Physicians, advocates and other concerned Iowans made their appeals to the Iowa Board of Medicine Thursday as the state medical regulatory body moves forward with its rulemaking effort for the state’s 6-week abortion ban…
The state has long struggled to maintain an adequate maternal healthcare workforce, especially in rural areas of the state. A third of Iowa’s 99 counties are considered maternity care deserts, meaning there are no OB-GYNs practicing in that county and no birthing hospitals or birthing centers for patients to receive care, according to the March of Dimes.
Dr. Emily Boevers, an OB-GYN practicing in Waverly, said during Thursday’s meeting that she is the sole provider offering pregnancy care at her hospital because the facility has struggled to hire another OB-GYN.
“Obstetrician-gynecologists are already rare in Iowa, and we are one of the states with the least number of obstetrician-gynecologists per capita for our patients,” she said. “I do anticipate that adopting rules like these will make that situation even harder.”