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The National Academies of Sciences Releases New Report on Safety and Quality of Abortion Care

National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine 2018 Report:
“The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States”

Outcomes of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NAMSEM) Report:

·       The clinical evidence documents legal abortions in the United States – whether by medications, aspiration, dilation and evacuation (D&E), or induction – are safe and effective.

·       The recently released NASEM Report on the Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States concludes that trained physicians and advanced practice clinicians (APCs) (physician assistants [PAs], certified nurse midwives [CNMs], and nurse practitioners [NPs]) can safely and effectively provide medication and aspiration abortions. Induction abortions can be provided by clinicians (OB/GYNs, family medicine physicians, and nurse-midwives) with training in managing labor and delivery.


            ACNM Position Statement on Midwives as Providers of Abortion Care: 

·       Midwives may perform manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) abortion as part of an expanded scope of practice in accordance with state regulations and credentialing.

·       Manual vacuum aspiration abortion has a low risk of post-procedure complications, such as infection or hemorrhage. The risk profile of medication abortion is even lower than MVA abortion. Both options pose much lower risks than childbirth.

·       Manual vacuum aspiration abortion and medication abortion may be safely provided by trained advance practice clinicians (APCs), including midwives.

·       Individuals have the right to decide what is best for their health, bodies, lives, and families.

·       ACNM opposes legislative, policy, or administrative efforts at the federal, state, and local levels to restrict or ban abortion as well as any efforts to render it less accessible.

·       ACNM supports policy efforts that work to expand clinician scope of practice laws to include APCs as abortion providers, which will increase access to comprehensive reproductive health services.


Current Advocacy Examples of Expanding Access to Abortion Care using APPs: 

·       Recent successes in expanding legal and safe abortion provision and access include California’s Assembly Bill 154 authorizing APCs to perform manual vacuum aspiration, and Illinois’ HB40 bill which permits public aid insurance to cover abortion services.

·       ACLU’s open cases in Maine and Montana contest state regulations preventing Advanced Practice Clinicians from providing abortion care within their scopes of practice.


American College of Nurse-Midwives.
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