Abortion laws requiring ambulatory surgical center standards are not supported by evidence

Legislators around the country have restricted abortion through Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws placing unnecessary regulations on abortion facilities. More than a dozen states have laws requiring clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs). The Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt paved the way for constitutional challenges to these laws, and new research from ANSIRH bolsters the argument that these regulations have no relationship to abortion safety.

The research looked at whether there is any relationship between the type of facility where an abortion is performed and abortion-related complications. The study looked at data from more than 50,000 abortions and found no difference in complications for abortions that were performed in ASCs versus office-based settings. Importantly, there was no significant difference in complication rates abortions for either first or second trimester abortions or later abortions.

This research adds to the overwhelming body of evidence that abortion is a safe procedure and laws that require that abortions be performed in ASCs are not based in science.