Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Expanding rather than dropping coverage

Immediately after the trial of Kermit Gosnell, people began to criticize the media for not adequately covering the trial and to criticize all abortion providers, accusing them of being complicit with these types of practices.  By criticizing the abortion providers, they were able to limit access by women to various abortion providers.  While many states have used these criticisms to do this, California has bucked the trend.  Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 154 into law.

AB 154, known as the Early Access to Abortion Bill, enables trained nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants to provide first trimester abortions by vacuum aspiration.  Nearly one in three women will have an abortion by the age of 45.  But thanks to restrictive laws being passed in various states, the number of abortion providers is stagnating or declining.

In California, over half of women do not have access to an abortion provider.  Nationally, it's even worse.  Only 13% of counties even have an abortion provider in them.  The complication rate during abortions performed by vacuum aspirations were the same among nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants as they were with physicians, at less than 2%.

It's a simple idea.  If you allow more access to early abortion services, you will lessen the amount of late term abortions.  The idea that shutting down abortion clinics will cause late-term abortions to decline is a logical fallacy.  According to a 2006 study, 58% of those who had late-term abortions would have wanted an abortion earlier.  The reason why they did not have one before then, was more often than not, because it took too long to arrange an abortion.

A separate study in 2008 found that inaccurate referrals, difficulty finding an appropriate provider, and the time needed to collect the money all played roles in delaying abortions.  Earlier abortions are less complicated and cheaper.  This would contribute heavily into limiting the number of late-term abortions, which resulted in the horror show that was Kermit Gosnell.  Unfortunately, a number of pro-life groups are arguing against this law saying that Brown is sanctioning back alley abortions.  It seems more likely that shutting the doors of legitimate abortion providers will produce more back alley abortions than expanding coverage.    

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