By Carol Havens, MD, FAAFP
The effect of reversing Roe goes well beyond eliminating elective abortions in many states, it threatens the sanctity of the patient and their health care provider to make decisions about the continuum of safe reproductive services. For example, the decision also has prevented treatment for ectopic pregnancy, premature rupture of membranes, and other medical complications which could endanger the life of the woman. It also forces patients to continue with a pregnancy (and all the associated costs - both financial and emotional) when a fetus has abnormalities incompatible with life. Although many legislators in states which have made abortion illegal say their statutes allow for abortion in cases of threat to the life of the mother, in reality it is the courts that decide if a case rises to the level of an immediate threat. The risk to the physician and hospital/clinic/surgery center includes potential prison time and/or heavy financial penalties if the courts feel the abortion was not indicated. Our immediate past president, Shannon Connolly, was interviewed for Good Morning America on this very important issue and I’m hoping those of you that missed it, can check it out below.
Additional resources on reproductive health education can be found here.