COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio proposal aimed at outlawing abortions would present some doctors with the choice between facing potential criminal prosecution or attempting a procedure considered medically impossible: the reimplantation of an ectopic pregnancy.
A doctor who terminates a pregnancy could face murder charges under the Republican-sponsored bill unless it is done to save a woman’s life. Even then, the proposal says doctors could be prosecuted unless they do whatever they can to preserve the pregnancy as well, including trying to move an ectopic pregnancy into the woman’s uterus.
Such a pregnancy involves a fertilized egg implanted outside the uterus, which can lead to life-threatening complications for the woman. Reimplantation in such pregnancies isn’t physiologically possible, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Ohio appears to be the first state where lawmakers have incorporated the idea into proposed law, said Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst with the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.
She said Ohio has become a sort of testing ground for new abortion restrictions in recent years.
The bill was introduced last month and referred to a committee that has yet to hear testimony on it. Messages seeking comment were left for the legislation’s main sponsors, GOP Reps. Candice Keller, of Middletown, and Ron Hood, of Ashville.
Earlier this year, the state’s Republican-dominated legislature and GOP governor approved a new law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. A federal judge has temporarily blocked that so-called heartbeat bill.