On Friday, June 24, the Supreme Court released their opinion eliminating the constitutional right to abortion. The California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) denounces any decision that limits an individual’s ability to make their own reproductive decisions or limits access to abortion.
“Failing to protect or limiting abortion access will lead to unsafe abortions and unsafe pregnancies, further exacerbate health inequities and fundamentally interfere with the physician-patient relationship” said Dr. Lauren Simon, CAFP President.
CAFP supports the right of any individual to access abortion services and providers to be able to safely provide these important services without threat of intimidation or criminalization.
Family physicians are firmly against any policies that limit the evidence-based practice of medicine, threaten the patient-physician relationship, and inhibit the delivery of safe, timely, and necessary comprehensive care, including reproductive health services and information. Abortion is an evidence-based health care service.
The Supreme Court decision will not only have huge consequences for individuals, but is a step backward in a systemic effort to reduce health inequities. The impact of undermining access to timely abortion services will disproportionately effect people of color, low-income individuals, rural residents and other vulnerable populations.
CAFP represents family physicians with diverse individual perspectives, but we stand united in the belief that health care decisions should be made by patients in consultation with a trusted physician who is able to offer all information necessary to ensure informed consent. CAFP strongly opposes any external interference in this process as it conflicts with the fundamental medical principle of patient autonomy and infringes upon the physician-patient relationship.
CAFP thanks Governor Newsom and legislative leaders for their quick response to protect access to abortion in California, and supports the administration in that effort. We stand with the physicians and patients in states that lack California’s leadership in protecting access to abortion.
“CAFP is working with national and state leaders to ensure patient care, health care access, and patient-physician relationships are supported,” noted Dr. Simon.
Family medicine offers a unique perspective as a specialty committed to the care of individuals throughout their lives. The CAFP offers itself as a resource to provide expert information on reproductive health and the patient-physician relationship. CAFP is offering a number of resources to assist family physicians in helping colleagues and patients navigate changes in the wake of today’s Supreme Court decision. We are committed to ensuring that California is ready to provide abortion services to those who need it, including a July 19 webinar for family physicians to learn more about managing medication abortions.