Abortion Landscape: Pregnancy Centers See Uptick In Calls Since Dobbs; Doctors Weigh In On Fetal Pain

Since the Supreme Court decided on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case in June, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade, the landscape of abortion in the United States has shifted as pregnancy centers receive more calls and the conversation changes.

States have moved to restrict abortion or increase access to the procedure. California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom even took out advertisements in Republican-led states, telling women how to get an abortion in California.

Jessica Warner of Heartbeat International told The Daily Wire that pregnancy centers have seen a change since the Dobbs decision.

“According to an informal poll we conducted at the end of July, we found that 66% of centers have seen an increase in calls since the Dobbs decision,” she said over email. “Option Line, our 24/7 national pregnancy helpline, has not seen a significant increase or decrease in contacts who are at risk for abortion, however we have noted a slight increase in those who seem to be on the fence about abortion.”

Warner said they think there has not been more of an uptick “due to the censorship we have seen from Big Tech. Google has banned the [sic] our ability to advertise Abortion Pill Reversal since September of 2021, following the Texas Heartbeat Bill being put into law.”

Warner pointed out that it is too early to tell if more women are deciding to carry their pregnancies to term after Dobbs, and “[t]he number of reversal calls has remained steady since the Dobbs decision.”

“We know that more women have obtained abortion pills through telehealth and on abortion websites since the Dobbs decision. This means that fewer women have had medical screening or ultrasound prior to [an] abortion, which puts them at risk,” Warner added when asked about the number of calls regarding complications or concerns about the abortion pill since the ruling. Google banned Heartbeat from advertising the abortion pill reversal due to the Texas Heartbeat bill financially rewarding abortion reports in a successful civil case, and with women calling the pregnancy center, they essentially admitted their attempt to get an abortion, which Google determined to be manipulative. However, Warner and other crisis pregnancy centers affected have stressed that they remained committed to protecting the privacy of every woman they counsel, no matter their previous abortion attempt.

Misinformation has also become a widespread issue when it comes to abortion and pregnancy as pro-abortion entities have attempted to skew the messaging about pro-life laws.

“Even though no pro-life laws or abortion regulation targets the mother for prosecution, we are hearing from the women the false legal concern that abortion laws are focused on women having abortions” Warner added. “There is fear of prosecution from those in states that have banned abortion if they seek reversal and report that they took the abortion pill.”

The political landscape has also changed, as Democrats seek to go after crisis pregnancy centers that help women and men facing unplanned pregnancies.

On Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris commended attorneys general as people who are “fighting on the front lines to defend our rights.”

“You are taking on, rightly, the crisis pregnancy centers, launching public education campaigns,” she said. “And in the midst of the vast amount of confusion, the need of you as the truth tellers to sort out fiction from fact and combat misinformation and disinformation, which we all know often creates a situation that is ripe for predatory practice.”

Doctors are also weighing in on the debate, although they did in the past as well. The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) notes that when abortion occurs after 15 weeks, it involves “extreme and inhumane procedures.” The group also points out that “a fetus can experience pain at least by 14 weeks … and likely earlier by 10 weeks gestation.”

Stuart Derbyshire is a neuroscientist who co-wrote a study reportedly used by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). He has argued against the concept of fetal pain for decades, but changed his belief in recent years, instead co-writing a piece that posits fetal pain experience “from as early as 12 weeks.”

Abortion is much more dangerous for the mother the later it occurs in pregnancy and “the risk of death from abortion increases by 38 percent for each additional week beyond eight weeks,” AAPLOG states.

AAPLOG “opposes abortion,” but in circumstances where there is a severe medical emergency endangering the mother’s life, the organization “believes in ‘treatment to save the mother’s life,’ including premature delivery if that is indicated,” pointing out that this is not the same as “abortion to save the mother’s life.” In this instance, AAPLOG says, “[w]e are treating two patients, the mother and the baby, and every reasonable attempt to save the baby’s life would also be a part of our medical intervention. We acknowledge that, in some such instances, the baby would be too premature to survive.”

“The intended ending of an abortion is to produce a dead embryo or fetus. The intended ending of an early separation of mother and fetus in a life-threatening situation is to save the life of the mother,” Dr. Christina Francis, Board Member and CEO-Elect of AAPLOG told The Daily Wire over email.

“If this occurs after viability (currently approximately 22-23 weeks gestation), then mom and baby can both be cared for and likely survive. In the very rare cases that this is needed pre-viability (an example would be an infection in the uterus), a separation of mother and baby can be done in a way that not only respects the dignity of both lives but also does not intend the death of the embryo/fetus. This is different from an elective abortion at these gestational ages, which is done in a manner that guarantees the death of that preborn child,” she added.

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