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Can A Woman Die if She Can’t Have an Abortion?

Although rare, some life-threatening conditions can arise during pregnancy. If termination of pregnancy appears necessary for a situation, abortion cannot legally be denied to women. Saving a woman’s life takes significant priority in healthcare and is treated with the utmost importance.

Must a Woman Live in a State That Legalizes Abortion To Receive Life-Saving Treatment?

No, a woman does not have to live in a state that legally allows abortion to receive life-saving treatment.

A recent letter from The Health Secretary of Human Services states it is the responsibility of health care professionals to utilize their skills and resources to save a woman’s life when her health becomes endangered and necessitates emergency care. This care will not be contingent upon the laws governing abortion where the care is being given or where the woman resides.

What About Treatment for Ectopic Pregnancies and Miscarriages?

Treatment for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages differ from abortion due to what’s driving the decision for treatment.

According to the University of Missouri School of Medicine, “Induced, elective abortion is in contrast to spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage, in which the embryo or fetus is involuntarily expelled because of accidental trauma or disease.” Treatment of miscarriage occurs when a woman is obligated to safeguard her health and seek medical assistance (if needed) to remove pregnancy tissue that is already not viable. An abortion is the decision to terminate a viable pregnancy without a life-threatening diagnosis behind this decision.  

Also, treatment for ectopic pregnancy differs from abortion because it becomes necessary for the woman’s health to remove the non-viable pregnancy that is not located within the uterus. Abortion is a choice to terminate a pregnancy in the uterus. Patricia Santiago-Munoz, M.D., says, “Logically, treatment cannot be generalized as ‘abortion,’ particularly because many women with ectopic pregnancies planned to conceive and wanted to carry their pregnancies to term.”

Thus, treatment should still be accessible for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages in states that do not condone abortion. Again, women cannot be legally denied these types of life-saving treatments.

Who Can I Speak With?

If you would like to discuss options and concerns with trusted professionals, we invite you to make an appointment with us today. Our free medical-grade pregnancy tests can confirm your home test results. If your results are positive, our limited medical ultrasound will provide information on the early pregnancy risks of ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. Find out more information regarding your pregnancy and the options available for you today. Avenue Women’s Center is here to help you make an informed decision that’s right for you. 

Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.