A doctor testifying about abortion rights called out a fellow doctor and witness for making false claims about the procedure.
Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi reminded Dr. Ingrid Skop that she could lose her board certification for “spreading medical misinformation.”
Moayedi also testified that Texas’ SB 8 is endangering peoples’ lives by denying them safe, legal abortion access.
An abortion provider testifying on Thursday at a House hearing about reproductive rights shut down a fellow witness and anti-choice OBGYN for spreading “medical misinformation” about abortion-related deaths.
“Can you tell us how many women die each year from abortion procedure complications? Do you have any idea?” Republican Rep. Jody Hice asked Dr. Ingrid Skop, a practicing OBGYN and a member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Skop replied that she couldn’t answer because “our country has very, very poor data on deaths related to abortion.” She went on to blame that on a number of reasons, including that there’s “no clear federal mandate to report deaths related to abortion” and that many maternal deaths related to childbirth and hospital care do not get reported on death certificates.
Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia raised questions about Skop’s claim that abortion-related fatalities aren’t accurately documented.
“What do you know about complications and deaths from licensed clinics that provide medically supervised care with respect to abortions?” Connolly asked Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, a board-certified abortion provider who was also testifying at the hearing.
Moayedi didn’t mince words, replying, “I’d like to first remind all OBGYNs that the American Board of OBGYNs has recently warned that spreading medical misinformation can result in loss of board certification.”
“Can I just interrupt you there – did you just hear misinformation?” Connolly asked.
“I did just hear misinformation,” Moayedi replied.
She added: “It is incorrect that this data is not tracked appropriately, and in fact, in our state of Texas, this data is tracked from a clinic level and it is actually legally required that every single day, we report to the state who has had abortions and if they’ve had any complications.”
“And in fact, now, the state has passed a new law that I have to report complications that are not even related to abortion care that might happen 20 years later in a person’s life,” Moayedi continued.
“So couldn’t one make the opposite argument Dr. Skop just made, that as a matter of fact, closing clinics and making it difficult to get a legal abortion, which is legal in America, actually we are … endangering the lives of women seeking a safe, clinical procedure in a clinic that is licensed?” Connolly pressed.
“Exactly,” Moayedi said. “We don’t even need to make that argument. It is actually medical fact. We know that when people do not have access to abortion care, that maternal morbidity and mortality rates rise. That’s a global fact.”
Thursday’s hearing comes as pro- and anti-choice activists across the country take up arms in response to SB 8, a restrictive new law in Texas that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, when many people do not know they’re pregnant. It does not allow exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
The Supreme Court earlier this month declined to block the law from going into effect, citing its unusual enforcement mechanism. Instead of relying on state and government officials, the law deputizes private citizens to enforce it and allows anyone to sue an abortion provider or someone they believe “aids and abets” an individual getting an abortion beyond six weeks of pregnancy. The law also says that plaintiffs who are successful will get at least $10,000 and have their legal fees covered.
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