Doctors group weighs in on ballot initiatives
New York, NY — Yesterday, three states — Colorado, North Dakota and Tennessee — voted on ballot initiatives affecting women’s access to safe and legal abortion.
In Tennessee, voters approved a change to the state constitution that will eliminate all protections for abortion in the state. State legislators have already pledged to move forward anti-choice legislation such as a mandatory delay for women seeking an abortion and additional restrictions on abortion facilities.
Physicians for Reproductive Health Reproductive Health Advocacy Fellow Dr. Kathleen Morrell weighs in:
“It is difficult to express how disappointed we are in the outcome in Tennessee. As physicians who care for women, our foremost concern is protecting our patients’ health and safety, and nothing about Amendment 1 furthers those interests. In fact, the measures that will likely result from this change to Tennessee’s constitution could jeopardize the health of Tennessee women by restricting their access to abortion. Additionally, given the reproductive rights landscape of neighboring states, the impact of this Amendment will likely be felt by women across the Southeast.
“As physicians we know that imposing waiting periods or medically unnecessary requirements like admitting privileges do not make abortion safer. Government should never interfere with a woman’s personal and private decisions about her pregnancy.
“We are thankful that voters in Colorado and North Dakota voted to protect women’s health, rejecting so-called personhood initiatives. They saw through the misleading campaigns and resoundingly defeated measures that would have endangered women’s access to abortion. This is the third time that Colorado has rejected a personhood measure.
“We will continue working to make sure that every woman has access to the reproductive health care she needs. Abortion is a key component of basic health care; one in three women will have an abortion by the age of 45 and it is imperative that women have access to safe and legal abortion care.”