On Sept. 1, Texas Senate Bill 8 was enacted, which is the most restrictive abortion bill to go into effect since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. SB8 bans abortions after identification of embryonic cardiac activity, which often is apparent by approximately six weeks’ gestation, as counted by the first day of the last menstrual period (four weeks post-fertilization).
We often hear how people “choose” abortion, but both data and my experience as an obstetrician/gynecologist and abortion provider is that often, it really doesn’t feel like a choice to the people experiencing a pregnancy that is unplanned or undesired or has developed a significant problem.
Legal abortion is both safe and saves pregnant people’s lives. The report by the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine in 2018 on the Safety and Quality of Abortion in the United States found: “The clinical evidence clearly shows that legal abortions in the United States … are safe and effective.”
SB8 creates a situation of forced pregnancy for most of its citizens. Forcing people to continue an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy is unethical, immoral and would compel me, as a physician, to go against my oath to “First, do no harm.”
Sarah Prager, MD, MAS, OBGYN and abortion provider, Seattle