American Public Health Association Backs Partial Birth Abortion

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

WASHINGTON DC, February 15, 2008 ( - The American Public Health Association (APHA) yesterday announced a range of policies that were approved by the Association’s Governing Council during last year’s annual meeting in Washington, DC.

Among a long list of generally positive health policy initiatives is a call for the removal of all restrictions that limit access to abortion in the US, including the repeal of parental consent laws and partial birth abortion bans.

The APHA promotes itself as the largest association of "public health professionals" in the world. It’s declared aim is to "protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and to strive to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States".

The carefully worded policy on abortion states: "The APHA urges state lawmakers to repeal or oppose state laws that in any way limit access to safe abortion services, including mandatory delays and information or counseling that is not science-based; bans on specific abortion procedures, parental consent or notification requirements; targeted regulation of abortion providers; and limits for advanced practice clinicians in providing abortion services. Supports state laws that improve abortion access, including funding for abortion via state Medicaid funds and protecting health facilities and clinicians that provide abortion services."

This APHA abortion policy is a response to the April, 2007 US Supreme Court decision to uphold the federal law banning a specific abortion procedure, the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.

This ruling enabled US states to introduce legislation to restrict abortion. The following legislative measures to control the abortion industry were proposed at state level in 2007, according to pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute statistics:

1. Abortion bans set in place to replace Roe v. Wade, should it be overturned at the federal level, were introduced in 12 states.
  2. Proposed laws requiring that women seeking abortions undergo mandatory counseling and then wait a specified period of time (usually 24 or 48 h) before undergoing an abortion were introduced in 24 states.
  3. Proposed laws requiring that minors obtain parental consent or that at least 1 parent be notified were introduced in 15 states.
  4. Bans on specific abortion procedures were introduced in 9 states.
  5. Limits on private insurance coverage of abortion were introduced in 8 states.
  6. Restrictions on public funding of abortion for low-income women were introduced in 15 states.
  7. Increased requirements regarding reporting statistical information to state agencies by clinicians providing abortion procedures were introduced in 12 states.
  8. Targeted regulations of abortion providers or clinics (e.g., additional mandated equipment, requirement of admitting privileges, classifying abortion clinics as ambulatory surgical centers or other classifications requiring increased regulation) were introduced in 15 states.

The APHA plan to undermine the above state-level legislative measures, under the heading "The Need for State Legislation Protecting and Enhancing Women’s Ability to Obtain Safe, Legal Abortion Services Without Delay or Government Interference," states:

"In light of the Supreme Court’s decision and the threat of new restrictions on access to abortion at the state level, APHA urges state legislatures, elected and appointed officials to do the following:

1. Repeal or oppose state laws that in any way limit access to safe abortion services, including, but not limited to-
  a. Mandatory delays and information or counseling that is not science based,
  b. Bans on specific abortion procedures,
  c. Parental consent or notification requirements,
  d. Targeted regulation of abortion providers, and
  e. Limits for advanced practice clinicians in providing abortion services.
  2. Support state laws that improve access to safe abortion services, including but not limited to-
  a. Provide funding for abortion care via state Medicaid funds,
  b. Maintain medical decisionmaking within the patient-health care provider relationship,
  c. Strengthen and enshrine the current federal protection on the right to access abortion under Roe v. Wade,
  d. Allow trained advanced practice clinicians to provide medication and aspiration abortions,
  e. Protect health facilities and clinicians who provide abortion care."

To express concerns:
  Mailing Address
  800 I Street, NW
  Washington, DC 20001
  e-mail: [email protected]

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