Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A health care provider's take on the Supreme Court's abortion jurisprudence

[Today's guest post is by Clare Farrell.]

I have been a health care provider for over 30 years, first as a registered nurse and for the last 15 years, as a nurse practitioner. For most of my nursing career, I worked in either a hospital based operating room setting or an ambulatory surgical setting. Both hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities are highly regulated by the state, with tremendous oversight, including annual and surprise on-site inspections by state health department authorities. There are quite literally thousands of regulations governing the operation of these facilities, which range from how instruments are sterilized to what the floors are washed with to how the doctors and nurses are vetted and how surgical consents are obtained. Facilities that fail to meet the state standards face penalties that range from fines, to loss of Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement, to closure in the most egregious cases.

If you need your hammertoe repaired, or you need a colonoscopy, your procedure will be performed in one of these facilities. You will be in a facility with clean floors and sterilized equipment and licensed and uncensored physicians who explain your procedure and the associated risks and obtain legal consent. And if you have a miscarriage, otherwise known as a ʻspontaneous abortionʼ to clinicians, your dilation and curettage procedure will likely be performed in one of these facilities.

But if you are a frightened young woman confronted with an unplanned pregnancy? Thanks to the Supreme Court's disappointing recent decision, you may find yourself in an abortion facility does not meet the same standards required of the facility that can fix your crooked toes. And in the event of a complication, don't expect continuity of care, since states can no longer require abortionists to hold hospital admitting privileges. The Supreme Court, in its brilliant wisdom, has simply legalized abortion and walked away.

Truly, HB2 never had a chance. If we, as a society, can legalize the physical destruction of the unborn child within its motherʼs womb, why would we need to regulate it? Perhaps the take-away from the Supreme Court decision is that there is no real way to "regulate" the murder of the unborn. There is no way to oversee it, or make it cleaner, or more sanitary, or safer. Are abortion-minded women really much better off today than they were before Roe v. Wade?

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