USA – Medical Impact of Roe Reversal Goes Well Beyond Abortion Clinics, Doctors Say

State abortion bans carry narrow but sometimes vague exceptions, and years of prison time. That’s forcing doctors to think like lawyers, and hospitals to create new protocols.

By Kate Zernike
Sept. 10, 2022

In Wisconsin, a group of doctors and lawyers is trying to come up with guidelines on how to comply with a newly revived 173-year-old law that prohibits abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman. They face the daunting task of defining all the emergencies and conditions that might result in a pregnant woman’s death, and the fact that doctors could be punished with six years in prison if a prosecutor disagrees that abortion was necessary.

A similar task force at an Arizona hospital recommends having a lawyer on call to help doctors determine whether a woman’s condition threatens her life enough to justify an abortion. Already, the hospital has added questions to its electronic medical forms so they can be used to argue that patients who had abortions would have died without them.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/10/us/abortion-bans-medical-care-women.html


USA – White coats in the state capital: OB-GYNs become political force in abortion wars

As lawmakers debate how much to restrict access to abortion, doctors are becoming increasingly vocal.

By ALICE MIRANDA OLLSTEIN and MEGAN MESSERLY
08/22/2022

Red state lawmakers rushing to pass new abortion restrictions are being stymied
by an unexpected political force — OB-GYNs.

These physicians — many of whom have never before mobilized politically — are
banding together in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade,
lobbying state lawmakers, testifying before committees, forming PACs, and
launching online campaigns against proposed abortion restrictions. Legislators
who are themselves physicians are using their medical backgrounds to persuade
colleagues to scale back some of the more restrictive and punitive portions of
anti-abortion laws being considered.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/08/22/doctors-abortion-state-capitals-00052946


Choosing sterilization, delaying treatment: Medical choices in U.S. are changing amid new abortion laws

Doctors, patients making care decisions on premise abortions illegal in wake of Supreme Court decision

The Associated Press
Jul 16, 2022

A sexual assault survivor chooses sterilization so she won't be forced to give birth if she's is ever attacked again.

An obstetrician delays inducing a miscarriage until a woman with severe pregnancy complications seems "sick enough."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/us-abortion-laws-repercussions-1.6522965


‘At death’s door’: abortion bans endanger lives of high-risk patients, Texas study shows

In a preview of what’s to come in half the country, a near-total ban has led some providers to deny care until mothers’ health deteriorated

Mary Tuma
Wed 13 Jul 2022

Facing a rupture of membranes before fetal viability – a condition in which water breaks too early – a pregnant patient in Texas desperately needed an abortion. She risked infection, sepsis, excessive bleeding and even death.

But her healthcare provider’s hands were tied by Senate Bill 8, a near-total ban in effect since September 2021, preventing her from accessing that potentially life-saving care in her home state. Despite the risk associated with air travel, she boarded a plane to obtain the procedure out of state. Her obstetrician cautioned that she could go into labor in-flight and give birth to a stillborn 19-week fetus. “If you labor on the plane, leave the placenta inside of you,” the doctor warned.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/13/texas-abortion-ban-maternal-health-risk


‘Thank the lord, I have been relieved’: the truth about the history of abortion in America

Abortion in the 19th-century US was widely accepted as a means of avoiding the risks of pregnancy. The idea of banning or punishing it came later

by Tamara Dean
Tue 12 Jul 2022

At our rural county’s historical society, the past lives loosely in bulletins, news clippings, maps and handwritten index cards. It’s pieced together by pale, grey-haired women who sit at oak tables and pore over old photos. Western sun filters in, half-lighting the women as they name who’s pictured, who has passed on. Other volunteers gossip and cut obituaries from local newspapers.

I was sent here by hearsay. For years, my neighbour has claimed that the old cemetery in the low-lying field on my Wisconsin property contains more bodies than the scant number of tombstones indicates. The epic flood of 1978 washed away the markers of the nameless – civil war soldiers, he says. I want to know who the dead were in life. After many walks through the cemetery, I’m familiar with the markers that remain. One narrow footstone reads simply: “MAS”. Three marble headstones rest at odd angles among the box elder trees. Stained, eroded and lichen-crusted, the stones belong to a boy and two baby girls who died in the 1850s and 60s. On the boy’s is a relief of a weeping willow; on the sisters’ are rosebuds. Signs of young lives cut short.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/12/thank-the-lord-i-have-been-relieved-when-abortion-was-safer-than-childbirth


Doctors weren’t considered in Dobbs, but now they’re on abortion’s legal front lines

July 3, 2022
Selena Simmons-Duffin

Historically, doctors have played a big role in abortion's legality. Back in the 1860s, physicians with the newly-formed American Medical Association worked to outlaw abortion in the U.S.

A century later, they were doing the opposite.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/07/03/1109483662/doctors-werent-considered-in-dobbs-but-now-theyre-on-abortions-legal-front-lines


UK doctors call for free abortions for Americans unable to access them

British Medical Association votes to lobby UK government on the issue after an emergency debate on the overturning of Roe v Wade

Tom Ambrose
Thu 30 Jun 2022

Americans who cannot access abortions should be offered free services in the UK, British doctors have said.

In an emergency debate in response to the US supreme court’s decision to overturn the Roe v Wade ruling, the British Medical Association (BMA) agreed to lobby the UK government on the issue.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/30/uk-doctors-call-free-abortions-americans-roe-v-wade


The US Supreme Court abortion verdict is a tragedy. This is how research organizations can help


NATURE editorial
28 June 2022

In response to the demise of Roe v. Wade, universities and research organizations can support those affected, ensure education and research on abortion continue and advocate for evidence-based policy.

The consequences of the US Supreme Court’s 24 June decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the court’s own landmark 1973 decision that enshrined the constitutional right to abortion for nearly 50 years, are already being felt. By striking down Roe, the court has put abortion rights in the hands of US state legislators. They have already responded.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01760-6


American Medical Association declares abortion bans ‘violation of human rights’

The American Medical Association announced it was implementing a new policy that would provide legal protections for patients and doctors against governments attempting to criminalize reproductive health services.

By Shirin Ali
June 15, 2022

The largest medical association in the country has declared it will take any necessary legal steps to protect patients and doctors that seek and administer reproductive health services — including abortion and contraception.

The American Medical Association (AMA) announced Tuesday it was implementing a new policy that will expand legal protection for patients and physicians against government systems of control and punishment that criminalize reproductive health services. 

https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/prevention-cures/3525017-american-medical-association-declares-abortion-bans-violation-of-human-rights/


The state fighting to dismantle abortion rights has a long history of permissive abortion laws

by Isabelle Taft
June 8, 2022

When Mississippi asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, it argued that a long tradition of state restrictions on abortion in the U.S. “defeats any claim of a deeply rooted right” to an abortion.

Yet for all but 21 of its 156 years as a state prior to Roe, Mississippi law technically permitted abortion for any reason until about 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Continued: https://mississippitoday.org/2022/06/08/mississippi-abortion-history/