Commentary: NC doctor: Abortion saves lives. It saved my grandmother's in the 1970s

Beverly Gray, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Political News

Legislators, please listen to doctors!

Since the U.S. Supreme Court removed the constitutional protection for safe and legal abortion, we’ve seen an avalanche of news about lives harmed by the resulting abortion bans across the country. As a physician who provides abortion care as part of my medical practice, I fear for the health of women if the North Carolina legislature goes down the same road and enacts an extreme abortion ban.

To understand what is at stake, here are some real examples of what I see in my clinic:

I care for patients facing new diagnoses of cancer, where abortion care can save or extend their life. An abortion allows them to start treatment and spend valuable time with their families.

I care for patients whose lives are in danger due to dire medical emergencies like severe kidney or heart disease, molar pregnancy or life-threatening infection. Access to safe and legal abortion care is critical to saving their lives.

I care for adolescents and teens with unplanned pregnancies, sometimes the result of rape or incest. Abortion care can give these teens their lives and futures back.


I care for parents who struggle to provide for the families they already have. More than half of women seeking abortion care already have children and many live in poverty.

I care for patients who have received devastating news about lethal birth defects. The ultrasound that should be a happy event can be the source of great sadness and lead to an unexpected, excruciating choice. But it’s their choice to make.

Many patients I care for simply want autonomy over their bodies and the freedom to make the best decisions for themselves.

In North Carolina, our patients already face tremendous challenges accessing abortion care.


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