Some physicians concerned about gray area caused by new abortion trigger laws

·2 min read

More abortion “trigger laws” are taking effect nationwide.

Trigger laws are bans on abortion that were enabled upon the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

In some cases, these laws will allow abortions during medical emergencies, but it varies from state to state.

Now many physicians are facing the delicate balance of trying to follow these new laws without breaking their medical oath to do no harm.

“We’re kind of flying by the seat of our pants trying to do the best that we can, but I can tell you that we’re going to feel like we failed a lot of women,” said Dr. Tosha Rogers, an OB-GYN from Atlanta, Georgia.

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Rogers said the new abortion trigger laws are terrifying because doctors are in legal limbo about when they can intervene.

Some laws make exceptions if the mother’s life is in jeopardy or to prevent serious injury. Other laws, like the one in Louisiana, states that the “physician shall make reasonable medical efforts” to save the lives of both the mother and unborn child.

“Between a miscarriage and a woman who hasn’t attempted an abortion on her own, there is no difference; and when they walk into the hospital, it is the same clinical picture,” said Rogers. “So are we not going to help them? Are we going to help them? Are we going to allow them to get to a point where they’re critical?”

Other doctors believe these laws won’t change how they practice.


“I think that these laws will improve the practice of OB-GYN, as we will be consistently respecting both the mother and her unborn child,” said Dr. Ingrid Skop, an OB-GYN from San Antonio, Texas. She’s also a member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Skop said she wants state medical organizations to work with legal advisors to interpret the law for doctors to help avoid confusion and misinformation.

“They already have committees in place to help doctors in situations where it’s not clear what should be done,” said Skop. “And those committees should be able to intervene in a moment’s notice in the case of an emergency, to help the physician to know is this an appropriate situation in which a woman can be separated from her baby.”

There’s also concern among some doctors who are worried about an increase in women using abortion pills without proper medical guidance.

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