While President Donald Trump delivers them the de facto cover of an utterly off the rails federal government, Republicans across the country are continuing to push their radical agenda. In recent days, Ohio Republicans in the state legislature introduced an outlandish new anti-abortion bill into law that demands a procedure that simply does not exist be performed unless doctors are ready to face charges of “abortion murder.” The bill demands that ectopic pregnancies be implanted into the uterus, but there is, quite simply, absolutely no even remotely documented way to do that.
Ectopic pregnancies — those that begin outside of the uterus — pose extreme dangers to the lives of the women carrying them. The Guardian notes that they “can kill a woman if the embryonic tissue grows unchecked.” Yet, Ohio Republicans seem much less concerned about this possibility than they are with pushing their extreme ideology of protecting tissue that could possibly turn into a person at all costs. Meanwhile, actual people continue to suffer while they turn a blind eye.
Adding insult to injury, and ultimately severely undercutting the GOP’s already utterly outlandish assertion that they’re the real “pro-life” ones, their new legislation includes provisions for life in prison for people as young as 13 if they receive or provide an abortion, and it also establishes a new crime — “aggravated abortion murder” — that can earn the death penalty.
In response to news of state Republicans’ latest partisan gambit, Ohio obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. David Hackney wrote on Twitter:
‘I don’t believe I’m typing this again but, that’s impossible. We’ll all be going to jail.’
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ Dr. Chris Zahn added:
‘There is no procedure to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy… Reimplantation is not physiologically possible. Women with ectopic pregnancies are at risk for catastrophic hemorrhage and death in the setting of an ectopic pregnancy, and treating the ectopic pregnancy can certainly save a mom’s life.’
The last time that Ohio introduced a radical anti-abortion bill, it ended up blocked from ever taking effect, although Republican Governor Mike DeWine even signed it. That earlier 2019 bill would have confined all legal abortions to the period very, very early in pregnancy when most women don’t even know that they’re pregnant. It also included similar provisions demanding the still medically impossible re-implantation of an ectopic pregnancy.
The legislation is part of an ongoing wave of similar legislation from state Republicans around the U.S., all of whom have so far failed in their apparent push to force a showdown over abortion at the U.S. Supreme Court. There, Republican extremists hope that they could enact the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which established the nationwide legal access to abortion that continues to this day. At present, thanks to the appointment of two justices to the court by President Trump, the court has a conservative lean.
Trump has expressed support for anti-abortion advocates at times, and his second-in-command Mike Pence has been more explicit. At one point, he insisted that the Trump administration could see Roe overturned.