because of the Supreme Court decision on June 24, overturning Roe v. Wade. Yet state laws are clear — treatment for ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion, and no doctor is prohibited from performing the life-saving surgery.

The social media post is a message from another nurse who allegedly wrote:

I don’t have a platform so i can’t read people like you can but please share this! I work in [redacted] on a small nicu/l&d floor. our trigger laws went into effect immediately after the decision. ofc we had an woman with an ectopic walk in at 11;30pm last night. we had to bascially [sic] sit on her until the doc could speak with a lawyer. her ectopic RUPTURED. she then did not get her procedure done for another 9 HOURS bc the doc was working with the lawyer for so long trying to work around the laws and not loose his liscense [sic]. by the time she had her procedure she had over 600cc of blood in her abdomen. she almost died. i am so scared of how often was as nurses are going to see things like this now and not be able to do a damn thing about it. we are all livid at huddle tonight, severl [sic] of my coworkers were in tears.

There is a difference between the medical and legal definitions of abortion

First and foremost, there is a difference between the medical definition of abortion and the legal definition of abortion. Medically speaking, an “abortion” ends a pregnancy, and often, spontaneous miscarriage is classified as a “spontaneous abortion” on medical records, which is difficult for many women grieving that loss. But legally speaking, abortion is the intentional act of killing a preborn child prior to delivery. The goal of abortion — the type of abortion that the laws restrict — is to produce a dead baby, not save a woman’s life. You can read more about that here.

OB/GYN Dr. Brent Boles spoke with Live Action founder and president Lila Rose on June 27 about ectopic pregnancy and abortion. He explained:

To define abortion as is being discussed legally and judicially, the abortion procedure or process is the use medication or procedures to end the life of a living intrauterine unborn child and empty the uterus because the pregnancy is unwanted. So that would be the definition of induced abortion, to actively take action with medication or procedures or both to end the life of the child and empty the uterus.


At one point, Dr. Boles shared a screenshot from Planned Parenthood’s website that states treating an ectopic pregnancy is not the same thing as an abortion.

Board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Christina Francis also shared the truth in a recent video, saying:

Treating ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages or other life-threatening conditions in pregnancy is not the same thing as an abortion. This is very important to clear up because I now that many women out there are feeling fearful today that they might not be able to receive life-saving care if they need it.

As a pro-life OB/GYN who’s practiced my entire career in hospitals that did not do abortions, I have never been prevented from being able to provide excellent health care to my patients and take care of these kinds of conditions in pregnancy and that’s becasue the only intent of an abortion is to produce a dead baby. That’s not the intent when we intervene to save a woman’s life if she has a ruptured ectopic pregnancy or she’s going through a miscarriage.

Again, my heart is breaking that women are being made to feel fearful by the misinformation that’s out there. Instead, women deserve to be empowered with information and they and their children deserve to recevie excellent health care.



Trigger laws include exceptions for ectopic pregnancy

Though the legal definitions are different, the pro-life trigger laws that this post references (though it is unclear exactly which trigger law they are talking about), include exceptions for either ectopic pregnancies, preterm delivery to save the life of the mother, or both. Since there is no indication of which state this horrific event happened in, it’s impossible to site that state’s specific trigger law. Here is where you can find the current laws and read the exceptions in place for medical emergencies such as ectopic pregnancy.

This doctor should be sued for negligence

Any doctor who doesn’t understand the nuances of his or her job and abandons a patient for nine hours — thereby risking her life — is guilty of medical negligence. Surgery for an ectopic pregnancy does not carry the intention of killing the child. It carries the intention of saving the mother’s life. If she dies, the baby will die too. Therefore, it is not an abortion. Abortion facilities aren’t even capable of providing such a surgery to women because it is actual medical care.

Boles told Rose that he has never, in more than 30 years as an OB/GYN, needed to use abortion to save a mother’s life. Rose asked Boles about a recent claim shared on social media from a pro-abortion OB/GYN who claimed that women need abortion for an ectopic pregnancy, and his response was:

First, I don’t believe [the case on social media was real]. I do not believe it. […] Secondly, if that was true, than the people involved in her care and the lawyers involved in her care are idiots, because if a woman has a potentially rupturing ectopic pregnancy, she needs to be taken care of immediately.

He added that prior to Roe, ectopic pregnancies were taken care of and no one was in trouble for it. “And if somebody tries to delay the care for an ectopic pregnancy now, I have to question their motivations,” he said. “Do they want that woman to be injured by a delay in care so that they can then hold her up as an example of happens? […] That’s their fault.”

Perpetuating lies

By spreading such a misconception about surgery for ectopic pregnancy being banned by pro-life laws, abortion advocates are the ones putting women in danger. Women are becoming afraid of even seeking true medical care because they don’t want to break the law or they afraid they will be denied care because disinformation is being spread. But when a pregnant woman’s life is truly on the line, doctors don’t commit abortions, they practice life-saving care.

Surgery for ectopic pregnancies is not an abortion. Yet abortion advocates continue to claim that it is — and women are going to be harmed because of that lie.

“Like” Live Action News on Facebook for more pro-life news and commentary!

What is Live Action News?

Live Action News is pro-life news and commentary from a pro-life perspective. Learn More

Contact editor@liveaction.org for questions, corrections, or if you are seeking permission to reprint any Live Action News content.

GUEST ARTICLES: To submit a guest article to Live Action News, email editor@liveaction.org with an attached Word document of 800-1000 words. Please also attach any photos relevant to your submission if applicable. If your submission is accepted for publication, you will be notified within three weeks. Guest articles are not compensated. (See here for Open License Agreement.) Thank you for your interest in Live Action News!

To Top