Abortion bans are a threat to patients. Doctors can and should resist them.

By M. Gregg Bloche and Sarah K. Werner
August 18, 2022

Initial reaction to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has cast doctors as powerless — unable to protect their patients from an onslaught of state laws that compel people to bear children. But physicians do have power, and they can — and should — resist the threat that forced-birth laws pose to patients’ lives and well-being.

The states where abortion bans have already taken effect or are likely to in the near future all include exceptions that empower the medical profession to protect pregnant patients. These exceptions vary by state, but they all allow physicians some discretion to conclude that abortion is medically necessary and therefore lawful. They include language authorizing doctors to judge that continuing a pregnancy endangers a patient’s life; some, such as the Texas law, also permit physicians to terminate pregnancy in the event of “serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function.”

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/08/18/abortion-bans-threat-doctors-standards-overcome/