Update 10/3/19: After having second thoughts, Judge Henry Hudson vacated his original ruling that non-doctors could commit 1st-trimester abortions. He determined that instead, it would be decided after the trial regarding four separate abortion laws which was scheduled to begin on May 20, 2019. That trial concluded on June 6 with closing arguments and Hudson has ruled against non-doctors committing abortions, allowing the initial 1975 Virginia law that only doctors can commit abortions to stand.
Original Article: “Between a woman and her doctor” is about to get a run for its money. A federal judge has declared a 1975 Virginia law stipulating that only doctors can commit abortions unconstitutional, opening the doors to physician assistants, midwives, and nurse practitioners, and other non-physicians to commit first trimester abortions.
The decision by Judge Henry Hudson, the George W. Bush appointee who declared the individual mandate unconstitutional, is the first of its kind from federal courts.
Opponents of the law declared it was “unduly burdensome,” and claimed the procedure is simple and “safe” enough to be performed by non-doctors. “The aspiration procedure takes their physicians only about ten minutes to complete,” Virginia Department of Health attorneys argued. “A medication abortion requires even less physician time, and can be done via Skype — meaning that the physician does not have to be in the same room (or even the same city) as the abortion patient.”
Judge Hudson agreed, saying “a consensus appears to have evolved” on the matter, a victory for abortion profiteers. Puzzlingly, however, Hudson adds, “some [non-doctors] could capably perform first trimester abortions, but I don’t believe their training would support them managing complications.” (Page 19). Siding with the abortion industry, he claimed having physicians on-site to safeguard the safety of the procedure was not medically beneficial, placing abortion access over and above the safety of women.
READ: Montana Supreme Court rules non-physicians may commit abortions
Virginia’s National Right to Life affiliate was swift to respond. “Laws requiring that ‘physicians only’ perform abortions exist in 40 states. The court decision today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia is directly contrary to controlling U.S. Supreme Court precedent,” said Olivia Gans Turner, president of the group, according to CNA. “In their unceasing quest to promote no-limits destruction of unborn children regardless of stage of development or ability to feel pain, abortion advocates are more extreme even than the Roe v. Wade decision they claim to defend.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights is also seeking to challenge other physician-only abortion laws in Maine, Mississippi, Arizona, Kansas, and Louisiana; as previously reported by Live Action News, the state Supreme Court recently blocked Montana’s physician-only law.
Both types of abortions in the first trimester — medication abortions and aspiration abortions — carry risks. As well as the death of the pre-born baby, potential complications can include hemorrhaging, injury to the uterus, cervix, and/or surrounding organs, infection, and maternal death. According to the CDC, women still die from legal abortion.
Abortion advocates seem to be making abortion less and less safe for women. While “safe, legal, and rare” has long been shown to be a lie (as this ruling would make it less safe and less rare), the truth is that abortion should never be considered part of women’s health.
A date has not yet been determined for the judge’s ruling to go into effect.
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