A gynecologists’ union is calling for a national ban on performing abortions, saying doctors can’t decide if a fetus is viable without undergoing an ultrasound.
Actors, patients and gynecological workers nationwide have signed an open letter, calling for an end to the practice.
The American Academy of Gynecology and Obstetrics (AAOG) has written to lawmakers in Congress urging them to ban doctors from deciding if a woman’s life is in danger before the procedure is even carried out.
In an open meeting on Thursday, AAOG president and CEO Jennifer Dannenfelser said doctors in some states are refusing to perform abortions, including in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.
“If they are refusing, they are not performing abortions,” she said.
“But there are other states that are denying women access to abortions, and it’s really time for a federal ban.”
Dr. Christine Schiappa, president of the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AOG), said the letter was important because many doctors are reluctant to perform the procedure.
When we speak with a woman, we are telling her that it is not going to happen, she said, and we have to be honest with her that this is something that’s going to be very hard on her and her family.
Dannenfelers said she supports such a ban because it prevents a doctor from making an important medical decision without the patient’s consent.
The letter states that doctors have a constitutional right to refuse to perform an abortion, and states that if a physician refuses to perform a procedure because it is against his or her conscience, it is a violation of the patient and his or she has a right to have that procedure stopped.
The letter also cites the medical precedent of Planned Parenthood.
We believe that abortion is the only safe and legal procedure that should be available to every woman, regardless of their circumstances, the letter states.
On Thursday, lawmakers in the New York City-based state Senate also took up the issue.
Sen. Susan Wojcik said she wants a ban on abortion in New Jersey and said doctors should not be able to make medical decisions about whether a woman has a viable fetus.
Wojciker said it is very clear to her that the physician should not decide if the fetus is worth the risk.
I’m deeply concerned about the health and safety of the women who have abortions in New Brunswick and New York,” she told reporters.
Senate Bill 585, sponsored by Wojciechowski, would bar doctors from performing abortions until a fetus can be detected by a doctor.
If the pregnancy is found to be viable, the abortion would be performed in New Hampshire.