Why Ectopic Pregnancies Need To Be Treated, Not "Watched"

Within the "pro-life" community, there is a growing faction that believes that abortion is never necessary -- not even to save a mother's life.  Even in the case of ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo implants in the fallopian tube and grows until it ruptures the tube and potentially kills the mother, these zealots adhere to a "wait and see" attitude, stating "several large studies have confirmed that time and patience will allow for spontaneous regression of the tubal ectopic pregnancy the vast majority of the time."

Of course, that's totally false.  And one woman, praising the Catholic hospital that saved her life, explains why:

'The doctor told me that had it have ruptured it could have been fatal,' said Francesca. 'If it wasn't for the efficiency of the nurses and staff at the hospital I almost certainly would not be here today and for that I am eternally grateful.' It is because of them I am still here for my young son, my husband and the rest of my family.

'From my point of view it's something that shouldn't have happened; because I was left waiting for two weeks it spiralled out of control. The longer it goes on the more chance there is of it rupturing.

'It was horrible. It's actually something I'm still struggling to come to terms with,' said Francesca. 'There is a lot of anger and frustration but we are getting there.'

Originally, her general practitioner told her she was pregnant and also probably having appendicitis.  It was only after she continued to suffer from pain that he stating she was likely having a miscarriage and sent her to a hospital, where the ectopic pregnancy was discovered.  She lost a tube in the process, reducing her chances to conceive future pregnancies, a fact that she is still angry about.

The "wait and see" "baby before mother" attitude of the anti-abortion community doesn't just endanger women, but their future fertility and more potential children.  The risk of additional ectopic pregnancies rises with the removal of a tube.  In comparison, an early chemical abortion would have saved the mother both weeks of pain and the ability to easily conceive again.

This post was originally published at RH Reality Check, a site of news, community and commentary for reproductive health and justice


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