1/Today I was providing abortion care. Something I am proud to do. But today, something happened that angered me to my core. Today, I had to hold the hand of a sobbing patient who had been traumatized by a crisis pregnancy center (CPC).
2/For those of you who are unfamiliar with CPCs, they are fake health centers ran by predominantly religious right groups whose goal is to dissuade patients from having an abortion. They masquerade as women's health providers and target women seeking an abortion.
3/My patient knew that she did not want to continue her pregnancy (her reason is unimportant to my story) but in her attempt to find a clinic to obtain an abortion, she ended up at a CPC.
4/The CPC told her that she was required to have a visit with them as prep for her abortion. They then proceeded to force an ultrasound upon her. They continued to call her "mommy" despite her stating that she did not want to continue the pregnancy.
5/When my patient sought support and comfort from their so called "counselor" she was told that she should pray and that the CPC staff would pray for her and her baby. The continued to address her as "mommy" despite the patient repeatedly asking them not to.
6/My patient then described essentially being locked in a room with her ultrasound video on loop while they continued to berade and guilt her into continuing a pregnancy that she knew she did not want to.
7/They lied to her about how far into the pregnancy she was. Ultimately they let her leave after she agreed to take a "gift bag" with various baby products in it.
8/The patient was traumatized by the experience. She sobbed as she recounted the HOURS she felt held hostage and how uncomfortable the whole encounter was. She did not know what a crisis pregnancy center was before the experience.
9/It's easy for patients not to know the true intent of these facilities as they are often given names and locations that mimic actual abortion providing facilities . There is also no requirement for them to be transparent in terms of what services they do/do not provide.
10/In fact, the patient was given false info about her pregnancy & as a result of being hoodwinked by this CPC was further into her pregnancy by the time she was able to seek care with me. She could no longer have a medication abortion (her preferred method) bc of the delay
11/I have cared for a lot of patients in crisis. Women with unplanned pregnancies, abnormal pregnancies, women with infertility, women in tragic situations. I have held the hand of more patients than I can count as they navigated incredibly difficult circumstances.
12/But I have never seen a patient so traumatized by an alleged "health care" provider as the patient I saw today and it has angered me to my core.
13/Patients deserve transparency, honesty, and kindness. Not deception, guilt, and shame. Patients deserve to know the truth about crisis pregnancy centers.
14/I provided that patient judgement-free, safe, legal abortion care today. My team created a safe space for her physically, mentally, and emotionally after the trauma she sustained at the crisis pregnancy center.
15/CPCs are dangerous. They are dangerous bc they are full of deception. They are dangerous bc they have an agenda that is not individualized to the person in front of them. They are dangerous bc they seek to imitate & trick patients into thinking they are something they are not.
16/Our legislative bodies must take actions to demand transparency around these facilities and hold them to the same ethical principles as any other healthcare provider. They fail grossly on all pillars of ethical care.
17/My patient left today with the information for @AllOptionsNatl & a promise from our center that we would support her as she recovered from the trauma the CPC inflicted on her but the reality is that this trauma should have never happened.
18/if you have been victimized by a CPC please share your story with the hashtag #EndCPCLies. We must shed light on how many people are being impacted. @ACOGAction @MySMFM @prhdocs @VP @AOC @RepPressley @WhiteHouse

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Keep Current with Amy Addante, MD, MSCI (she/her/hers)

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More from @AmyAddante

7 Jun 19
1/Good morning Twitter. Let's finish the week with today's version of "Lies #MOLeg Tells About Abortion in Missouri" by discussing minors and abortion care. #HB126 (house.mo.gov/Bill.aspx?bill…) was sponsored by @NickBSchroer, supported by @MOGOPAssembly & signed by @GovParsonMO.
2/Let's not forget @Koenig4MO & @BobOnderMO who helped author and promote this bill. You can see a full list of sponsors on the bill's website. This law includes an 8wk ban but also something sneaky. An "emergency clause" regarding minors.
3/#HB126 states "An abortion on a minor shall not be knowingly performed until the attending physician has secured the written informed consent of the minor and one parent or guardian, unless a specified exception applies.
Read 12 tweets
6 Jun 19
1/ In today's broadcast of "Lies #MOLeg Tells About Abortion in Missouri" let's talk about if abortion is dangerous/unsafe in this state. Uninterested in a long tweet? Here's the punch line: Abortion is safe! For those of you who like numbers because #FactsMatter read on.
2/All information on this tweet is publicly available at health.mo.gov/data/vitalstat…. The most recent data is from 2017. From DHHS' website you can find this quote: "Complications were associated with 1.9% of Missouri abortions." There were 3,903 abortions in Missouri in 2017.
3/Now this includes "20 failed abortions" but what does that really mean? Well Missouri requires that any time a pill abortion fails that it is reported to state. But is this really a "complication" or just part of the known profile of taking a pill abortion? Let's ask #ACOG!
Read 15 tweets
5 Jun 19
Lots of responses and inquiries about my tweet on Monday so let's review what #MOLeg requires vs what is medically necessary. I will preface this by saying I am not a lawyer. I am simply an OBGYN trying to reconcile what science teaches me and what #MOLeg requires.
I refute these requirements with information from @theNASEM report on the Safety and Quality of abortion (nap.edu/catalog/24950/…). I’ll refer to this as NASEM for this tweet.
1. So let’s start with the “licensed abortion facility” requirement.
NASEM: “When states regulate specific office-based health care procedures, the requirements are usually triggered by the level of sedation that the facility offers. Abortion services are an exception.”
Read 19 tweets

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