The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Abortion choice is a standard of care

Abortion rights protesters rally Nov. 1 outside the Supreme Court. (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)

Regarding the Aug. 19 op-ed by M. Gregg Bloche and Sarah K. Werner, “Doctors, resist the abortion bans”:

Americans don’t want exceptions to abortion bans; they want the freedom to make decisions about their own bodies for their own reasons.

Furthermore, the advice was particularly misleading coming from two individuals associated with Georgetown University. Perhaps they are unaware Georgetown University does not follow the standards of the Council On Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG): Abortion care is excluded from the medical school curriculum. Georgetown has not allowed Medical Students for Choice to be a campus organization. Abortion care training is not provided to residents at Georgetown Hospital, although the knowledge and skills for abortion are required to become a board-certified OBGYN. Georgetown OBGYN residents only learn about abortion at outside facilities. I am a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, a fellow and chair of the D.C. section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and a D.C. area abortion provider.

Georgetown women must lie — saying they need treatment for painful or irregular menses — to get oral contraceptives for “medical reasons” rather than to prevent pregnancy and subsequent abortion.

Developing guidelines for exceptions means compromising our professional integrity. Our long-established standards of care already recognize abortion is safer than pregnancy in every instance.

One doctor arrested equals hundreds of patients denied all medical care while fighting criminal prosecution, civil lawsuits and working to reinstate their licenses.

It takes real chutzpah for Georgetown lawyers to offer medical doctors personal and risky legal advice. Establishing exceptions means compromising our professional integrity to the detriment of all reproductive-age women. They should clean their own house first.

Sara Imershein, Washington

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