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Abortion is Healthcare

January 23, 2024

Abortion is one of the most important issues that people will be voting on when we go to the polls in November, but the impact of abortion restrictions and the politicization of our most personal healthcare decisions extends far beyond the political arena.

Abortion is healthcare. Abortion is common: one in four women in the US will have an abortion in her lifetime. There are aspects of abortion care integrated into contraception use, infertility treatment, and helping a family navigate a complicated pregnancy. In fact, the medical term for a miscarriage is a “spontaneous abortion”. No matter what we do, abortion will never go away. But access to comprehensive, individualized healthcare can help ensure that people have the information and tools they need to prevent unplanned pregnancies, find support in their communities, and live healthier lives.

Unfortunately, we are currently headed in the other direction. Political interference in healthcare is causing rural hospitals to stop delivering babies and, in some cases, close down completely. Doctors and nurses are leaving the field, concerned for our own health and safety and fearful that saving someone’s life could put our own lives, families, and careers in danger. Training programs for nurses lack enough qualified teachers, and medical students are choosing other, safer states to complete their training.

As our rural population ages and requires more interaction with the healthcare system, hospitals from Medford to Hayward are struggling to keep up with demand, due in large part to staffing shortages. Family medicine physicians, who provide most of the care for EVERYONE in rural parts of our state, feel increasingly threatened and unable to offer necessary services for women because of the hostile political environment. When those doctors, as well as OB/gyns and emergency medicine physicians choose to practice in other states, we all suffer.

Extremist politicians want us to believe that abortion is a simple choice - you’re either for it or against it - and they want your choice to determine your vote, but we won’t be fooled. We’re not going to let them continue to take away our most sacred freedom, the ability to make decisions about our own bodies.

Dr. Kristin Lyerly

Dr. Kristin Lyerly is a Board Certified OB/Gyn specializing in General Obstetrics and Gynecology for rural and underserved people. As a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, she is the ACOG District VI Legislative Chair and Chair Elect and a member of the Government Affairs and OB/Gyn PAC Governing Committees, focusing on advocacy, mentorship, and healthcare access.