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Health reporters can cover safety claims in abortion fight

The dramatic filibuster of Texas Senate Bill 5 has refocused the nation’s attention on abortion. The bill would have prohibited abortions after 20 weeks gestation and it would have mandated that the minimum standards for an abortion facility must be equivalent to the minimum standards adopted for ambulatory surgical centers.

Only five of the state’s 42 abortion providers would meet the new requirements without extensive upgrades, which could drive many out of business. Democrats say the new rules would limit women’s access to abortion providers. Republicans contend that the stricter requirements are necessary to protect women’s safety.

Politics and personal beliefs aside, this is an opportunity for health journalists everywhere to look into the safety of abortion providers and whether there is evidence that stricter requirements will protect women from adverse events.

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