Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been spouting some dangerous misinformation since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Dobbs ruling reversed Roe and Casey.
This is reckless because it’s simply untrue. Dobbs will not affect lifesaving medical care for high-risk pregnancies.
The big problem is that many people assume that “because AOC said it, it must be right.” And in the current, highly charged political atmosphere, her provocative words — and those of others in the media spotlight — are like lightning rods. Many have already turned her medically and legally inaccurate statement into a rallying cry, designed to scare every woman in America.
In doing so, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez does a disservice to science, medicine, and the health of women. America deserves the truth.
Of course, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez isn’t the only one spreading wild and reckless claims that women will die because of the Supreme Court’s decision. A former CNN columnist actually tweeted: “Do I abort this ectopic pregnancy to literally save my life or do I go to jail? Question women in America now have to ask.”
An ectopic pregnancy happens early in pregnancy when an embryo implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube, and the fetus has no chance of surviving to a live birth. This occurs in 1-2% of pregnancies in the U.S., but accounts for 4-10% of pregnancy-related deaths. The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists affirms: “Ectopic pregnancy is a dangerous condition that requires that the pregnancy end.” As soon as it’s diagnosed, physicians will treat an ectopic pregnancy because the mother’s life is at risk. It’s a routine obstetric procedure that is not the same as an elective abortion, and it’s not jeopardized in any way by the Dobbs ruling.
Even Planned Parenthood admits that “treating an ectopic pregnancy isn’t the same thing as getting an abortion.” Ending a non-viable ectopic pregnancy is lifesaving medical care. And lifesaving care will not be affected by the Dobbs decision.
Women are also being falsely told they’ll be unable to get treatment for miscarriages and other life-threatening conditions in pregnancy, such as pre-viable, pre-term, premature rupture of membranes (PPPROM). Medical professionals who regularly treat women facing challenging and even traumatic pregnancies know that standard medical procedures are available to successfully treat these situations without resorting to abortion. For any medical professionals who might be confused as to the legality of common procedures, the state medical associations should be providing guidance, as they do for all other state laws related to medical care.
The overwhelming majority of OB/GYNs do not perform abortions. That’s great news for women’s health because it’s much safer for a woman to be treated by her own obstetrician in a medical setting with access to emergency care than in an abortion facility where the prime objective is to end the unborn baby’s life, not save lives.
Problems with U.S. data
The statement from Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and even part of Justice Breyer’s dissent in Dobbs are based on woefully inadequate data from the Centers for Disease Control. The quality of U.S. maternal mortality data is quite poor. Several states with the highest estimated numbers of abortions don’t even report their data. In states which do report abortion statistics, data is inconsistent. This creates a black hole from which abortion advocates pull flawed statistics claiming childbirth is more dangerous than abortion.
In fact, multiple studies in Scandinavian countries with more robust data show that the risk of premature death from abortion is almost 4 times greater than the risk of dying from childbirth.
Prescription of misinformation pills
It’s heartbreaking that millions of women across our nation are being fed the abortion industry’s prescription of misinformation.
Like Big Tobacco from the 1950s into the 1990s, the abortion industry and their allies in the media feed America these falsehoods and political rhetoric in an effort to manipulate a public health debate.
Those of us in the pro-life movement – often maligned or even ignored in the heavily pro-abortion media — are well aware of the actual facts. Many of us are on the frontlines of cutting-edge research, are successfully treating difficult pregnancies every day, and are caring for both pregnant women and their unborn babies.
Community-based pro-life pregnancy centers have saved more than 800,000 lives since 2016, according to new research by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Ask yourself: why doesn’t the media tell you that?
Regrettably, the mouthpieces in the pro-abortion machine — agitated by Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion radicals — are bent on pushing abortion as “the solution,” no matter the human cost.
The human cost since Roe v. Wade? More than 63 million aborted babies and countless harms to women and their families.
Don’t give credit to the false claims of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and other pro-abortion radicals. Women have nothing to fear. People will not die because of the Supreme Court’s decision. Rather, millions of American babies and their mothers will live — and have the opportunity to thrive together.
Dr. Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D., is a Harvard-trained scientist who serves on the Biden Administration’s Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant and Maternal Mortality.
Dr. Ingrid Skop, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., is a board-certified OB/GYN who has delivered more than 5,000 babies and cared for countless women with high-risk pregnancies.