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Sorry, Reimplanting Ectopic Pregnancies Isn't a Thing

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  • Tip Bones

Ohio legislature recently made waves with House Bill 413, which in 723 pages introduces a concept called "abortion murder," which means anybody who has or performs an abortion could face 15 years in prison. But most strangely is the bill's stipulation that doctors must attempt to "reimplant" ectopic pregnancies.

Unfortunately, with our current technology, that's not possible.

Ectopic pregnancies occur when a fertilized egg becomes lodged in a fallopian tube, which carries it from the ovary to the uterus. There, it begins to develop as it would in the uterus, but it won't grow the full 40 weeks. Because the fallopian tube doesn't have the blood-red lining and perfect conditions to grow a zygote into a fully formed baby, the fetus will inevitably die.

Usually, ectopic pregnancies, when caught early enough, are terminated with a drug called methotrexate, which stops cell division. When the fetus stops growing, it is usually dissolved and absorbed.

As heartbreaking as ectopic pregnancy is, especially when the pregnancy is very much planned for and wanted, there is no current procedure to reimplant the fetus into the uterus. It's a dangerous game, then, to end an ectopic pregnancy, which if left untreated will kill the person carrying.

Whichever side of the abortion debate you stand on, it's indisputable; currently, there's no way to save an ectopic pregnancy. Maybe one day, a breakthrough will occur and help the many who mourn their lost pregnancy... but I'm afraid that will open a whole new legislative can of worms.

Photo: Ectopic pregnancy diagram. Wiki Commons.