180671 Clinical Responses to the “Partial Birth” Abortion Ban- Massachusetts Pilot

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 5:15 PM

Laurent Delli-Bovi, MD , Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, San Francisco, CA
Lisa Haddad, MA, MD , Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital Massachusetts General Hospital combined Residency Program, San Francisco, CA
Kate Cosby, MPH , Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Tracy Weitz, PhD, MPA , Bixby Center for Reproductive Health Research & Policy, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, Oakland, CA
Susan Yanow, MSW , Reproductive Health Consultant, Cambridge, MA
One potential barrier for women's access to abortion is the “Partial Birth” Abortion Ban enacted by Congress in 2006 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2007. The ban on so-called “partial birth” abortion appears to target a method of abortion called intact dilation and extraction. Few providers were performing intact dilation and extraction prior to the ban, yet preliminary research conducted by Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) suggests that the ban will lead to changes in abortion practice nonetheless. Post-ban changes may include:

a. An increased use of fetocidal agents such as digoxin and sodium choloride.

b. A decrease in the amount of cervical dilation used during later second-trimester abortions

c. Changes in consent procedures

d. Increased procedure times

e. Increased procedure costs

f. Decrease in the number of providers performing later second-trimester abortions

g. Decreased training in second-trimester procedures during medical school and residency training.

These claims remain untested. ANSIRH has developed a survey instrument to explore the impact of the federal ban on the practice of abortion. The pilot test population is a group of physicians and administrators who provide second-trimester abortion services in Massachusetts. In our proposed presentation we will provide a background on the provision of second-trimester abortion before the “partial-birth abortion ban,” present the findings from our pilot survey, consider the utility of conducting a nation-wide study on post-ban changes to clinical practice, and develop hypotheses on the impact that clinical changes may have on public health.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the “Partial Birth” Abortion Ban enacted by Congress in 2006 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2007 2. Explain potential impacts that the ban may have on the practice of abortion care 3. Explore the impacts that changes to clinical practice may have on health care quality and on women’s access to reproductive health services.

Keywords: Abortion, Reproductive Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the coordinating party for this research project, helped with the development of the study design research tool, and I have an MPH.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.