"We know that abortion is one of the safest medical procedures available," Chapman Pomponio wrote in an email to the Gazette-Mail. "Unfortunately, Dr. Calhoun's claims remain unsubstantiated and yet they are being used to advance the attorney general's political agenda aimed at creating new restrictive laws.
"We are glad that the facts seem to be coming together," she said. "The only fact that has been abundantly clear all along is that Dr. Calhoun is radically opposed to abortion. This leads the public and the women's health community to question the credibility of his allegations. Women's health and safety are our chief concerns so we want to get to the bottom of this."
Calhoun did not respond to requests for comment for this report.
His letter to Morrisey was the basis for Delegate Nancy Guthrie's recent complaint against him to the Board of Medicine. In her letter, three weeks ago, Guthrie argued that Calhoun either knowingly made false statements about the complications or failed to notify the Board of Medicine of the "incompetence or substandard care" offered by the state's abortion clinics.
Calhoun, in turn, called Guthrie's letter a political stunt. Her letter misquoted Calhoun, the doctor wrote in his response.
"In no place did I make reference to 'botched abortions,' as your letter asserts," Calhoun wrote. "My statements were directed at 'complications from abortions,' which cover a broad spectrum of medical problems. These range from minor bleeding, a common side effect of an abortion, to more serious complications. As I stated, complications from abortions are quite common in our emergency room. Due to my position as a high risk perinatologist and on-call physician, I see and treat many of the women that come to our hospital with these problems."
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.