New CLI Paper Examines Abortionists Holding Hospital Admitting Privileges

Katey Price, J.D.  

Study Looks at the Characteristics and Patterns of

Holding and Using Privileges


Today, the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) hailed the publication of a new paper entitled “Doctors Who Perform Abortions: Their Characteristics and Patterns of Holding and Using Hospital Privileges,” authored by CLI scholars and staff. This is the first published peer-reviewed study of abortion doctors and their patterns of using hospital privileges.


CLI president Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan, said:


“This study is the first of its kind in examining abortionists and their hospital admitting privileges, and it raises important public safety concerns around the medical qualifications of abortionists. Nearly half of the abortionists covered in the study lack such privileges, which are valued as a sign of competency and a reassurance to women that a physician is able to secure their admission to a hospital when something goes wrong.  Having admitting privileges in the study was linked to having board certification, another sign of professional competence, information that should be readily available to women who approach doctors seeking a potentially life-changing medical procedure.


“Until now, there hasn’t been a comprehensive study of hospital admitting privileges, and we clearly need more research and conversation on the points in this study. In researching the qualifications of abortion doctors and whether their patients have prompt access to hospitals in emergencies, our CLI scholars are leading the way and doing the work their colleagues in the medical, public health and science communities have failed to do.”


The authors of the study are James Studnicki, Tessa Longbons, John Fisher, Donna Harrison, Ingrid Skop and Sharon MacKinnon, and the entirety of their paper may be found in the peer-reviewed journal Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology and available online here. The study looked at 85 doctors in the State of Florida who perform abortions. Among the findings expanded upon in the paper, the authors note that:

  • Of the 85 abortionists studied, 42 (or 49.4%) lack hospital admitting privileges in Florida.
  • The demographic characteristics of abortionists in Florida show that they are predominantly male (74.1%) and older (62% have been in practice 30 years or longer).
  • Inpatient admissions from abortionists are disproportionately black and poor, reflecting the disparity in the incidence of abortion affecting this minority group, among whom Centers for Disease Control data for 1990-2014 show a 3.4 times higher abortion rate than for whites.

The authors of the study invite comment and further research into this issue and others in the area of abortion, writing, “A major barrier to advancing this domain of science continues to be the lack of a universal and comprehensive reporting requirement for all induced abortions and the healthcare professionals who perform them. Valid hypothesis testing analyses of these important research questions will require statistically representative samples of physicians and patients derived from such a comprehensive surveillance system.”



Sign up to receive email updates from the Charlotte Lozier Institute.