This week, the House Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing entitled: “The Texas Abortion Ban and its Devastating Impact on Communities and Families.” The title foreshadows the conclusions the panelists are likely to reach, conspicuously coinciding with the December 1 Supreme Court oral arguments on the increasingly politicized abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women Health Organization. However, both the panel and the Court would do well to set aside politics and pre-determined outcomes and base their decisions and recommendations on medically-based, peer-reviewed evidence on the impact of elective abortion on healthcare.
All too often, I’ve seen what happens to my patients when politics enter healthcare in the form of medically uninformed policies. If the panel were genuinely interested in exploring a “devastating impact on communities and families,” it would do well to examine the catastrophic effects of abortions on women. At many emergency rooms in the country, where I practice included, when medical complications emerge after an abortion at a clinic, women are unceremoniously left on gurneys, often unable to articulate their medical history. Even though lack of communication during patient handoff has been found to be one of the leading causes of preventable medical errors, legally, the abortion provider who performed the procedure is under no obligation to provide any information. Further, many times the complications result from a lack of medical knowledge by the abortion provider. It is a little-known fact that abortion clinics nationwide can contract the services of non-Ob-Gyns to perform abortions. I am not aware of another profession in which uninformed legal policies regulate the health market for women in such an arbitrary way. Just as an endodontist would not allow a heart surgeon—however well-trained– to perform a root canal, a podiatrist should not be able to perform an abortion. In short, when it comes to women’s health, in the name of reproductive “rights,” the abortion industry and its allies are willing to lower the most basic healthcare standards.