Outpatient abortions safe

Midwives, nurse-practitioners provide care comparable to that of physicians

First-trimester abortions performed by trained midwives, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants are as safe as those performed by physicians, a new study finds.

A six-year study led by researchers at UC San Francisco also found that abortions performed at outpatient clinics are safe procedures whether they are performed by a physician, nurse practitioner, midwife or physician’s assistant, according to a UCSF press release.

In California, 13 percent of women on state Medicaid insurance who have abortions performed do so in the second trimester, when complications are more likely and cost of care is higher. Also, black, uninsured and low-income women continue to have less access to abortion care. “Increasing the types of health-care professionals who can provide early aspiration abortion care is one way to reduce this health-care disparity,” said lead study author Tracy Weitz.