Physicians Relieved: Supreme Court Decides in Favor of Our Patients’ Health
New York, NY—Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health board chair Douglas Laube, MD, MEd, celebrates today’s Supreme Court decision upholding health care reform:
"Thanks to today’s ruling, we can move closer to the day when our patients won’t go without basic medical care because they can’t pay for it. The Affordable Care Act has already begun to change health insurance in the United States for the better, doing away with pre-existing conditions, gender-rating (making insurance more expensive for women than men), and other practices that have hurt women’s health.
"In August, insurers will be required to cover women’s preventive health care, in full, without co-pays. Our patients’ well-being hinges on contraception, Pap smears, and other preventive services—we are eager for this long-overdue reform to go into effect.
"As physicians, we have seen patients who lacked affordable health insurance and suffered terrible consequences, as in the following stories from my colleagues. With the full implementation of health reform, Americans will have a better shot at staying healthy."
When I was in residency in the early 2000s, I took care of Rita, a young mother of five. Rita was suffering from a serious heart defect. She was six weeks pregnant and had a defective cardiac valve that had to be replaced with a synthetic one. Pregnancy put her at high risk for a blood clot forming on the new valve and travelling to her brain, where it could kill her.
Rita had not been using contraception because she had no insurance to make it affordable—not because she didn’t want to use it. While in the hospital, despite taking blood thinners to treat her clots, Rita had a stroke. The woman I had spent hours with talking about caring for her five living children, her marriage, how to handle her unplanned pregnancy—that woman could now no longer speak or walk.—Jen Russo, MD, Pittsburgh, PA
I cared for a mother of two who had been treated for cervical cancer when she was 23. At that time, she was covered by her husband’s insurance, but it was an abusive relationship, and she lost her health insurance when they divorced. For the next five years, she had no health insurance and never received follow-up care (which would have revealed that her cancer had returned). She eventually remarried and regained health insurance, but by the time she came back to see me, her cancer had spread.
She had two children from her previous marriage—her driving motivation during her last rounds of palliative care was to survive long enough to ensure that her abusive ex-husband wouldn’t gain custody of her kids after her death. She succeeded. She was 28 when she died.—William Leininger, MD, Escondido, CA
DR. LAUBE IS AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT.
Help us recognize Eve Espey, MD, MPH, and Willie Parker, MD, MPH, MSc, at the 2013 Rashbaum-Tiller Abortion Provider Awards.
Video: Pre-Roe Doctors
The documentary Voices of Choice features physicians and advocates who witnessed women's suffering before Roe v. Wade. They helped as many women as they could obtain safe abortions.
Who We Are
PRCH is a doctor-led national advocacy organization. We use evidence-based medicine to promote sound reproductive health policies. We believe in reproductive choice for everyone.
Show Your Support
Sign the Abortion Provider's Declaration of Rights. Stand up for patients seeking abortion and those who provide that care.
“Whether she aborts or doesn’t abort, she’s going to have a lot of regrets ... [I]t’s terribly important that this decision not be made by fat, middle-aged men sitting in their ivory tower.”
William K. Rashbaum, MD, from “In His Own Words”
To arrange an interview with a physician or get additional background information, contact:
Alexandra Ringe, Assistant Director of Communications