Forty-three years ago, the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the United States in its landmark decision on Roe v. Wade. In the current political climate, there is reason to celebrate another year with legal abortion as the law of the land. But there is no doubt that millions of women cannot exercise this constitutional right without overcoming significant barriers.
Physicians for Reproductive Health is doing everything we can to #ReclaimRoe, making the promise of Roe v. Wade a reality for every single woman in America. As part of today's anniversary, we are pleased to feature a piece by current Leadership Training Academy fellow, Antonella Lavelanet, DO, JD.
Late in 2015, a United Nations Working Group traveled to the United States to assess the state of U.S. women’s human rights, including the ability to access comprehensive reproductive health care. As a self-proclaimed world leader devoted to medical and scientific advancement, one might expect that the U.S. leads the pack in terms of protecting the health of its citizens. And yet, what the UN group found instead were core failures to advance women’s standing in society. In its initial report, the group’s human rights experts pointed out that paid maternity leave is not universal in our country, that U.S. policy- and law-making bodies lack adequate representation of women and their needs, and that the full spectrum of reproductive health care services is not accessible to many women.
If you are a medical professional, we want you and those you know to raise your voice in support of access to safe and legal abortion care by participating in our “Why I Provide/Why I Support” video project.
We’re collecting short videos (a minute long or less) that illustrate why you are proud to be an abortion provider (or, for those who don't provide, why you support those who do). This is a chance to lift up the voices of and stand in solidarity with those who ensure that patients can access the care they need.
We are hopeful that these combined efforts, and many others across the next few months, will give us a number of high quality, articulate, and inspiring statements we can air on our website and on YouTube to encourage more of our community to speak out proudly and assertively in support of abortion providers.
Need inspiration? Take a look at our video, "Why I Provide."
Physicians is proud to file an amicus brief before the United States Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole. In March, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over portions of Texas law HB2—a measure designed to shut down clinics that provide safe, legal abortion under the false pretense of improving women’s health. The amicus brief, authored by lawyers from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, shares personal stories from several doctors, illustrating their manifold reasons for providing abortion care.
“It’s crucial that we doctors share our stories and in doing so advocate for our patients,” Physicians board chair Nancy Stanwood, MD, MPH, said. “As physicians who provide abortions, we are humbled and honored to be there for our patients—whether it’s when they come to our offices or when they need us to speak up for their reproductive rights. This brief, which features doctors from many different backgrounds and from all over the country, is a testament to why we provide this essential care.”
For more than 40 years, the Supreme Court has said the constitution protects a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her health and family. Physicians calls on the Court to reject political schemes and sham laws that prevent women from acting on these personal decisions.
Physicians for Reproductive Health will honor the beloved memory and professional contributions of Dr. Kenneth J. Ryan by sponsoring the registration and travel costs for an outstanding obstetrician/gynecologist to attend the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Annual Clinical Meeting this coming May. Dr. Ryan was an outstanding scientist, inspirational teacher, ethicist, and forceful advocate for reproductive health and rights who changed the face of modern obstetrics and gynecology. We invite you to submit your nomination today.