Each week I’ve added a quick tidbits section to the THCB Reader, our weekly newsletter that summarizes the best of that week’s THCB (Sign up here!). Then I had the brainwave to add them to the blog. They are short and usually not too sweet! †Matthew Holt
In this edition’s trivia, I must return to the stunning impact of the Dobbs statement. We know it will happen because it is already happening in Texas where the 6 week law was already enforced in violation of Roe v Wade†
Taxpayer money goes to “pregnancy crisis centers” that outright lie to vulnerable patients about the impact of abortions on their health. Doctors question women who have had a miscarriage – at a time that is already terrible for them, and women who have had a miscarriage are basic D&Cs are rejected– who can kill them.
Don’t get me started on the absolute nonsense that’s been talked – and put into law – about ectopic pregnancies, of which there are over 130,000 in the US each year, being performed. How unlikely is an ectopic pregnancy to be brought to term without any ill effects? Let me tell you a story. My father was an OBGYN. He and his anesthesiologist saved the life of a woman and her baby who had somehow given birth while being ectopic† During the surgery, she needed 12 pints of blood (a normal woman has 7-8 pints in her body) and he considered it the biggest surgery he did in his entire career. He thought he and the patients were very lucky. So I demand that the crazy legislation that says that ectopic pregnancies must be performed also require my father to be around to do any cesarean section. Unlikely, considering he’s dead, but no crazier than Indiana law.
Then there is the impact on telecare. Most abortions are done using drugs, but more and more pandemic-era waivers for prescribing drugs and seeing patients via telehealth across state lines are being revoked. Clearly state licensing of physicians is ridiculous in its own right in an age of online commerce, but despite the DOJ’s statements, the legality of prescribing abortifacients across state lines is very unclear and, as Deven McGraw explained in this poignant piece about THCB GangHIPAA does not protect patient privacy from local law enforcement. So what happens to someone in a state where abortion is outlawed if they have to go to the hospital because of a complication from taking an abortion? Trump thinks they should go to jail.
What is clear is that a ban on abortion does not stop abortions. But they endanger women. And if the Pregnancy Crisis Center stops a woman from having an abortion, do they help afterwards? Why yes, if you mean by “help”, they have a celebratory dinner and light a candle.
Categories: Health Policy, Matthew Holt, Medical Practice, OP-ED, Doctors