On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. This decision has led to confusion and questions about abortion access across the United States.
Here are facts to help bring more clarity about the recent legal changes.
Fact: States Now Determine Abortion Laws.
By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court essentially returned the power to create local abortion laws back to the state lawmakers. Now, every state in the U.S. has its own unique set of laws, restrictions, and regulations.
Access to abortion still exists in Pennsylvania. In our state, abortion is legal up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. On the other hand, West Virginia enacted a complete ban on abortion unless the woman’s life is endangered.
Due to this, women may travel to neighboring states in pursuit of different abortion laws because abortion is not banned nationwide.
Fact: Women Can Receive Life-Saving Care in Every State.
Even in states where abortion is banned, women can receive life-saving procedures.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to healthcare providers to reaffirm they can take emergency actions due to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA).
This announcement means abortions can be performed in emergency situations.
Fact: Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment Is Not Abortion.
After the Court overturned Roe v. Wade, there was a lot of attention on ectopic pregnancy and how changing laws could impact access to treatment.
Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy located outside of the uterus and can be life-threatening. It’s usually treated with methotrexate or a surgical procedure. Since this type of pregnancy is non-viable and not located in the uterus, it is not considered an abortion.
Due to the nature of ectopic pregnancy and its specific need for treatment, no matter the changes in abortion laws, ectopic pregnancy treatment will remain available to all who need it.
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