Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Nurses Now Providing Abortions in Washington

In the last days of the Gov. Christine Gregoire's stint as attorney general she issued a ruling (
AGO 2004 No. 1) in answer to the following question:

[I]s it unlawful for an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) to prescribe or furnish a drug to a woman upon her request for the purpose of terminating pregnancy, where the ARNP is acting in all respects within the terms of his or her professional license but is not acting under the supervision of a physician?

Brief Answer
An Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner may, when consistent with his or her professional license, lawfully furnish or prescribe a drug to a woman for the purpose of inducing an abortion where the drug may lawfully be prescribed and the woman seeks to terminate her pregnancy before the fetus is viable or for the purpose of preserving the woman’s life or health. (emphasis added)

In other words, no one is going to prosecute ARNPs for violating the state's one and only restriction on abortion -- namely that physicians perfrom them. Now that two more women have died from the chemical abortion drug regime RU-486, is it really wise to widen the scope of practice of non-physicians? Isn't this a return to the "bad old days" of botched abortions and hack abortionists? Were we not promised a stop to all that with legal abortion? Apparently not.

Apparently this is going great guns here in the state, as related in the 2005 fall newsletter of the Abortion Access Project.

Washington State: Thirteen additional advanced practice clinicians have joined the ranks of providers by adding medication [chemical] abortion to their practice. The increase has far reaching impact as many of the new providers practice in underserved areas throughout western Washington, continuing to increase access to women who have previously traveled long distances for heath care.

Which leads me to wonder (again) where the last two RU-486 deaths took place and was the drug administered by Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners.


4077 said...

Thanks for your great blog. Planned Parenthood was having the doctor give the first drug to the mother but follow up drug misoprostol, was for her to inserted vaginally, at home by herself.Which was against FDA guidelines. And PP was using this up to 9 weeks when FDA guidelines say seven weeks.

Anonymous said...

more death providers - just makes you ponder...

blessings -

Mary E. said...

I was looking at the Washington stats on abortion and it looks like they do medical/chemical abortion way past 9 weeks here.