Consensus guidelines address outpatient gynecology procedures, including abortion

  • Levy BS & al.
  • Obstet Gynecol
  • 1 Feb 2019

  • curated by Elisabeth Aron, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Clinical Essentials
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • Consensus guidelines for facilities performing outpatient gynecologic procedures, including abortion, have been released.
  • Although these guidelines are for all clinics, their specific use is to address laws that target abortion.

Why this matters

  • Laws proposing requirements on abortion clinics lack scientific evidence that such regulations will improve safety.
  • Targeting specific procedures based on ideology rather than evidence sets a dangerous precedent for the regulation of medicine.

Key results

  • Research is insufficient to allow the conclusion that particular facility factors have a positive or negative effect on patient safety or experience.
  • Research suggests that some facility requirements may result in decreased service availability.
  • No evidence indicates that regulations targeted at abortion care improve safety.

Study design

  • The Project on Facility Guidelines for the Safe Performance of Primary Care and Gynecology Procedures in Offices and Clinics established a group of clinicians, consumers, and representatives from accrediting bodies to review available evidence and clinical practice.
  • Final guidelines released following systematic review, consensus, and public comment.
  • Funding: Members of ACOG; Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health program; National Partnership for Women & Families; anonymous US-based charitable foundation; members of the Procedures Working Group; organizations represented on the planning committee.

Limitations

  • More research needed.