In an American Independent article about medication abortion restrictions under consideration in Texas, former Leadership Training Initiative Fellow Lisa Perriera, MD, MPH, explained how similar limits in her home state, Ohio, have hurt her patients’ health.
For instance, the Ohio law requires women to take misoprostol on site when they receive it, rather than allowing them to take it later at their convenience. As a result, Dr. Perriera’s patients have had side effects occur on the drive home: “We have patients that have to travel as far as five hours in a car while the abortion process starts—that’s just not fair.”
After Texas governor Rick Perry declared his hopes for a ban on abortions after 20 weeks in pregnancy, Physicians for Reproductive Health board member Curtis Boyd, MD, wrote in the Houston Chronicle: “Such laws are dangerous to the health of women. I see [the women needing abortions after 20 weeks] every day and hear their stories. There is no one better qualified to make decisions regarding her body and life than the pregnant woman in consultation with her doctor and family.”
Dr. Boyd then stated his unequivocal support for his patients in the face of legislation meant to “burden and punish women” and “intimidate” physicians: “I have provided abortion care for over 40 years. I will not back down now.”
Former Leadership Training Academy Fellow Erin Hendriks, MD, published a letter in the the Detroit Free Press, objecting to a bill passed by the Michigan legislature that would allow health care providers to deny patients medical services, including abortion and contraception, according to the providers’ religious or moral beliefs. Dr. Hendriks wrote: “This bill ultimately seeks to limit access for women to reproductive health care. As a doctor, I cannot think of anything I object to less than a woman seeking to responsibly plan pregnancy.” Her letter is the third on the page.
Board chair Douglas Laube, MD, MEd, spoke to the Wisconsin State Journal about a lawsuit against recently passed legislation that has made it nearly impossible for Wisconsin women to access medication abortion. Among the multiple reasons women deserve the option of medication abortion, Dr. Laube noted that surgical abortion isn’t an option in the early weeks of pregnancy, and without medication abortion, some women must now wait longer to end their pregnancies. Read the article here.