Saturday, August 20, 2016

How Abortion Restrictions Harm Patient Care

Huffington Post (August 12, 2016): What It's Like to Provide Abortions Where Access is Almost Non-Existent, by Catherine Pearson:

Legal restrictions on abortion provision in different states can have a major impact on doctors' ability to provide care.  Dr. Erin King who practiced medicine in Chicago Illinois before moving to St. Louis, Missouri describes how restrictions in Missouri affect doctors and the patients they serve. 

In Chicago, abortion provision was part of Dr. King's OB/GYN residency and abortion was not viewed as separate from the other gynecology services she provided.  In St. Louis, patients who seek an abortion have to be referred out to abortion clinics which are often targeted by protesters who seek to intimidate providers and patients.  Many women from Missouri travel to the Hope Clinic in Granite City, Illinois which is near the Missouri border.  In addition to her private practice in Missouri, Dr. King is the Hope Clinic's Interim Exective Director.

I get asked a lot why I provide abortion care in Illinois, and not Missouri, and one of the main reasons is that [by working in a state with relatively few abortion restrictions], I’m able to treat my patients with the respect they deserve. I don’t have to put them through a certain consent process with mandated wording that may be very offensive to some women, or follow a set waiting period. I feel that women are smart and responsible and don’t need a lot of rules from the state about their bodies. Illinois has become a place that women can come get abortions with fewer burdens on them, and we can provide them with good medical care without having to do or say things that are offensive to them, or that imply they haven’t already thought really hard about their decision before they picked up the phone to make an appointment.

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