Stanley Henshaw: Unneeded provision

June 28, 2013 

Unneeded provision

In her June 22 Point of View, Barbara Holt supported legislation that would require physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. This requirement is unnecessary because emergency rooms must accept all patients, and the staff physicians can provide appropriate treatment just as they would for a woman having a miscarriage.

The need for emergency care after abortion is rare. The risk of dying from an abortion is less than the risk per year of riding a bicycle and under one-tenth that of continuing a pregnancy.

For this reason, a hospital-privileges requirement is a catch-22. To receive privileges, most hospitals expect a doctor to admit at least five or 10 patients a year, but a doctor who needs to hospitalize that many abortion patients is incompetent and should not be performing abortions.

Stanley Henshaw, Ph.D.


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