Planned Parenthood disseminates lies about ER care and abortion on Instagram

Planned Parenthood

On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood shared a post on Instagram further spreading misinformation on abortion as “life-saving ER care.” The post, shared in partnership with Impact, “the digital destination for young people shaping the future,” falsely claimed that a case currently at the Supreme Court could end up ‘forcing’ emergency rooms to “deny pregnant people life-saving ER care.”

The case

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday in Moyle v. United States and Idaho v. United StatesIn 2022, two lawsuits were filed in federal court regarding the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). In one case, Texas sued the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), arguing that EMTALA does not authorize the federal government to “compel” doctors to commit abortions on pregnant women at the ER. In the other case, the HHS sued the state of Idaho in an attempt to block the enforcement of its pro-life law, claiming that it conflicts with EMTALA. The Texas case and the Idaho case had two different outcomes.

A federal district court initially ruled that the Idaho law conflicted with EMTALA because it had an “affirmative defense” for abortion in a medical emergency instead of an exception. The court blocked the law based on that, though after the decision, the state legislature replaced the affirmative defense clause with a health exception. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals later reinstated the lower court’s ruling blocking the provisions of Idaho’s law that it said conflicted with EMTALA. Idaho appealed to the Supreme Court, which took up the case and heard opening arguments on April 24. The Supreme Court is allowing Idaho to continue enforcing the law while it hears the case.


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In Texas, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that blocked HHS from enforcing EMTALA’s abortion-related rules in the state, and on April 1, 2024, the Biden administration appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court asking the Court to hold the case pending a decision in the Idaho case.

Hospitals forced to deny care

“Hospitals might soon be forced to deny pregnant people life-saving ER care. Unless the Supreme Court takes action, states that ban abortion will endanger pregnant people’s lives,” Planned Parenthood claimed. It continued, “… Texas emergency rooms now turn away pregnant patients in medical crises who need an abortion.”

Turning away pregnant patients who are facing a medical emergency would be negligent.

EMTALA only requires that hospitals that receive federal Medicare funds provide stabilizing treatment to patients in the emergency room during a medical emergency. It does not require that the ER commit abortions, which is the act of intentionally and deliberately killing the preborn child and is not “necessary emergency care” as Planned Parenthood claimed. The role of an ER doctor is to stabilize and treat patients before referring them for admission to the hospital or further care from other doctors of specific specialties.

The federal district court that ruled in the Texas case explained, “The [HHS] Guidance goes well beyond EMTALA’s text, which protects both mothers and unborn children, is silent as to abortion, and preempts state law only when the two directly conflict.”

The only procedures prohibited by pro-life laws are the ones that involve intentionally killing the child before delivery. And intentionally killing the child is not necessary before an emergency delivery.

‘Life-threatening situations’

“Soon, the U.S. supreme court will decide once and for all whether pregnant people are entitled to receive emergency abortion care,” said Planned Parenthood, “However, some states only allow abortions in ‘life-threatening’ situations, not when a patient faces serious threats to their health.” The group erroneously claims that in cases such as a patient possibly losing her uterus, water breaking “dangerously early,” uncontrolled bleeding, and pre-eclampsia, abortion is the necessary treatment, and added, “Federal law requires hospitals to provide necessary emergency care to patients in medical crises. This includes abortion care…”

This is inaccurate.

Women who are facing medical complications during pregnancy do not go to the ER to have their baby intentionally killed but in hopes of receiving quality health care for both themselves and their babies. If doctors are unable to offer any other treatment and the pregnancy must end immediately, the doctor can perform an emergency delivery. He doesn’t need to take the time to kill the baby prior to that delivery — and good doctors know this.

Still, Planned Parenthood shared two recent stories to gain compassion for the intentional killing of preborn children. The first story came out of Florida and involves Anya Cook, who was 16 weeks pregnant when her water broke. She went to the ER, where the doctor diagnosed pre-viability premature rupture of the membranes, or PPROM.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Preterm PROM (or PPROM) is when the amniotic sac breaks before 37 weeks of pregnancy. If your pregnancy is fewer than 37 weeks and your membranes rupture, your pregnancy care provider will decide if delivery is necessary or if they can delay labor. Allowing a pregnancy to continue after the membranes rupture increases your chances of infection and other complications.”

Cleveland Clinic states, “Your provider will keep you in the hospital on bed rest and attempt to prolong the pregnancy.” In addition, treatments may include steroids to develop the baby’s lungs, antibiotics to prevent infection and prolong the pregnancy, medication to stop labor, and magnesium sulfate to help the baby’s brain. The mother should also be monitored for signs of infection so it can be treated.”

Nothing on the Cleveland Clinic site states that abortion is the standard of care. Yet, according to reports, Cook was not offered any of these standards of care and was, instead, sent home with ‘antibiotics and prayer.’ The next day, she miscarried at the hair salon and lost nearly half of her blood volume. Planned Parenthood blamed what happened to Cook on Florida’s law protecting preborn children from abortion; however, the problem was that ER staff acted with negligence in sending Cook home and failing to properly assess her.

Planned Parenthood also shared the story of a woman in Oklahoma named Jaci Statton who was suffering from a molar pregnancy, which occurs during an error in fertilization, and a noncancerous tumor is formed instead of a placenta. The cells that grow are abnormal, according to the Cleveland Clinic, and there is no chance of life. If she does not miscarry naturally, the woman may need surgery. Like surgery for an ectopic pregnancy, surgery for a molar pregnancy would not be considered an induced abortion because it does not carry the intention to cause a preborn baby’s death. But hospital staff in Oklahoma, rather than treat her, sent Statton home and told her they couldn’t care for her unless she was sicker.

In both of these cases, it seems that a complete (intentional or unintentional) misunderstanding of the law and the difference between abortion and preterm delivery led to what was likely medical neglect.

It isn’t the laws that are causing these concerning events to unfold; it’s potentially medically negligent doctors and nurses who don’t know the law or are looking to blame the law who are the problem. No matter what SCOTUS decides, abortion will remain medically unnecessary. No doctor should be forced by any law to carry out the violent intentional killing of a preborn human being.

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.


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