Kanawha delegate: State Board of Medicine should look at doctor’s claims

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Charleston delegate is defending her request of the West Virginia Board of Medicine to investigate the claims of a Charleston gynecologist who said he frequently treats women for abortion complications.

Dr. Byron Calhoun, vice chairman of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department for WVU Physicians of Charleston, raised concerns about what he called a lack of regulations at West Virginia’s two abortion clinics. He did so in a letter sent to state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey earlier this year.

Morrisey has been reviewing the state’s abortion regulations.

“This lack of regulation allows abortion providers to abandon women with complications from their abortions to fend for themselves,” Calhoun told Morrisey.  He said, in other medical situations, such actions would be seen as malpractice.

Earlier this month, Kanawha County Nancy Guthrie (D-36) asked the West Virginia Board of Medicine to look into Calhoun’s claims. “If he’s going to make those kinds of allegations, he needs to prove it. Otherwise, what he’s doing is defaming a group of clinics that have been in business for years now,” said Guthrie.

She said the attorney general is not where Calhoun, who also serves on the National Medical Advisory Council for the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, should have taken his complaints.

“If he felt there were an alarming number of complications arriving in the emergency room, as a physician he is duty-bound under state code to report the offending doctors to the Board of Medicine for investigation,” said Guthrie, a pro-choice delegate.

Guthrie made those comments on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.” Talkshow host Hoppy Kercheval requested a response from Calhoun, but had not received a reply as of last Friday.

In an earlier statement, Calhoun dismissed Guthrie’s request as “a poorly executed political stunt.”

He said he has taken his concerns to WVU’s administrators, but those concerns cannot be addressed because of the lack of abortion regulations in West Virginia.

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