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Cynthia Ros is a New York City obstetrician-gynecologist who runs a gynecology practice, Dr. Cynthia Ros, in the Bronx. Dr. Ros treats women and is part of the local women’s health organization Livable New York. She says she is a supporter of Mayor Bill de Blasio, and has been since he took office. But Dr. Ros is one of a growing number of doctors across the city who is peddling, intentionally or unintentionally, misinformation about abortion.
Dr. Ros and her colleagues share postcards that her clinic and other advocates have been distributing to the media with disclaimers such as “CYNDI LAUPER SEX-UAL PROJECT,” and “NERDS AND OBSTETRICISTS ABUSE WOMEN.” The ultimate goal is to stigmatize abortion — and when women have a better understanding of the reality of abortion, they are more likely to seek out contraception, according to the co-founder of The Abortion Awareness Project, Elizabeth Nash. According to research presented this year at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists conference, 41 percent of the 500 ob-gyns in a poll said they opposed abortion.
The trouble with lying is that it is harder to later say you were simply misinformed. “It’s good to provide a little bit of a pull-back for people,” says Dr. Ros. “This is not the world we live in, OK?” The only way to know how well she’s done is by reading the data. The data is clear: Many women who have an abortion do so because they feel they need to have one.
Dr. Ros and her colleagues say that, by pointing out a falsehood about abortion, they are simply trying to inform the public about their cause. “I’m not trying to dissuade you from having an abortion,” Dr. Ros says. “This is a wish that women could control their own bodies.” Doctors who are spreading the misinformation would be advised to consult with their patients about their religious beliefs. They are supporting an activist group called Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health that fights restrictions to abortion and post-abortion care in a number of states.