September 5, 2014 — While "[m]any of the regulations on abortion now cropping up in states across the country are being passed off as attempts to protect women's health ... what they are really intended to do is to continue the long-running war on women's reproductive rights that unfortunately did not end with Roe vs. Wade 40 years ago," a Los Angeles Times editorial states.
Such laws -- including requirements that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and that clinics must meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers -- "could actually harm women's health by delaying their access to a legal, safe procedure," the Times argues.
Further, the laws "unfairly single out abortion for more regulation than other medical procedures of similar or greater risk," the editorial continues. The Times points out that "[m]ore than 90% of abortions performed in the United States are done in outpatient settings, with a less than 0.3% risk of major complications requiring hospitalization, according to an amicus brief filed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in a lawsuit challenging" a Texas antiabortion-rights law (HB 2).
The Times contrasts those statistics with risks for other procedures, such as colonoscopies, which "can be done in doctors' offices, yet the mortality rate of that procedure is 34.5 per 100,000," which is 40 times greater than the mortality rate for abortion in the U.S. from 2000 to 2009.
The Times urges courts to "realize that [these laws] are not grounded in legitimate concerns about a woman's risk during abortion" but "are designed to thwart her attempt to get one" (Los Angeles Times, 9/4).