I have practiced OB/GYN for over 37 years, and I have been consistently impressed that women take the time they need when faced with any irrevocable, lifesaving and/or life-altering decisions regarding their health. This would include mastectomy, hysterectomy, starting a family, permanent sterilization and, yes, abortion.
In the whole universe of health care in this country, I know of only one situation involving a government-mandated “waiting period” other than abortion. Medicaid patients requesting permanent sterilization have to wait at least 30 days after completing their paperwork before the procedure can be done.
Any statement about waiting periods being commonplace for “important decisions” has no factual support. Legislators certainly face no such restraints!
The legislators who want pregnant women to continue their unintended, unwanted pregnancies need to know that the risk of death associated with childbirth is 14 times higher than the risk associated with legal abortion. Any future “Maternal Mortality Review Committee” needs to be mindful of this as well.
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Increasing the “decision to treatment” time for abortion patients will not change their decisions. It will adversely affect their eligibility, expense, medication requirements, risk of complications and psychological well-being.
“Unborn child” is a contradiction in terms. The pre-viable fetus has no status legally or ethically independent of the pregnant woman’s autonomy. Her self-determined choices need to be protected and respected.
John H. Baker