Home » Florida’s 6-week abortion ban takes effect as doctors worry women will lose access to health care

Florida’s 6-week abortion ban takes effect as doctors worry women will lose access to health care

by The Grio

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s ban on most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant, went into effect Wednesday, and some doctors are concerned that women in the state will no longer have access to needed health care.

Dr. Leah Roberts, a reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist with Boca Fertility in Boca Raton, said the anti-abortion laws being enacted by Florida and other red states are being vaguely written by people who don’t understand medical science. The rules are affecting not just women who want therapeutic abortions, meaning procedures to terminate viable pregnancies because of personal choice, but also nonviable pregnancies for women who want to have babies.

“We’re coming in between them and their doctors and preventing them from getting care until it’s literally saving their lives, sometimes at the expense of their fertility,” Roberts said.

The new ban has an exception for saving a woman’s life, as well as in cases involving rape and incest, but Roberts said health care workers are still prevented from performing an abortion on a nonviable pregnancy that they know may become deadly — such as when the fetus is missing organs or implanted outside the uterus — until it actually becomes deadly.

“We’re being told that we have to wait until the mother is septic to be able to intervene,” Roberts said.

Besides the physical danger, there’s also the psychological trauma of having to carry a fetus that the mother knows will never be a healthy baby, Roberts said.

“They’re feeling the kicks for months after they’re being told that they’re never going to have a live birth,” Roberts said. “And it’s just horrifying when you could take care of it at 20 weeks, and they could move on, and they could get pregnant with their next pregnancy and be able to hold their babies that much sooner.”

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