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SQUEEKY2's avatar

Question about abortion?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (23188points) November 15th, 2022

We will use Texas as an example, if a women leaves the state to have an abortion, the state can charge her with murder on her return?
Is this true?

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48 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Not true, some of the wingnut right-wingers were talking like that and charging the out of state doctor too.

Not on their land not under their jurisdiction !

Some were saying they should, if woman’s company paid for transportation and medical expenses, sue the company.

Entropy's avatar

Not true. And I would tell those spreading that myth that it’s a BAD MOVE politically to even suggest it. The last thing Texas anti-abortion advocates should want is to give greater political weight to any movement to federalize abortion law. Right now, they have what they wanted. Abortion is a matter for the state legislatures. Pushing the boundaries of things will just give energy to those wanting to pass federal laws forcing states to have abortion legal with no time limit. In other words, return to the status quo under Roe.

So if you know someone advancing this myth…explain to them how such a move is contrary to their own interest.

JLeslie's avatar

They’re talking about trying to prosecute women who cross state lines, but they cannot do it. Not now, and hopefully not ever.

By the way, I heard this today, Georgia’s six-week abortion ban was overturned as unconstitutional.

This abortion issue has been fascinating.

seawulf575's avatar

I’d say that in Texas, leaving the state and having an abortion is not punishable under TX law

This is one of those example I mentioned in a different thread where there is a claim that seems unreasonable and which I like to go to the source documents to find the truth of the issue.

S.B.8 Also known as the Texas Heartbeat Law that went into effect in 2021 gives their overriding idea of how and when abortion should be allowed.
HB 1280 also known as the Trigger that would criminalize some abortions. It was written to go into effect if/when the SCOTUS overturned RvW. This went into effect Aug 25, 2022.
Health and Safety Code sect. 245.001 which defines the criteria for abortion facilities and sect 170A.001 which addresses when an abortion can be considered illegal.

As far as I can see, these laws pertain only to those facilities that fall under TX state law. It is unrealistic to believe that TX state law applies to other states or even to citizens that travel to other states.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s crazy that it’s MEN who seem to arguing this issue the loudest.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How would they even know if she had an abortion?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I have no idea @Dutchess_III doesn’t the Doctor have to file paper work on any abortion?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Dr. Has to file paperwork on any procedure that is done.

jca2's avatar

If the patient pays cash, I wonder what kind of paperwork needs to be part of the patient’s record.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think it makes any difference.

JLeslie's avatar

I know DeSantis was talking about new laws requiring reporting abortions, I don’t know what happened with that. That implies it wasn’t previously required, or maybe some abortions were a d some weren’t. I’m guessing there isn’t a federal requirement to report. That would be interesting to know. Interesting know how the statistics are compiled and just what is required.

Considering Roe was a right to privacy ruling, and HIPAA, it would be odd to require the names of the women, so maybe it’s just a tally? It must vary by state.

seawulf575's avatar

Abortion in TX can still happen, but if you read the rules, it requires it be done by a physician, there has to be at least the consideration of the life of the baby (possibility of having the baby early instead of abortion), and/or some threat to the mother. Non-physician abortions or self-abortions are illegal. Abortion for convenience is not a good reason in Texas.

JLeslie's avatar

^^What is non-physical abortion? Taking pills?

Dutchess_III's avatar

If a law is passed in Texas that abortions have to be reported can that be enforced if she goes to another state for the procedure?

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie That is non-physician, not non-physical. Abortions performed by non-medical doctors.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 Wait, so you can’t get an abortion, but if you get one it has to be a doctor. Got it. Plus, if a girl throws herself down the stairs to abort (doesn’t work don’t do it) she can what? Go to jail?

Meanwhile, in the state of Georgia the six week ban on abortion has been overturned by a superior court as not constitutional.

I’m getting a feeling that overturning Roe might reduce the abortion issue as a wedge issue within the next few years. That would be ironic. A lot of supposed pro-life women aren’t on board with such strict laws, and now they see they lunacy some states will inflict and maybe are realizing they won’t stop at the state level, the extremists will push for a federal law.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III HIPAA law would override that.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie All I can tell you is to read the bills for yourself. Not sure how making it illegal to have a non-doctor do the abortion is a bad thing. You know…women’s health and all that. Are you arguing that just anyone should be allowed to perform an abortion?

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 I understand why it’s good for a trained medical professional to perform a surgical abortion. On its face that sounds like it’s protecting women, I’d have to read the exact language as you point out.

Is it just surgical abortions and not medical abortions? A nurse practitioner or physicians assistant can still prescribe the pills? I don’t expect you to know, I’m just not trusting that the laws in TX are helping women to get abortions.

If an abortion is performed by someone who is not an MD or DO is the patient punished under the law?

If the state makes it so it’s difficult or illegal to get an abortion then there will be people who aren’t medical doctors doing the procedure. We can predict it by what has happened in the past. So, TX is just trying to put up all sorts of roadblocks, I don’t see it as really trying to protect women. Protecting them is making it legal.

jca2's avatar

A physician’s assistant or a family health practitioner are not doctors but I think they could handle an abortion. In NYS, that’s the law, doesn’t have to be an actual doctor that performs the abortion. A PA or a FHP is not “just anybody.” They have extensive medical training.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Please clarify your comment on HIPPA law in this case @jca2.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie I gave you the links to the actual verbiage of the TX rules. You are asking all sorts of questions that are answered right there.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: According to the HIPAA law (not HIPPA as you wrote), the provider cannot discuss treatment or who they treated with anyone other than the patient, unless the patient consents. That’s why when you go to the doctor, they make you sign forms stating that you allow the doctor’s office to communicate with your insurance company. They may also ask if there is anyone who you would like the doctor or the office to communicate with (for example, your husband or your adult children), and if so, you need to fill their names and contact information on the form, and sign it, so the doctor can speak to those people.

Therefore, if a doctor or other medical provider performs an abortion on a patient, the doctor cannot discuss the abortion with law enforcement in the state the patient lives in.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So there is no way for Texas to know a woman gets an abortion in another state? HIPPAA

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Someone could say “I know for a fact that Mary traveled to New York state and had an abortion last month” but the prosecutors would have no way of confirming that with the provider, because of the HIPAA law.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 Thanks for the links. I had skipped them and then didn’t remember you had posted them. I skimmed a little, such a pain to read the language. I’m on my phone in a hotel, so really not easy to read.

It looks like only abortion facilities need to report, which they define as more than 100 a year or if they advertise as an abortion facility, something like that. So, I’m going to guess most life threatening situations during pregnancy aren’t reported. That’s interesting and possibly the case in many states. That would mean state statistics under-represent how often a woman needs to terminate her pregnancy for health reasons.

The ectopic pregnancy line is written poorly, but I guess the intent is understood.

The line about the heartbeat is disturbing, that’s how the woman in Ireland died, her miscarrying fetus still had a heartbeat so they wouldn’t remove the baby. She died from sepsis and that story gained public attention and Ireland changed their laws so abortion is now legal.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie It sounds as if the hospital in Dublin was not following the law, but was stopping at one piece of the law. Their laws were written similarly to TX laws but they failed to follow the part about the threat to the mother. They got as far as “There’s a heartbeat!” and stopped. They told her that if she didn’t miscarry in 4 days to come back.

The questions surrounding that could open a whole can of worms concerning policies and pressures to avoid abortion at all cost to gross negligence by the doctors (there were more than one) and the hospital.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 Here’s a Wikipedia of the events that led to her death. She was miscarrying for days and things were going very wrong early. In America in the last 50 years women would usually at minimum be given a choice to get a D&C, this woman actually had the gestational sac partially out of her body and they did nothing!

The point is those doctors hesitated because of a heartbeat, which wouldn’t happen in NYC, but might happen in TX. Women don’t like the idea of taking that risk as evidenced by votes happening in several states.

This isn’t 1922, it’s 2022, and women know what happens, because we are not kept quiet now by religion, etiquette, and social norms. We tell each other when we went through something terrible. We don’t suffer in silence like the old days. Some still do, but most of us don’t. We share to help others.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So the answer is no. The woman can’t be arrested even after traveling back to the state where it’s illegal.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie as I said, it looks like she was denied the abortion not because of the law, but because of political reasons. Their law allowed abortions to be done, but only under certain circumstances such as the threat to the mother’s life….something like what she was going through. They took the first part, “Heartbeat”, and stopped at that. One has to wonder why. And it is that “why” question that is likely to expose a culture either with the doctors, the hospital, or even with the politicians in power that didn’t want abortions at all. If truly investigated, it could expose some very bad players.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 I understand your point. I don’t disagree with your point, I’m saying women want more protection than that.

We don’t want heartbeats considered at all as some sort of excuse to not help us.

Viability is something else. Once viable, even I have always said the baby is it’s own being and not dependent on the mother.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie I get it. The real question is when does life start. Some say at point of conception, but that is a difficult point to narrow down. Some say when the child is born but that is not realistic either since, as you say, viability is an issue. But even viability is sketchy. One child might make it if born at 30 weeks, another might not. The record, as far as I can see, is 21 weeks 5 days. But as modern medicine advances, that might change as well. So the “heartbeat” is chosen as a starting point. It is something that the baby is doing independent of the mother and it is a definitive thing…not depending on a random time frame.

And while it is a little shorter than what was in RvW, it isn’t really that far off. 10 weeks v 15 weeks. Beyond that, many of these laws are the same as RvW. They are NOT the same as Casey v PPP.

Any time you bring government into it, you are going to get an answer that nobody likes. And you are going to introduce a political element that can corrupt anything.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 Conception can be determined within a few days. I’m not sure why you say that is difficult.

Heartbeat is ridiculous starting point in my opinion.

Viability is a grey area; I agree with that. Basically, I define it as not needing much or not any medical help to survive outside of the womb. I would say most people feel 5 or 6 months should be the cut off, or somewhere in there.

You are correct that medical advancements change arguments around viability, and that is exactly why viability is good gauge.

I think the point is you and the pro-life movement are overfocused on the life growing inside of the mother, rather than prioritizing the pregnant woman. “Pro-life” laws value the fetus over the woman who is already here. To the Pro-life movement it doesn’t matter what the woman will be sentenced to physically or emotionally.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@JLeslie, what you just Said in the above post I agree with 100000000% the prolife movement puts the fetus above the mother, and that in my book is wrong.
And a strong argument for this is that 10 year old rape victim from Ohio.
Ohio seemed fine with making that child carry it to term,and that is as disgusting as the crime committed against that poor child.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie We really aren’t that far apart. As for the Pro-life community valuing the life growing inside the mother over the mother herself, that is partially true. Most laws have exceptions to abortion for the physical safety of the woman and pretty much everyone is okay with that. Another aspect to the pregnancy that most on the pro-choice side ignore is that the woman made a choice. She chose to have unprotected sex. Oh I know there are always the arguments about rape and incest. But that makes up a very low number of the abortions done each year. I’m not discounting them and believe there ought to be exceptions for them, but over all, the pregnancies occur due to failure to use birth control.

Pro-lifers tend to focus on the baby over the mother because the mother made a choice, the baby cannot. The mother’s choice helped create the baby. The baby has no voice and they (the pro-lifers) are trying to help protect an innocent life.

And no, I’m not excusing the man from responsibility, but for this discussion we are talking about abortion which strictly involves the woman.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 Right so the pro-lifers are making a moral or value judgement about the woman and punishing her for her “choice” as you call it. It is not for them to make that judgement and dole out that sentence, they should leave that to the woman and God. How does a baby from rape have any less value than any other baby? Yet, many of those people make exception for rape.

If they want to prevent pregnancy they should help teach people about their bodies and about birth control and make birth control very accessible and encourage the benefits of family planning and a small family. That’s tricky when religion usually encourages births to grow their numbers and in turn grow their power.

All those Bible Belt states and Christian girls having no choice or access to abort is going to result in more Christians. That’s the real plan. Those women who can’t care for or don’t want their babies can give the baby up to Christian families who will adopt. The average Christian may believe they are fighting for the innocent life, but the leaders of the movement have bigger goals.

It’s a formula used by the very religious, and those who seek power, not just Christians. It’s not easy to get an abortion in Muslim countries. It’s not easy for girls to get an education in many Muslim countries. It’s not easy for people in general to get an education in many of the Muslim countries and even many of the historically “Catholic countries” have lower levels of education than countries that separated religion from government many many years ago.

More births, more religious education, and less education overall, more dependency on the church, promoting the idea that God has a plan and just trust it. It’s all ways to control the poor, and the powerful get more power.

If you look around the world I think you would prefer to be in the countries that have more access to abortion, more access to public education, and less religion in government. To be clear I’m not saying less religion overall, people can believe and practice whatever they want as long as they aren’t harming anyone.

I’ve always appreciated living in a country of religious freedom and a country that has a majority Christian population, because historically the Christians in America understood why separation of church and state was important, but a large portion of them are screwing that up now, and not paying attention to history or the rest of the world.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie So is it your opinion that there is no education about pregnancy? Birth Control? The dangers of unprotected sex (which, by the way, goes well beyond pregnancy)? Please tell me where that exists. Not opinion…facts, please. I was around before sex education hit the school system and even then I knew that sex could cause pregnancy. And I was a child.

And I don’t think it is so much a moral judgement about the woman as it is a recognition that she made a choice. She chose to get pregnant, or at least to not take any precautions. And if that choice resulted in a pregnancy, who is to blame? The baby? That is the moral choice Pro-choicers make. They blame the baby for the mother’s choices.

When a woman gets pregnant, it can be detected within days of the actual impregnation. Not weeks, days. So let’s assume a condom is used and it broke. And the woman does not want a child. She can tell long before that baby has a heartbeat that she is pregnant. She has, in most states, the ability to terminate that pregnancy before any time limits are reached. I won’t say all states because I haven’t looked into all the laws.

And to believe it is some Christian ploy to gain power is just a loony conspiracy theory. I thought you were above that. Please, show the evidence of that claim.

jca2's avatar

“At-home pregnancy tests check for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. It’s known as the “pregnancy hormone” because it’s produced only when you are pregnant. If you have a 28-day menstrual cycle, you can usually detect hCG in your urine 12 to 15 days after ovulation.”

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Gendered Racial Projects: Anti-Trans, Anti-CRT, and Anti-Abortion Legislation by Chris A. Barcelos, PhD, MPPA

“Resisting Gendered Racial Projects

Politicians on the far-Right need desperate people with unwanted pregnancies, untreated gender dysphoria, who are ignorant about white supremacy, because they are less like to effectively oppose their legislative campaigns. This is perhaps the most important lesson to be learned from analyzing our current policy environment through the lens of a gendered racial project: The fight for abortion access is inseparable from the fights for racial justice and queer/trans liberation. The need for a vision of collective power is what I emphasized to my students during a campus rally. We must funnel our rage and despair into concrete acts of solidarity that go beyond policy reform to support ongoing grassroots organizing to protect trans kids and providing practical support for people seeking abortions. Support your local abortion fund, but don’t forget to support efforts to ensure that trans people can survive and thrive. It’s all connected. ”

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 Catholic school sex ed example

My friends who attended Catholic school in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s didn’t have any type of sex ed.

Most Christian schools emphasize not having sex and I assume it varies by sect how much information they teach about how our bodies work and how babies are made and what birth control is permissible. I wouldn’t be surprised if some inaccurate information is given out in a lot of religious schools.

When I was in 5th grade my teacher gave inaccurate information about the BC pill, but she was not the sex ed teacher, she should have deferred to the teacher who knew more when a student asked about it. The wrong information didn’t really matter in practice, it was only about how it works, but if it works or how to take it. That’s back in the ‘70’s when the pill was fairly new.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 Thanks for the correction.

Edit: although some denominations might be considered sects. Sects are more extreme I guess.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie Catholic schools from the 70’s and 80’s? That applies to today how? And really, how did it apply back then? You really believe that students didn’t understand how babies were created? That they didn’t understand what a condom was for? That they followed their school teachings 100% without wavering? And does that still exist today?

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 My sister was a Big Sister through Catholic Charities in the early 2000’s and her 14 year old little sister at one point said she was thinking about having sex with her boyfriend. My sister said to her to “make sure you use a condominium” and asked if she needed help getting birth control. The girl’s initial answer to that was, “wouldn’t that be two sins? Having sex and using birth control.” In other words she wasn’t going to use anything because of her Catholic teachings and whatever bullshit her boyfriend was feeding her. That’s how she made sense of it in her mind at the time. She probably partly didn’t become a teenage mom because of my sister. I’m sure her own mother also would have wanted her to use birth control, maybe that’s who ultimately helped her I don’t know.

I hear about some Christians promoting promise rings, promising their father’s to stay pure. That’s horrific to me and skeevy.

seawulf575's avatar

I never saw anyone with a promise ring, but I understand what they are supposed to be for. It is neither horrific nor skeevy if it isn’t corrupted. It is a dual promise. The girl is promising to listen to dad’s guidance and dad is promising to push for the best man she can find…someone that isn’t horrific and skeevy, someone that will care about her and be honest to her.

The interesting part is that I did that anyway, without a ring. I just didn’t get the promise in return. But my daughters certainly understood I wanted what was best for them.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 They have purity ceremonies with the purity rings or promise rings with multiple families present, that is skeevy to me. Who is organizing these parties for young ladies to have to go through this “public” declaration of purity? Ew. If you had a good relationship with your daughters and could talk openly about sex and your preference for them to wait, that’s great, and not icky, but this type of ceremony is horrible to me.

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