The insanity of the Left following SCOTUS’s Dobbs decision would be hilarious if it weren’t so dangerous. We’ve seen people assaulted and private property damaged in the name of protest. These temper tantrums have extended to the White House in the form of President Asterix’s Executive Order on Abortion. While the text of the order per se is not yet publicly available, the White House press release is.
Somehow Joe thinks that the feds need to “ensure…pregnant women and those experiencing pregnancy loss—have…access…[to] emergency medical care.” But that’s been the law since 1986 under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. The only reason for listing this is to make people think that Dobbs took those rights away. Somehow, Biden’s also afraid that Dobbs took away access to contraception, so that’s included. But ObamaCare mandates access to contraception and is not part of the abortion question. We must make you afraid. Be very afraid!
Now comes the Big Lie. “HHS will increase outreach and public education efforts regarding access to reproductive health care services—including abortion….” Really? Abortion is not reproductive health care and never has been. It’s not health care at all, except in extremely rare circumstances. And here, with my thirty-six years in medicine, I think I can speak with some authority.
Reproductive health care starts with medical care that helps a woman become pregnant. It then works to ensure the health of the woman and the baby during the pregnancy, and finally the healthy delivery of the baby. That’s it. The word “abortion” isn’t in that description because abortion is designed to fatally destroy reproductive health. It’s the exact opposite of reproductive “health.”
Don’t get me wrong. There are a few extremely limited circumstances where a medically performed abortion becomes proper. Basically, if prenatal studies show the baby has an unsurvivable defect, it may be appropriate to abort that baby. I have participated in one such procedure. One. In thirty-six years.
If the pregnancy will kill the mother, then neither the baby nor the mother will survive, and it is appropriate to terminate the pregnancy. I participated in one such termination. One. In thirty-six years. Unfortunately, the mother’s illness was so advanced that she did not survive, either.
These are extremely unusual and sad circumstances. My experience is almost certainly representative of the broader medical community. Some physicians in obstetrics or anesthesiology may see a few more cases and some will see none. But there simply aren’t enough to support even one abortion “clinic.” Ordinary hospitals and operating rooms are more than adequate.
While I’m ruminating on “health care,” the subject of “pregnancy loss” must be addressed. This falls into two major forms. The first is ectopic pregnancy, where the zygote typically implants in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus. As the embryo grows, it creates a life-threatening problem for the mother. It can happen for many reasons, but the most common is promiscuous sex accompanied by sexually transmitted infections. The fetus must come out for the mom to survive. It’s common and is simply not in view in Dobbs. But Biden must make you afraid.
The second form of pregnancy loss is spontaneous abortion. Most often a mother will lose a pregnancy early on due to severe fetal genetic or developmental abnormalities. We do a D&C (dilation and curettage) to remove any remaining products of conception. This prevents maternal complications. A few other mothers are “spontaneous aborters” due to having an incompetent cervix. Of interest, women who’ve had multiple Planned Parenthood abortions are significantly more likely to abort spontaneously.
Joe can’t let you know the truth. So, he wants to convene volunteer lawyers to “protect the right to travel out of state to seek medical care.” Under the Constitution, we all have the right to travel for whatever reason we want. It doesn’t need to be protected because it’s universally known to be the law. But you must be made fearful. Be very afraid.
The only place where the EO actually enters into the realm of reality is its discussion of HIPAA. Patient privacy has been the law since 1996. Every time you visit a doctor, you must sign a HIPAA form that says who is allowed to know about your medical care. And this does create a question about how state prohibitions on abortion might be enforced. Because your care is privileged, I can’t walk into a clinic and ask if you had an abortion. But states have other tools.
First, any facility that provides medical care is licensed by the state. This means that it is inspected, and its records are examined. If the facility is found to be violating state law, it can be shut down. So, the little abortion clinic I drive by regularly won’t need its cadre of life defenders on the sidewalk.
Abortion proponents like to scream “My body, my choice!” And that’s true. But if you made the choice to have unprotected sex, it’s no longer just your body. There are now two bodies. And your task is to protect that defenseless child. “But it’s not a child because it can’t survive outside the womb!” At this point, I must ask how many twenty-somethings carrying their protest signs can survive by themselves. But that might require Lefties to think.
Ted Noel MD is a retired Anesthesiologist/Intensivist who podcasts and posts on social media as DoctorTed and @vidzette. His DoctorTed podcasts are available on many podcast channels.