Fighting Back Against the Attacks

UPDATE: The vote to defund Planned Parenthood was defeated in the Senate. President/CEO Jodi Magee has released a statement.

Physicians for Reproductive Health is doing everything we can to counteract the harmful attacks on our colleagues at Planned Parenthood. In addition to our grassroots efforts, we have joined with 91 other organizations in a letter of support for Planned Parenthood to members of Congress.

Just this morning, we signed on to a letter with 17 other medical organizations to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), urging them to oppose Congressional efforts to deny Planned Parenthood federal public health funds.

And of course our doctor-advocates are speaking out:

  • Consulting medical director Dr. Anne Davis appeared on MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner in response to the video campaign targeting Planned Parenthood, and to offer scientific facts about fetal tissue donation.
  • Dr. Davis was also interviewed by Yahoo! Health News about the importance of fetal tissue donation. This led to another piece on Yahoo! Health News about why women may choose to donate fetal tissue after abortion.
  • Board chair-elect Dr. Willie Parker was interviewed by Cosmopolitan about why he is standing with his colleague Dr. Deborah Nucatola at Planned Parenthood, who is targeted in the video sting against her organization. His interview was  quoted in an RH Reality Check article about why abortion providers should take legal action against the Center for Medical Progress, the anti-choice extremists who covertly recorded the videos against Planned Parenthood.
  • Dr. Parker also appeared on the news program Democracy Now!
  • Former Physicians board chair Dr. Suzanne Poppema published an op-ed in the Seattle Times in response to the attacks by the Center for Medical Progress.
  • Leadership Training Academy alumna Dr. Sandra Penn spoke to the Albuquerque Journal in reaction to protests in New Mexico that aimed to intimidate women, defund Planned Parenthood, and interfere with access to safe and legal abortion.
  • Leadership Training Academy alumna Dr. Jennifer Kerns spoke to Public News Service, an independent news organization that syndicates its stories on public radio stations nationwide, about the attacks on Planned Parenthood, noting, “Fetal tissue research is a longstanding area of research, and one that has consistently advanced science and medicine. Every member of society has benefited from treatment discoveries that have been made from this research.”

Tonight, the Senate will vote on defunding Planned Parenthood. If you have not already done so, please send a message to your Senators right now.

As an organization dedicated to ensuring that all people have access to comprehensive reproductive health care, we will continue to be alert to opportunities to show our support for Planned Parenthood and all of our allied organizations, and to protect our doctors. And, of course we will not be deflected from our larger mission of advancing reproductive health care for all through our physician-advocates. We thank you for your support that enables us to do this work. 

We Stand With Abortion Care Providers — and We’re Proud to Provide

Stand with abortion providers

Every day, abortion providers endure harassment and threats simply because of the care that they offer patients. The recent attacks on Planned Parenthood underline the reality of the anti-choice movement: They want to stop access to safe, legal abortion. The group behind this latest fraud has executed 10 separate attack campaigns over the last eight years in an effort to ban abortion and block women’s access to care at Planned Parenthood.

Here is President and CEO Jodi Magee’s statement on the Planned Parenthood smear campaign:

“Women who have abortions often wish to donate tissue for research that can lead to lifesaving medical and scientific breakthroughs. This is done in a generous and altruistic frame of mind with the hope that they can help support advancements in medicine and helping other women and families who would benefit from the research. There are legal and ethical standards that reproductive health care providers follow in order to facilitate these donations. Physicians for Reproductive Health deplores the deceptive tactics used to distort and malign the importance of fetal tissue donation and offers support for women and providers that make the compassionate decision to donate.”

Now more than ever, physicians who provide abortion care and the allied health professionals who work at reproductive health clinics need your support. Please share this image on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platform and tell your friends and family that you #StandWithAbortionCareProviders. Or, you can simply share our own Facebook and Twitter posts. 

Medicine Wins Out Over Politics in North Dakota

Dr. Nancy StanwoodWe are thrilled and relieved that North Dakota’s House Bill 1456, the most extreme abortion ban in the United States, has been permanently blocked. Via our colleagues at the Center for Reproductive Rights, some background on the law:

North Dakota’s HB 1456—which was signed into law by Governor Jack Dalrymple in March 2013—is the earliest and most extreme abortion ban in the nation, making virtually all abortions in the state illegal as early as six weeks of pregnancy. The Center for Reproductive Rights and Thomas A. Dickson of the Dickson Law Office in Bismarck filed the lawsuit in June 2013 challenging the ban on behalf of Red River Women’s Clinic—the state’s sole abortion provider. A federal district court judge temporarily blocked the ban in July 2013 and then permanently blocked the law in April 2014, noting “the United States Supreme Court has spoken and has unequivocally said no state may deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at a point prior to viability.”

Our board chair Dr. Nancy Stanwood had this to say on the ruling’s significance:

“As physicians caring for the nation’s women, we applaud the ruling from the federal appeals court that confirms what we know: Decisions about reproductive health and well-being should be left to a woman and her doctor. Politicians have no place in my patient’s exam room, and their bans on safe, legal abortion deny women access to critical medical care, injuring their health and insulting their dignity. With the courts upholding time and again American women’s right to access abortion care, we physicians hope that politicians will stop interfering with the doctor-patient relationship and instead focus on issues that can actually improve women’s health.” 

The EACH Woman Act: A Bold Step Forward

Dr. Willie Parker“A woman’s options shouldn’t be dictated by how much money she makes. It’s time to put an end to this discriminatory practice. It is not just a matter of fairness, it is a matter of justice.” – Dr. Willie Parker

Physicians for Reproductive Health joined a large coalition today in praising the introduction of the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Diane DeGette (D-CO), and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) along with 66 cosponsors to ensure that every woman insured through the federal government can have access to abortion care. The EACH Woman Act will overturn the Hyde Amendment that for over 40 years has barred coverage of abortion for these women. This includes not only those who have Medicaid insurance, but also those who are insured through the Indian Health Service, serve in the military or the Peace Corps, or hold federal government jobs.

Read Physicians board chair-elect Dr. Willie Parker‘s entire statement here