As physicians, we support access to comprehensive reproductive health care services for all women. Legislation that puts politics and ideology before the doctor-patient relationship interferes with our ability to provide the highest level of care to our patients.
Restrictions, such as mandatory ultrasounds and waiting periods, bans on abortion care after 20 weeks, laws prohibiting telemedicine for medication abortion or preventing minors from giving their own informed consent, and bills like the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) create unnecessary hardship for patients who are seeking abortion services. Moreover, they serve only to create barriers to safe, legal abortion care.
In no area of medicine other than abortion care do our state and federal governments impose morality-based legislation that has the potential to criminalize doctors and manipulate patients in an attempt to sway their health care decisions.
Despite the equal, intrinsic value of all medical professionals and all patients, American federal and state governments have enacted laws and policies that interfere with abortion providers’ ability to care for their patients.
Some restrictions, known as targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP laws), impose onerous restrictions on abortion providers that are not required of other outpatient surgical and medical care. Some require abortion care to take place in a hospital or other specialized facility, rather than in a physician’s office. Others institute new architectural and licensing requirements on abortion clinics.
Certain states now impose follow-up procedures after a medication abortion, while others necessitate reporting abortion complications and issue penalties for noncompliance.
As physicians, we know that when providers are prevented from helping their patients, women and families suffer. Read more about our efforts to fight restrictions on abortion.