|Action||Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities|
|Comment Period||Ends 3/29/2013|
I strongly support easily available contraceptive services and related reproductive health programs that enable women to delay or avoid pregnancy, detect sexually transmitted diseases, and detect the early onset of reproductive problems. As well, I support the availability of abortion services for women of all ages, provided they have easy and timely access to medically objective, non-religious, and non-judgemental information about all unplanned pregnancy options and appropriate abortion medical procedures and their risks.
From 1970-1974 (after the liberalization of NY state's abortion law), I was executive director of a 10-county nonprofit in upstate NY that was the main service resource for those facing unplanned pregnancies. Funded by the regional hospital council, numerous hospitals and nonprofits, foundations, individuals, and supported by local clergy of all faiths (including Catholic), our staff were extensively trained by professionals to provide information, counseling, and referrals -- in person and over the phone -- to individuals, couples and families regarding all unplanned pregnancy options. In no way did we encourage one option over another. We honored the person's decision. This program dealt with hundreds of fathers, mothers, siblings, lovers, boyfriends, clergy, therapists, doctors every year. From face-to-face sessions, I learned that these people -- not just the woman -- care about responsible parenthood. No one, no one sets out to have an abortion. But they prefer it over having to go through a pregnancy and not be able to parent the child they would lose, or perhaps not be able to support emotionally or financially. It is not a decision reached lightly. Or repeatedly.
Finally, I strongly oppose the requirement of invasive ultrasounds for abortion services. Having had that procedure myself within the past year, I can tell you it takes time to schedule, is very uncomfortable, and VERY expensive. Most importantly, it is absolutely NOT medically necessary to determine the length of a woman's pregnancy.
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