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Letter: ND's trigger law does not make exceptions for ectopic pregnancies based on its definition of abortion

Dr. Ana Tobiasz writes, "No one is arguing that miscarriage care should not be affected by the trigger law. The problems arise due to confusion about the law."

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There are several inaccuracies in the author’s statements in the recent column “ Is scaring women considered healthcare .”

She is quoting the Abortion Control Act. Under this current law, everyone agrees that treatment for ectopic pregnancies is protected. The issue is the trigger law—which would essentially prohibit all abortions. The trigger law would likely supersede the abortion control act. The trigger law does not make exceptions for ectopic pregnancies based on its definition of abortion.

The author fails to recognize the legitimate concerns with the trigger law. There are NO exceptions but affirmative defenses. This means that a justifiable reason for a pregnancy termination could land a physician in court. Even if not criminally convicted, they must endure the stresses of going to trial and potentially lose their medical license.

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"Does North Dakota really want women with complicated pregnancies to suffer? Does North Dakota really want a critical shortage of qualified obstetricians and to imprison doctors?" columnist Jim Shaw asks. "The legislature must act."

No one is arguing that miscarriage care should not be affected by the trigger law. The problems arise due to confusion about the law. There are pharmacies across the country who are declining to dispense medications that we commonly use to prescribe for miscarriage management because these are the same medications that are used for abortion.

As a former lawmaker serving in the legislature when the trigger law was passed, one would think she would understand what the trigger law entails. It is not even referenced in her column.

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The trigger law is bad for North Dakotans. I will continue to have an honest conversation about this because I care deeply about the health of the women of this state.

Ana Tobiasz lives in Mandan, N.D.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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