The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

August 8, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Thursday, August 8, 2013

Guest Column

AG is intruding into women’s health care

West Virginia’s new Attorney General Pat Morrisey, at the bidding of a fringe fundamentalist group, has launched a special investigation into health care centers and the health care professionals who provide abortions. He claims that he is concerned about patient safety, when, in fact, the investigation is nothing but a veiled attempt to eliminate access to abortion.

Is Mr. Morrisey, who presumably has no medical training, more qualified to evaluate our health care providers than the Board of Medicine, the State Board of Nursing, and the Board of Social Work? Some people express concern about federal government overreach in the area of intelligence gathering, but I believe we must guard against our own state government’s overreach.

The attorney general is intruding into very personal decision-making regarding women’s health by singling out dedicated women’s health care providers, who are already regulated like any other medical provider or out-patient health care facility.

Eliminating access to abortions could ultimately restrict women’s ability to obtain other basic health care. We only have to look at Texas where many clinics are now closing; consequently many rural women in Texas will no longer have access to preventive care, putting their health in jeopardy.

Many of us may not see eye to eye on abortion; however, most of us agree that each woman needs to make this deeply personal decision for herself, with support from loved ones, her faith and her doctor — not a politician. And if a woman does decide to have an abortion, she needs access to a safe facility with certified health care professionals.

Sandra L. Wolf