Weeks pregnant and abortion?

Posted

Specializes in OB, Telephone Triage, Chart Review/Code. Has 22 years experience.

this is the only hospital that i have worked at that does abortions. we don't really have guidelines. is there a "legal" gestational age? the 15 year-old pt is healthy...but i guess her age is the reason to say "terminated for the life and health of the mother". i just had a hard time understanding a "19-week" gestation. poor thing was told by physician that it would be an "in and out" procedure. also, i am told he charges the patient a high fee and it must be paid in cash. but we are the ones delivering the fetus and placenta! and because we do this on postpartum, sometimes both nurses are tied up and that leaves our other patients w/o a nurse!

note from moderator: the poster is discribing what (sounds like) an unsafe situation at her hospital and is seeking support and asking for input for affecting change.

please stick to the original topic and not use this thread as a vehicle for a prolife/prochoice debate.

thank you

kids-r-fun

KaroSnowQueen, RN

Specializes in Telemetry, Case Management. Has 30 years experience.

No, there is not a legal gestational age.

According to Roe v. Wade, abortion is legal throughout the pregnancy at any stage of fetal development. However, most facilities and physicians stop doing them at 20 weeks, with some clinics going up to 24 weeks, and a few places do them at any age of the fetus.

According to Roe v. Wade, abortion must be available throughout the first trimester, and states cannot make any regulations against it, pretty much. During the second trimester, some regulations are possible, but mostly for the purpose of protecting maternal health. During the third trimester, a state can prescribe abortion, providing it makes exceptions to preserve the life and health of the mother. Doe v. Bolton, a ruling issue the same day as Roe v. Wade, defines "health" to mean all factors that affect the woman, including physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman's age.

I am trying to find a link from NARAL or Planned Parenthood so I can be unbiased as possible in providing this info, but so far cannot find anything on their sites about the scope of abortion laws, amazingly enough.

edited to add link

mother/babyRN, RN

Specializes in cardiac, diabetes, OB/GYN. Has 27 years experience.

20 weeks in Massachusetts, as the fetus is not considered viable. 19 weeks is perfectly legal in Massachusetts.....

VickyRN, MSN, DNP, RN

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds. Has 16 years experience.

When I worked L&D, I always refused to participate in abortions. These were very infrequent on this unit, and usually involved some "life of the mother" issue which is so broadly interpreted as to lose most validity (ie if the mother is "depressed," etc, etc). Second trimester abortions were performed and were simple prostaglandin inductions. The tiny baby was put in the dirty utility room and left to die. I did not have any problems taking care of the woman afterwards. Just know--it is your legal right to refuse.

NICU_Nurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU.

25 weeks in clinics here. We intubate 23 weekers in the larger NICU's here, and the occasional 22+ weeker. Go figure.

Here in Iceland we have a law that abortions must be done before 12 weeks but there is a possibility to get an exeption to 16 weeks in some cases.

There is also a possibility to do an abortion at 19/20weeks if the ultrasound shows a non viable defect on the fetus.

I think 24/25 weeks is sick...the fetus is viable at that age. In my NIcu we intubate babies from 24 weeks.

mother/babyRN, RN

Specializes in cardiac, diabetes, OB/GYN. Has 27 years experience.

So what happens if all the nurses on refuse to take care of the pt undergoing an abortion. I would like to refuse to take care of patients with a Middle East connection (not really), or espousing views that I disagree with. I think refusing to take care of any patient, is unwarranted based on your beliefs...My opinion anyway....

sbic56, BSN, RN

Specializes in Obstetrics, M/S, Psych. Has 24 years experience.

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Originally posted by mother/babyRN

So what happens if all the nurses on refuse to take care of the pt undergoing an abortion. I would like to refuse to take care of patients with a Middle East connection (not really), or espousing views that I disagree with. I think refusing to take care of any patient, is unwarranted based on your beliefs...My opinion anyway....

ITA. I leave my prejudices at the door and care for my patients.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

We do not do AB 's at my hospital. HOWEVER (and many of you may face this some time or another), we have taken care of girls who underwent late term AB (mine was 23 weeks) who were not stable enough to go home afterward and required overnight admission to the hospital.

I believe in WA, it's legal to have an AB up to 24 weeks. I would not do that, but it's not my life or my decision. I don't agree with it, but I WILL give those who have made this choice MY BEST CARE regardless. It's not easy but I do it. Fortunately, most of the nurses with whom I work don't have strong religious objections that prohibit them ethically or morally from doing this. But then, we do NOT participate in the AB's themselves. To me,there is a difference, anyhow.

I hope this thread does NOT become an abortion debate. There is too much of that already.

One last thing; I think we should have the right to refuse to participate IN ABs themselves, but aftercare, then to me that is another issue. Why then would a person refuse to care for such a patient? At that point, you have NOT aided in the abortion process itself; you are simply helping a person heal from the procedure. I can't see why anyone would object to THAT level of care.:confused:

sbic56, BSN, RN

Specializes in Obstetrics, M/S, Psych. Has 24 years experience.

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I hope this thread does NOT become an abortion debate. There is too much of that already.

You are right, Deb. Sorry I started to get pulled into this one!:imbar

mother/babyRN, RN

Specializes in cardiac, diabetes, OB/GYN. Has 27 years experience.

It is difficult not to get pulled into such a voilitile personal issue certainly...I think, though, as nurses, it behooves us, as someone so eloquently said, to leave our prejudices at the door, or at least recognize them and care for the people who need us...If we can do that, we can say we did the best we could...Sept 11 2001 I was working the night shift of that day.. A middle Eastern couple from Iran were there in labor. I surprised myself by the amount of resentment I momentarily felt, but in the end, labor is labor, pain is pain, people are people and in their eyes I could not tell what values they held, or how happy , sad or indifferent they were to our National Crisis...I participated well and honorably in their labor process as I would any other couple. I did not feel guilty for wearing the American Flag pin on my uniform, nor did I preach any thing at all to them....We just participated as nurse/patient...I received a hug and even an apology from them afterwards that I had to beg them not to even feel the need to give....It wasn't them that crashed the plane. It wasn't me who oppressed or upset them.....It was just life happening despite chaos and discontent.....So, as abortion is certainly a personal choice, I won't let my opinions or feelings influence care I give my patients, even though privately it might hurt to do so....I am not happy about many of the issues my patients and my peers have to deal with, but I will always at least try, if not to understand, than to leave my issues at the door. Sometimes it isn't easy, but that is what separates nurses who are in it for the nursing, from those that are so strongly ensconced in their beliefs, to see the particular patient and his or her circumstance as something beyond that..I am not perfect, and I have had to question myself numerous times...I have even been totally unhappy and occasionally disgusted by some patients and their views, but I will not ever let that stop me from being the best nurse I personally can be...I worked as a student in an abortion unit because I was curious. It was horrible and sad but definitely mind opening..When I had to consider that choice as a personal decision 22 years ago, I opted not to have an abortion, largely due to the time I spent there. I was not ever comfortable or able to understand the horrific treatment or shunning the nurses who worked there received from the majority of the rest of the staff.....SOME one has to be there for people........At least, someone has to try......

VickyRN, MSN, DNP, RN

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds. Has 16 years experience.

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ITA. I leave my prejudices at the door and care for my patients.

I beg your pardon. This is NOT a matter of "prejudice"--this is a matter of personal morality and deep conviction. There are certain things I WILL NEVER participate in--abortion and active euthanasia being at the top of the list. I will turn my back and leave nursing entirely if it came down to this. Court battles have been fought and won over this and it is legal for nurses and doctors to refuse to participate in abortions. Like I stated earlier, I have no problems in caring for the woman afterwards. I always, in every circumstance, strive to give my best care, and foremost DO MY PATIENT NO HARM.