EDITORIAL

Allowing Non-Physicians to Perform Abortions is a Dangerous Policy

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Hawaii has a shortage of doctors who are willing to perform abortions. The governor’s solution? Allow nurses to perform them. On Monday, April 12, Governor David Ige signed into law House Bill 576, which permits advance practice registered nurses to perform first trimester abortions, using either baby-killing drugs or the surgical aspiration method. In the latter, the defenseless child is literally “sucked out” of the womb.
Here we have yet another law that purports to be “pro-woman,” but which actually puts women at great risk. As the Hawaii Human Life Alliance said in its statement before Hawaiian lawmakers in February: “If women are going to choose to use this risky method [surgical aspiration] where there are notable risks and complications, they need to be closely monitored and they need to have a licensed physician.”
This should be common sense. But very little common sense is to be found among those who are possessed with the sordid desire to keep baby-killing legal in this country. They will happily sacrifice a woman’s health, if that sacrifice results in social or professional acceptance — or more votes on Election Day. It doesn’t interest them in the least that, as a University of California San Francisco study revealed several years ago, abortions performed by non-physicians are twice as likely to have complications as those done by licensed physicians.
As pro-life Catholics we are to be both pro-child AND pro-woman. It’s not either/or; it’s both/and. To be pro-choice is to be “anti-woman,” since the mother of an aborted baby is eventually forced to deal with the consequences (the negative, painful consequences) of her irreversible decision.
Allowing non-physicians with dubious qualifications to perform abortions, as they are now doing in Hawaii, will only add to the suffering of women, not alleviate it.