July 5, 2012 — A Mississippi law imposing new requirements on abortion doctors "will actually hurt women," despite proponents' claims that it will improve their safety, Douglas Laube, board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, writes in a letter to the editor of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger (Laube, Jackson Clarion-Ledger, 7/2). The law, which was temporarily blocked this week by a court order, requires doctors who provide abortion care to be board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and have admitting privileges at a local hospital (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/3).
Requiring physicians to have admitting privileges will not improve abortion care, Laube writes, noting that abortion is already "one of the safest medical procedures we have." He adds that he is "deeply concerned about what will happen to the women of Mississippi if the state's only abortion clinic must close" because of the law.
Laube continues that the doctors in his organization "know that when women seeking abortion are denied safe, legal procedures, they look for other ways to end their pregnancies." He adds, "At best, they delay the procedure until they can arrange and afford a trip to another state or even another country. No one should have to flee her state for basic health care that is her legal right" (Jackson Clarion-Ledger, 7/2).