Letter: Women’s health is endangered when the government comes between them and doctors’ care

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) People march through downtown Provo, protesting after the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, on Saturday, June 25, 2022.

I had two miscarriages in 1990; each one left me emotionally devastated. I was lucky, though, because I had good health care and a competent, compassionate OB/GYN who performed a D&C (dilation & curettage) at each miscarriage so that my husband and I would soon be able to try to conceive again. Because I had had appropriate medical care, eleven months after my second miscarriage, we were thrilled to welcome a healthy baby girl!

Now that Utah will soon ban most abortions, it’s likely that others who miscarry will not receive the competent care that I did. Even though Utah law supposedly makes allowances for the D&C procedure (the common term for a surgical abortion) during miscarriages, doctors may be afraid to perform a D&C because of the likelihood of added scrutiny on such procedures and fear of prosecution. This is happening in other states. In Texas, for example, even medications that help to treat miscarriages have been hard to access from pharmacies there. Women are left to suffer more, and their future reproductive health may be harmed through this confusion.

Women’s health care is complex. Even pregnancies that start out fine can turn deadly later on. Fear of prosecution and Utah law’s strict contingencies will prevent doctors from acting quickly.

Fear has entered the landscape of pregnancy care: Women afraid of seeking care in a pregnancy crisis, doctors caught in a dilemma between providing appropriate care and breaking the law, pharmacists afraid to fill prescriptions that treat miscarriages. The bottom line is that women and girls will suffer, and some will die. It could be your daughter, your sister, your aunt, your niece, your best friend — any amazing, living, breathing woman.

My experience touches on just a few of the harmful consequences of banning abortions. Check the Turnaway Study (2016) for more enlightenment. Women’s health is endangered when the government comes between a woman and her doctor’s care. This is not pro-life.

Cindy Wright, Sandy

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