- Jul 28, 2000
- Eugene, OR
- Basic Beliefs
Medical Impact of Roe Reversal Goes Beyond Abortion Clinics, Doctors Say - The New York Times - Sep 10 - "State abortion bans carry narrow but sometimes vague exceptions, and years of prison time. That’s forcing doctors to think like lawyers, and hospitals to create new protocols."
However,In Wisconsin, a group of doctors and lawyers is trying to come up with guidelines on how to comply with a newly revived 173-year-old law that prohibits abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman. They face the daunting task of defining all the emergencies and conditions that might result in a pregnant woman’s death, and the fact that doctors could be punished with six years in prison if a prosecutor disagrees that abortion was necessary.
A similar task force at an Arizona hospital recommends having a lawyer on call to help doctors determine whether a woman’s condition threatens her life enough to justify an abortion. Already, the hospital has added questions to its electronic medical forms so they can be used to argue that patients who had abortions would have died without them.
And in Texas, oncologists say they now wait for pregnant women with cancer to get sicker before they treat them, because the standard of care would be to abort the fetus rather than allow treatments that damage it, but a state law allows abortion only “at risk of death.” Some hospitals have established committees to evaluate whether a pregnancy complication is severe enough to justify an abortion.
But that evades the issue of how sick a patient has to be before she may get an abortion.Some anti-abortion doctors argue that the concerns about not being able to provide lifesaving abortion care are overblown — “blatantly absurd,” as Dr. Christina Francis, the chair of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said at a congressional hearing in July.
“Not a single state law restricting abortion prevents treating these conditions,” Dr. Francis argued, because they make exceptions for any life-threatening emergency.
Seems almost like an abortion with some other name.Anti-abortion groups contend that life-threatening conditions are rare in pregnancy and can be treated by inducing labor or performing a C-section rather than an abortion. “Even if the baby does not survive,” wrote Dr. Ingrid Skop, an obstetrician and the director of medical affairs at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, an anti-abortion group, “these humane procedures allow a grieving family to show love and say good-bye.”
The Biden administration wrote medical providers in July, reminding them that they had to comply with a federal law known as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. The law requires emergency rooms to provide stabilizing treatment to any patient who arrives with an emergency condition or in labor, or transfer them to a hospital that can provide it. That, the letter said, meant they “must provide” an abortion, even in states that ban it, if it is required to stabilize a woman’s health.