Planned Parenthood alters language, blurs distinction between abortion and ectopic pregnancy

Parent Parenthood alters language, blurs distinction between abortion and ectopic pregnancy

Last week Planned Parenthood changed the language on their website that distinguishes between an abortion and an ectopic pregnancy, according to a new report from The Hill.

The change was implemented after heated debate over whether the Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, which resulted in bans on abortions by legislators in some states, would prevent women from being treated for ectopic pregnancies, which is a life-threatening condition.

Abortion advocates claim that laws prohibiting abortion will make it more difficult or even outlaw necessary treatment for women suffering from an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage. They argue that state abortion limits are not clear about whether the treatment of an ectopic pregnancy is permitted and have made assumptions that doctors are declining to treat them in states that enforce anti-abortion laws.


Since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, several states have banned abortion, and five have implemented bans that are currently blocked in court.

According to the Mayo Clinic, an ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus, often in the fallopian tubes. Because the embryo is unable to survive outside the uterus, it may need to be  removed using surgery or medication. Heavy bleeding and even death can occur if the embryo ruptures the tube.

The Hill reported on Tuesday that the Planned Parenthood page previously stated the following on abortion and ectopic pregnancy: “Abortion is a medical procedure that when done safely, ends a pregnancy that’s in your uterus. Ectopic pregnancies are unsafely outside of your uterus (usually in the fallopian tubes), and are removed with a medicine called methotrexate or through a laparoscopic surgical procedure.”

The new language used by Planned Parenthood removed the sentence about ending a pregnancy in a uterus, and begins by discussing the location of an embryo during an ectopic pregnancy. Additionally a sentence was altered on their website that previously said: “The medical procedures for abortions are not the same as the medical procedures for an ectopic pregnancy,” now reading, “The medical procedures for terminating a pregnancy in the uterus are usually different from the medical procedures for terminating an ectopic pregnancy.”

The Hill reached out for comment to Planned Parenthood. Adrienne Verrilli, vice president of communications and culture, provided a statement that said the website’s language had been updated to prevent information from being “twisted” by pro-life advocates.

Alexandra DeSanctis Marr, a writer for the National Review, commented on the Planned Parenthood’s sly maneuver. “Until just last week, even the website of Planned Parenthood explicitly stated that ectopic-pregnancy treatment is not an abortion,” Marr writes.

“But then the abortion business erased that clarifying information in an effort to perpetuate the tide of misinformation, intentionally blurring the lines between actual health care aimed at saving a mother’s life and abortion procedures, which intend to cause the death of an unborn child.”

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