In June 2022, the Supreme Court made a decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. With this change, many contradictory reports were shared in the public square, creating confusion as to what this meant for the average citizen. Perhaps that’s you – confused about what the overturning of Roe means for you?
You can choose how to respond to this shift in our country – will you allow yourself to be led by fear and risk making a decision too quickly without considering all your options? Or, will you take the time to breathe, learn all there is to know about the details of your unique needs, and make an informed, confident choice?
There is still a wide variety of options available to you, as well as supportive resources and compassionate help. Before we explore more on that, let’s take a moment to dispel some of the common myths about what the overturning of Roe means for you in the state of Maryland.
Fiction: All abortions were banned when Roe was overturned.
Fact: In Maryland, abortion is legal for any reason up until the point of viability. Abortion availability now depends on state laws.
Maryland state law allows for the availability of abortion procedures with no restrictions, up until the point of viability. This is generally understood across medical communities as about 24 weeks gestation, or the point at which a fetus could survive outside of the womb. However, in Maryland, there is no hard date of gestation outlawing abortion.
The availability of abortion in Maryland includes both the abortion pill (also known as medical or medication abortion) as well as surgical abortion (an in-clinic procedure). The abortion pill is to be used for the termination of early pregnancies – up to 10 weeks gestational age is approved by the FDA – while in-clinic procedures are required past this point in pregnancy.
Because how far along you are may determine what options are available to you, it’s imperative that you find out this key information before making your next steps. The best way to do this is through an ultrasound exam, which can also draw attention to any medical complications you may need to be aware of such as ectopic pregnancy.
Fiction: Abortion bans in certain states affect medical care for the treatment of ectopic pregnancies.
Fact: No existing state law bans or restricts vital care to treat ectopic pregnancies.
Removing an ectopic pregnancy may seem similar in practice to an abortion procedure. However, in reality, these are very different medical treatments that have unique concerns and implications.
Ectopic pregnancies – pregnancies that grow outside of the uterus, typically in the fallopian tube – are non-viable, meaning they cannot progress without causing harm to the woman. Delays in treatment could have lasting negative effects. Because of this, no state law restricts ectopic pregnancy care. This includes the use of methotrexate (a drug) to end an ectopic pregnancy or emergency surgery to remove the pregnancy from a woman’s body. This medical care is considered to be vital, emergency intervention across professional medical communities, regardless of a state’s law restricting or allowing elective abortion.
Think you might be pregnant? Receiving specialized in-person care is very important. Ultrasound exams and other hands-on confirmations can help you ensure that you are not at risk of or in need of immediate medical care for ectopic pregnancy or other complications. Get peace of mind today by scheduling your free viability ultrasound appointment.
Fiction: Care to treat miscarriages, which has some similarities in procedure to abortion, will be restricted as well.
Fact: No state law restricts or punishes the use of procedures for miscarriage care (after fetal death).
Some alarm was raised following the overturning of Roe that abortion restrictions might affect access to miscarriage care, as sometimes following an incomplete miscarriage a woman may need to receive a procedure known as a D&C (dilation & curettage) – a procedure used in some surgical abortions.
However, both medical communities and legislation recognize the distinct difference between the use of this procedure following fetal death versus elective termination of an otherwise viable (progressing and healthy) pregnancy. There is no existing state law that restricts or punishes the use of this procedure or others for the purposes of miscarriage care.
Your risk of miscarriage may be another important detail that informs your next medical steps and is another piece of information that an ultrasound can help you determine. Schedule your appointment today to have confidence that you are pursuing the healthiest option for you.
Fiction: After the overturning of Roe, the only way to get an abortion is by ordering pills online.
Fact: There are many options available to you, and taking medication from an online source without in-person medical care can be dangerous. Learn about your unique needs first.
Ordering pills online may seem like a simple solution. But the truth is, without seeing a medical professional in person first to determine your unique needs and concerns, you may be risking your health and safety. For example, as the abortion pill is only approved by the FDA for the termination of pregnancies up to 10 weeks, if you have not received an ultrasound to determine how far along you are, it’s possible your dating may be off and you may be putting yourself at risk for incomplete abortion or other complications.
Ensure you are making a confident choice in your next steps. At the Women’s Clinics Maryland, we can help you navigate your pregnancy decision through personalized medical care at no cost to you and helpful information on your options. Schedule your appointment today to prioritize your health and get your questions answered.