Sometimes when a newspaper as storied as the New York Times f**ks up (again!) this badly, you really do have to turn to Wonkette to capture how dumb it is that the mainstream media continues to do these things in the name of “balance”
In case you were blessedly off Twitter on July 4, the paper of record gave space to a Leah Libresco Sargeant, a fervently anti-choice religion writer, to weaponize her own ectopic pregnancy to muddy the waters of the fetid swamp we’re swimming in after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
“Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, states face a new reality about where to draw the line in pregnancy for when abortion is permitted,” she begins. “In these debates, ectopic pregnancy is a key issue.”
Well, yes … sort of. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg attaches itself somewhere other than the uterine wall, most often to the fallopian tube, and starts burrowing into tissue where it doesn’t belong. Ectopic pregnancy is not uncommon, occurring in roughly two percent of pregnancies, and it will never lead to the birth of a baby. Left untreated, however, it can cause serious damage, rupturing fallopian tubes leading to hemorrhage, sepsis, and death.
Among doctors, there is no issue at all. But among forced birth fetishists, ectopic pregnancy is a “key issue” because they doggedly refuse to concede that this “potential life” has zero potentiality, and thus the only “moral” course is to remove it immediately, either surgically or via methotraxate, a drug which attacks the egg cells before they can damage tissue and cause the woman to bleed to death.
Before Dobbs, we saw ignoramus lawmakers proposing to criminalize surgical or pharmaceutical treatments, having somehow convinced themselves that ectopic pregnancies could be re-implanted. (They cannot.) Now, with trigger laws kicking in to make abortion illegal, doctors are terrified of running afoul of these hastily worded statutes barring abortion except to save the life and/or health of the mother, and are reportedly waiting until patients with ectopic pregnancies show signs of distress before removing a non-viable egg, lest they fall foul of some crazed district attorney who learned all the biology he needed to in church.
In this charged environment, the Times has seen fit to give Libresco Sargeant a platform to demand that we all treat these non-viable eggs like children so that she can engage in an elaborate fantasy that she gave birth, instead of having the “abortion” which was absolutely necessary to save her life and allow her to go on to have other children.
“From a pro-life perspective, delivering a baby who is ectopic is closer to delivering a baby very prematurely because the mother has life-threatening eclampsia,” she intones somberly. “A baby delivered at 22 weeks may or may not survive. A baby delivered in the first trimester because of an ectopic pregnancy definitely won’t survive. But in both cases, a pro-life doctor sees herself as delivering a child, who is as much a patient as the mother.”
Okay, look …
As someone who gave birth and suffered a miscarriage myself, I am entirely sympathetic to the loss of a wanted pregnancy. But I didn’t tell myself a fairy tale that I’d “delivered” a “child” at five weeks, and I certainly didn’t use my own loss to try to curtail other women’s choices by demanding that doctors treat a fertilized egg that will never become a baby like a “patient.”
What she said.
No matter how much pro-life people insist otherwise, ectopic implantations aren’t even “pregnancies” in the sense that a baby could ever be gestated and delivered from one.
It’s just another way that anti-abortion zealots try to muddy the waters with magical thinking.