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Letters: Non-MDs and abortion

September 06, 2013

Re "Who may perform abortions?," Editorial, Sept. 3

As a comprehensive women's healthcare provider, I wholeheartedly agree that Gov. Jerry Brown should sign AB 154, a bill that will greatly improve access to early abortions in California.

Timely access to reproductive healthcare services greatly improves the well-being of women and families. Terminating a pregnancy early is an extremely safe medical procedure, but even in California, women in rural areas have trouble accessing abortion care.

I recently cared for a patient who had a miscarriage that required minor surgery, the same procedure provided for an early abortion. Because her obstetrician was unable to provide this care, she had to travel several hours and experience unnecessary delays to see me for the procedure.

If AB 154 becomes law, it will improve the health of women in our state and strengthen our community of trained and committed comprehensive women's healthcare providers.

Aparna Sridhar, MD

Los Angeles

As a practicing gynecologist for 39 years, I would like to throw out a word of caution about allowing certain non-physicians to perform early abortions.

Recently, a patient of mine went to a local clinic and was seen by a nurse practitioner. Despite my warning against taking a medical abortion pill because of prior medical problems that only a physician would understand, she did so anyway instead of having a surgical procedure.

She almost hemorrhaged to death before coming to a hospital emergency room, where she had a "D&C" plus several blood transfusions. Had she been in a rural area, she would have died.

I strongly urge Brown to veto this bill.

Michael L. Friedman, MD



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