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Doctor to Ohio Senate: I Do Not Want To Tell My Patients I Cannot Help Them

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Written by Dr. Lisa Perriera for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the  original post.

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.

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