- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Most Americans support holding abortion clinics to the same health-and-safety standards as hospitals, an issue rising to the forefront as blue-state legislatures seek to lower requirements while red states seek to raise them.

A poll released Tuesday by Americans United for Life found more than 70% want to hold abortion facilities to the same standard as hospitals, while 74% favor safeguards to ensure abortion clinics comply with “basic medical practices and sanitation.”

The survey, conducted by nonpartisan polling firm YouGov, also found 78% believe abortion doctors should be able to transfer patients directly to emergency rooms, a key issue in a looming Supreme Court case on Louisiana’s law requiring admitting privileges for abortion providers.

“This survey highlights that Americans, regardless of their personal views on abortion, stand with us in our fight to protect a woman’s right to health care and emergency medical attention,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, AUL President and CEO Catherine Glenn Foster. “Women deserve the same standard of care no matter who their doctor is.”

The poll comes with Democratic legislatures seeking to make abortion more available by, for example, proposing bills allowing nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants to perform abortions.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed such a bill in June a bill, saying it would allow women to “access critical health care services when and where they need them,” while critics said the legislation would increase the risks for women undergoing abortions.

In Vermont, the Democratic legislature passed a bill in May creating a “fundamental right” to abortion, which pro-life advocates worry will forbid state and local regulation of such clinics, citing the case of notorious abortion Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who ran an unregulated abortion facility in Philadelphia.

“Continued efforts by elected officials and political institutions to limit protections and safeguards for women are out of step with core American values,” Ms. Glenn Foster said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a dozen states have laws requiring admitting privileges and transfer agreements between abortion providers and hospitals, according to AUL.

The survey found that three out of four Americans polled believe doctors who perform abortions “should be held to the same medical standards as any ordinary physician.”

About 43% of those surveyed identified themselves as pro-choice, while 36% called themselves pro-life and 24% said “neither of these.”

Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear June Medical Services LLC vs. Gee, a challenge to Louisiana’s 2014 law requiring any doctor performing abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

The poll surveyed 1,326 American adults nationally and was conducted from Oct. 25-28

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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