Should Nurses or Other Non-Physicians Be Allowed to Perform Abortions?

When abortion was legalized in the 1973 Roe v Wade decision, we were told that abortion should be a private decision between a woman and her doctor.

Now there is a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union to force the state of Maine to allow abortions by non-physicians such as nurses and midwives.

Why? Although Planned Parenthood and the ACLU claim that this is about the safety of first-trimester abortion and the lack of enough accessible abortion clinics as well as “threats of violence”, the truth is that it is getting harder and harder to find doctors willing to do abortions.

This new expansion of abortion is part of a larger movement to remove restrictions on abortion. According to the liberal Public Leadership Institute, already “California, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont allow trained and licensed APCs (advance practice clinicians like nurses and physician assistants) to perform aspiration abortions.”

The Institute even provides model legislation for states called the ““Qualified Providers of Abortion Act” and cites the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as recommending “expanding the pool of non-obstetrician/gynecologist abortion providers by training advanced-practice clinicians (APCs)—nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants—to perform aspiration (aka suction or vacuum) abortions.”


The source cited for the claim of safety for non-physician abortions is a new National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report, “The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States.”

This report cites a 2013 study “Safety of Aspiration Abortion Performed by Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwifes, and Physician Assistants Under a California Legal Waiver”  that dismissed the result of twice the number of complications for the non-physicians vs physicians as not “clinically relevant”.

But finding any true statistics on complications of abortion (including death) is already virtually impossible because according to the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  “states and areas voluntarily report data to CDC for inclusion in its annual Abortion Surveillance Report. CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health prepares surveillance reports as data become available. There is no national requirement for data submission or reporting.” (Emphasis added)

In addition, abortion clinic health inspections are often lax or ignored. As the Washington Free Beacon reported last October, according to the 2016 “Unsafe-How the Public Health Crisis in America’s Abortion Clinics Endangers Women report from the pro-life advocacy group Americans United for Life, “between 2008 and 2016, 227 abortion clinics were cited for over 1,400 health and safety deficiencies.”

According to Arina Grossu, a bioethicist and the director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, “Restaurants and tanning salons and vet clinics, they’re all more closely regulated than the abortion industry.”

This, of course, does not take into account the physical, spiritual and emotional toll of abortion on women that I have seen both personally and professionally.


In the 2016 US Supreme Court’s Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstadt at decision held that:

“Two provisions in a Texas law – requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and requiring abortion clinics in the state to have facilities comparable to an ambulatory surgical center – place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking an abortion, constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and therefore violate the Constitution.”

Abortion supporters cheered and are now emboldened to go farther in their quest for tax-payer funded abortion on demand without restrictions.

But all is not lost.

The number of abortions is declining and there are now more crisis pregnancy centers than abortion clinics.  and more lives are being saved. Programs like Project Rachel are helping even more women and men suffering from the tremendous psychological damage caused by abortion.

Most women are choosing life after viewing an ultrasound of their baby and more  people are opposing taxpayer funding of groups like Planned Parenthood, especially after the scandal of selling aborted babies’ body parts.

But most importantly, we must keep working towards a society that once again views abortion as unthinkable.

5 thoughts on “Should Nurses or Other Non-Physicians Be Allowed to Perform Abortions?

    • I did read the article you sent titled “Safe & Legal Abortion in the US: Vegan-Friendly and Ethically Sound Every Time” that states “The reason vegans stand against the killing of animals, from an ethical standpoint, is because of two things about animals: they are conscious and can feel pain.” and that The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say “The science shows that the fetus is not capable of feeling pain until the third trimester”.
      However, abortions are legally performed even in the third trimester, and now pain medication/anesthesia is considered essential in fetal surgery as well as for premature babies (who can survive now as early as 20 weeks). Please see the 2017 paper “Fact Sheet: Science of Fetal Pain” at
      Lastly, federal law for destroying even a bald eagle EGG is “civil penalties for violating provisions of the Act to a maximum fine of $5,000 or one year imprisonment with $10,000 or not more than two years in prison for a second conviction.” (See “Federal Laws that Protect Bald Eagles ” at Why do we have less protection for an unborn human than a bald eagle egg?
      Nancy V.


    • When I was a medical student in the 1970’s, I was taught that I could do anything to newborns, because they didn’t feel pain. This was the standard teaching by all the “great” professors of the time. Of course, we now know this to be 100% incorrect. Newborns, whose inhibitory nerve fibers have not matured, feel pain much more intensely than older babies, children and adults. Similarly, your article is wrong because a fetal human does feel pain certainly by 20 weeks gestation and likely before. Moreover, the argument that this pain is “unconscious” so it doesn’t matter lacks any proof. We know that fetal humans have memories. They recognize voices and emotions. Watch “The Silent Scream” and tell me that the fetal human being aborted doesn’t react with fear. And as I am learning acupuncture, I can tell you for certain that our bodies have VERY deep memories going back to our early embryonic lives when we were no more than 8 cells.

      And what about those fetal humans aborted after 13 weeks? Because they number “only” 50,000+/year in this country, does that mean that their pain and suffering from being dismembered amounts to nothing – like our 51 Senators contend? How do we come to care more for the lives of 2,800+ heinous criminals awaiting execution because they might suffer a bit when they die, than for these thousands of completely innocent human lives wretchedly ended? Who’s cruel: the vegan who aborts fetal humans at 20 weeks gestation or the physician who eats free range chicken and cares for developmentally delayed people with genetic disorders?

      I’m all for minimally trained people doing abortions. It’s not a medical procedure; it has NOTHING to do with medicine than did the experiments Nazis performed on prisoners at Auschwitz, Dachau, …. Hippocrates figured this out 2,500 years ago.


      • “A fetal human does feel pain certainly by 20 weeks gestation and likely before.”

        – Do you have the source for that claim?

        “The argument that this pain is “unconscious” so it doesn’t matter lacks any proof.”

        – I’m unsure what you meant by the pain being unconscious, perhaps you meant to say the fetus being unconscious?
        In response, the article I wrote does contain evidence to back up every single scientific claim, so I’m not sure why you’d think that claim lacks proof?

        “Fetal humans have memories. They recognize voices and emotions.”

        – Another few claims that require evidence.
        But let’s say hypothetically that’s correct; those things would not have a connection to the morality of abortion.
        Plants respond to stimulus in their surroundings in similar ways, is it unethical to prevent a plant from full gestation too ?

        “Our bodies have VERY deep memories”

        – Ok, and? How does the body’s muscle memory capabilities make abortion unethical?

        “What about those fetuses aborted after 13 weeks?”

        – “It’s important for research to continue being done so that eventually we will know the week or perhaps even the day that should be the cutoff for ethical abortion (meaning on unconscious, non-sentient fetuses).
        Right now the best scientific evidence that exists says that sentience begins to be place around 25 weeks.

        “Who’s cruel: the vegan who aborts fetal humans at 20 weeks gestation or the physician who eats free range chicken and cares for developmentally delayed people?”

        – Neither are inherently cruel. However, since you asked allow me to break it down. This question I find very loaded so I’ll do my best to explain in detail.

        First of all, It seems you think I personally engage in abortion, which isn’t true (however it wouldn’t be unethical if I did).

        Second, we’ve established that early term fetuses are unconscious and dont feel pain to the best of our knowledge, therefore the person getting or performing abortions is NOT cruel.

        Third, contributing to the unnecessary breeding and killing of another species IS cruel because it’s not needed and therefore a choice. Many people aren’t educated on this though so while it may not be an INTENTIONALLY cruel choice, it’s unethical.


  1. Would you trust a doctor to do what is moral and right with you, if you knew he was murdering little ones in another room? No-one in the medical field should be murdering little ones.


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