Doctor to Ohio Senate: I Do Not Want To Tell My Patients I Cannot Help Them
Lisa Perriera, MD, MPH, gave this testimony live before an Ohio Senate committee yesterday afternoon at a hearing of the so-called "heartbeat" bill, H.B. 125.
Good afternoon. My name is Lisa Perriera and I am a board certified ob/gyn working at an academic medical center in Cleveland. I come today representing myself and my patients.
I strongly urge the Ohio Senate to oppose "the hearbeat bill." Lawmakers do not belong in the consultation room with me and my patients. As an OB/GYN, I offer the full spectrum of care for women. I deliver their babies, I screen them for cervical and breast cancer, and sometimes I perform their abortions. Abortion is a safe and legal medical procedure that women deserve to be able to access here in Ohio. This bill is effectively a ban on abortion, since the heartbeat is usually detected between the 5th and 6th week after the last menstrual period, often before a woman even realizes that she is pregnant. Banning abortion has never stopped abortion from happening; it has only made abortion unsafe or more difficult to obtain. Worldwide 48 percent of abortions are unsafe. As a physician do not want to go back in time and see unsafe abortion in Ohio.
I also don’t want to tell any of my patients that I cannot help them.