GOP Lawmaker: I Didn’t Study Ectopic Pregnancies Before Writing Bill About Them
Ohio state Rep. John Becker, who introduced a bill that would extend insurance coverage to an impossible medical procedure for reimplanting ectopic pregnancies, admitted he did not look into the matter before writing his bill, according to The Associated Press.
Becker said he has “heard about [reimplantation] over the years” but “never questioned it or gave it a lot of thought” — apparently not even before writing a bill addressing the matter.
The AP said Becker’s legislation — which he wrote together with Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio lobbyist Barry Sheets — “prohibits insurers from covering abortion services, but provides an exception for a procedure ‘intended to reimplant’ an ectopic pregnancy in a woman's uterus.”
According to emails, Sheets urged Becker to push back on a Maryland geneticist’s concerns over the science used to back up the bill’s provision — a scientific journal article from 1980, and another from 1917.
The geneticist was concerned that the lawmaker “was promoting a rarely used procedure without knowing the possible side effects,” the AP reported, leading Sheets to counter: “The ‘side-effects’ are that the embryo was carried to full-term and a baby was given birth to, according to the 'case reports.’ What are the 'side-effects' on the current treatment for ectopic pregnancies on the embryo? Oh, that's right — death.”
Becker was not aware of the articles until The Cincinnati Enquirer requested documented examples of research showing the procedure was feasible, he said. He later acknowledged that there is no standard procedure for reimplanting an ectopic pregnancy.