Physician group leaders have “grave concern” ruling would hurt patients’ rights.
Physician organizations have joined those speaking out against a possible U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.
Late May 2, Politico published a draft opinion that would overturn the 1973 Roe decision and the 1992 Supreme Court decision on abortion rights, known as Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey. The Supreme Court confirmed the authenticity of the draft but said it did not represent a final decision in the case.
Since then, supporters of abortion rights have rallied against the ruling, which would return regulation of abortion rights to state governments.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) leaders have “grave concern” that the Supreme Court ruling would “take away the constitutional right of millions of Americans to make their own decisions about their health care.”
“ACP policy firmly supports patient autonomy and ensuring access for all patients to the full range of reproductive health care services, including abortion,” ACP President Ryan D. Mire, MD, FACP, and Board of Regents Chair Sue S. Bornstein, MD, FACP, said in a written update to members.
“A patient’s decision about whether to continue a pregnancy should be a private decision made in consultation with a physician or other health care professional, without interference from the government. We strongly oppose medically unnecessary government restrictions on any health care services. ACP continues to support the current and long-established legal framework that allows women to obtain abortions and opposes efforts that would further restrict a woman's right to privacy in medical decision making.”
A U.S. Supreme Court would interfere with the doctor-patient relationship by overturning Roe v. Wade, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).
Members of the nation’s largest physicians organization are “deeply concerned by the contents and implications” of the draft opinion for the case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which started in Mississippi, organization President Gerald E. Harmon, MD, said in a published statement.
“This opinion would lead to government interference in the patient-physician relationship, dangerous intrusion into the practice of medicine, and potentially criminalizing care,” Harmon said in a published statement.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) leaders said they "anticipate stark changes to our framework for abortion access" in a guidance statement to its members.
ACOG President J. Martin Tucker, MD, and President-elect Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, MD, issued a joint statement about the draft decision."ACOG is aware of the reports of a draft opinion that would strike down the protections afforded by Roe and Casey," they said, referring to the shortened names of the earlier court cases. "We will continue to affirm that the ability of patients to access safe, legal abortion is critical for their health and well-being. We are deeply concerned by the current reports and will continue our ongoing work to prepare for a new dynamic when it comes to needed abortion care."
At least 22 states have laws in place that would make them certain to attempt to ban abortion as quickly as possible, with another four likely to ban abortion, based on political composition, history, and other indicators, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization for sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The Guttmacher Institute said the following states would ban abortion: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Those likely to ban abortion are Florida, Indiana, Montana and Nebraska.