Ectopic pregnancy

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Medically approved
In the back alley
Not to be confused with ectoplasm

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a zygote implants itself outside the uterine cavity, usually in the Fallopian tube. Because of its relatively common occurrence (compared to, say, pregnancy as a result of rape or incest), and because of the danger it poses to pregnancy holders regardless of whether they are trying to get pregnant or not, it is often cited as an argument in favor of legal abortions (at least under certain circumstances).

How it happens[edit]

Contrary to the beliefs of those who would promote personhood laws, typically of the anti-abortion ilk, a pregnancy does not begin until the zygote implants—fertilization is not sufficient as some zygotes never implant and are flushed from the body, usually without the person ever knowing. About .5% of pregnancies are ectopic, and 98% of ectopic zygotes implant in the Fallopian tube, which is not a viable living space for a fetus.

About half of ectopic pregnancies result in a natural miscarriage through a tubal abortion, which can result in further medical complications to the pregnant person.

A dangerous condition[edit]

The direct and intentional killing of a child in the womb is not medically necessary — it never has been; it never will be. Removing an ectopic pregnancy — that’s when a baby’s in the fallopian tube and they are going to die because you can’t grow there and the mother might die because that could rupture — removing that child is not to intentionally kill that child; that’s not an abortion procedure — that’s a medical procedure because that baby’s in a hostile environment and that mother’s life is in danger. And I wish we had the medical technology to still save that baby’s life, but that is not an abortion.
Lila Rose, jumping through convoluted hoops of arbitrary definitions to justify her so-called pro-life views.[1]

Ectopic pregnancies are not only not viable — meaning the fetus will never become a human baby, except in the rarest of cases — the most likely results of this condition untreated is either miscarriage or death for both the potential human and the parent (the Fallopian tube can rupture, causing internal bleeding). If the fetus is almost certain to die no matter what course of action is taken, it's hard to argue that Mom/Dad needs to die too. The only treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is abortion, either through pharmaceutical means (e.g., the administration of methotrexate) or surgical means (e.g., a surgical abortion).

Nevertheless, the absolute necessity for abortions in these scenarios hadn't stopped anti-abortion groups (which the overall movement believes is pro-science) in the United States from still vying to support the fetus[2] (which has no chance of surviving either way) or even the fertilized egg at the expense of the entire wombs (compromised wombs means less babies, you idiots). An anti-abortion bill in Ohio that would limit insurance coverage for abortions included an exception for reimplanting ectopic pregnancies, a treatment that does not exist because it does not work.[3] Despite already being told that reimplanting ectopic pregnancies were impossible, bewildering doctors,[4] conservative Republicans had simply pushed for another, harsher bill where doctors could face murder charges and abortion was deemed illegal.[5] Some people in the anti-abortion movement do support treatment for ectopic pregnancy, but want to refer to it as not an abortion, but as a "medical procedure" (which abortion apparently isn't because some poorly thought-out definition of "it's intentional"; see why people have abortions, as circumstances are rarely "intentional") as a means of coping with cognitive dissonance.[1]

Death from an ectopic pregnancy was common in the good old days before medical scientific advancements, but still occurs in other parts of the world where women's health care is not a high priority.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Brown, L. (September 10, 2019). Fact-Checking Facebook: Pro-Life Doctors Say ‘Abortion Is Never Medically Necessary’. National Catholic Register. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  2. Osberg, M. (October 1, 2019). The Anti-Abortion Doctor Who Believes Ectopic Pregnancies Can Be 'Reimplanted'. Jezebel. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  3. Epstein, K. (May 10, 2019). A sponsor of an Ohio abortion bill thinks you can reimplant ectopic pregnancies. You can’t. Washington Post. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  4. DavidNHackney (November 19, 2019). [1] Twitter. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  5. Glenza, J. (November 29, 2019). Ohio bill orders doctors to ‘reimplant ectopic pregnancy’ or face 'abortion murder' charges. The Guardian. Retrieved November 29, 2019.