A growing number of states across the country are establishing state-sanctioned mandates that women seeking abortions undergo a mandatory transvaginal or transabdominal ultrasound. In addition to being a violation of womens rights, these mandates raise the question of unnecessary medical requirements or what’s referred to as futile care – it doesn’t further the health of the patient and runs up the cost of health care. The politicalization of medical practices and standards of care in providing reproductive health services demands our serious attention.
Barbara Glickstein, Co-director CHMP
In the wake of the Virginia forced transvaginal ultrasound debate in Virginia, bill supporters have tried to justify their bil by stating that ultrasounds are the “gold medal standard” of pre-abortion care. But are they?
As one midwife explains in an article on The Clinical Advisor, unless a patient presents with an issue that would have a medical practitioner suspect an ectopic pregnancy, often they aren’t used at all.
Robyn Carlisle, MSN, CNM, WHNP, full-scope midwife at University Doctors and Kennedy University Hospital in Sewell, N.J., writes:
I recently saw a patient in the office for amenorrhea, severe left-sided pelvic pain, and a positive home pregnancy test. I ordered blood work and a stat ultrasound to rule out ectopic pregnancy. When I mentioned the ultrasound, the patient balked and confided that she was uncertain whether she wanted to continue the pregnancy.
My patient felt that an ultrasound would just complicate an already painful decision to terminate the pregnancy. I explained to her that while I understood her apprehension, given her clinical presentation, we needed to ensure this was not a tubal pregnancy and move forward with the ultrasound.
Under normal circumstances in New Jersey, this patient would not have needed an ultrasound to confirm her pregnancy, especially if she was considering an abortion. Unfortunately, not all women have this choice. Read the rest of the post here.