U.S. pregnant cancer patients may die due to risk of illegal abortion: media

LOS ANGELES, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Pregnant cancer patients may die in the United States because doctors fear treating them could count as illegal abortion, reported Business Insider on Tuesday, citing experts.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade is likely to end in the deaths of cancer patients who become pregnant by preventing them from getting treatment, experts told the American financial and business news website.

A wave of protests and outrage swept the United States after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1973 landmark decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

The experts warned that doctors may fear giving some treatments if they could lead to ending the pregnancy, which could risk breaking the state laws banning abortion, even when someone needs it, said the report.

Before the Supreme Court ruling, pregnant people and doctors could decide on treatment like this based only on medical factors and make their own judgments about the risk to a pregnancy. But more-restrictive laws could make doctors reluctant to give treatments even when the patient needs it to survive, for fear of being charged with illegally delivering an abortion, according to the report.

Providers are at risk if they are found guilty of unlawfully helping to terminate a pregnancy, Katie Keith, director of the Health Policy and the Law Initiative at the O'Neill Institute, told Business Insider.

"You're putting physicians in an impossible situation and they're not going to provide the care for fear of the liability," Keith was quoted saying by the news outlet, adding that "We're now in sort of this hellscape of a very state-by-state situation."

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