Physician Advocacy

Physicians for Reproductive Health Helps Physicians Change Policy

Physicians for Reproductive Health provides opportunities for physicians to get involved in local, state, and federal public policy issues. Our physicians are the best messengers to provide medically accurate information on reproductive health issues to lawmakers and the public. With Physicians for Reproductive Health, your voice can be heard!

Physicians for Reproductive Health supports policies that promote reproductive healthcare for all, including increased access to birth control, emergency contraception, and abortion services, as well as comprehensive sex education. We oppose policies that place politics over science at the expense of the reproductive healthcare of women, men, and teens.

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Visit our Action Center to make your voice heard on reproductive health.

Our Advocacy:

On the Supreme Court Steps, Our Doctors Are Proud Abortion Providers

Doctors at the Supreme Court RallyToday, during the oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, hundreds of reproductive rights supporters rallied on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States. As our colleagues at the Center for Reproductive Rights argued the case inside, speakers from all backgrounds–elected officials, college students, reproductive justice advocates, spiritual leaders, and abortion providers–stood up and said: Stop the sham. 

As our Reproductive Health Advocacy Fellow Dr. Pratima Gupta said: “When we stand against these sham laws we are standing up for women who have the least access to care, who face the most discrimination, and who are least likely to be able to travel to the only open clinic that may now be hundreds of miles away. We need to ensure that ALL women, no matter their zip code, have access to the care they need and deserve.”

You can watch the entire rally, which features speeches from Dr. Gupta, our board chair-elect Dr. Willie Parker, and Leadership Training Academy alums Dr. Sara Imershein and Dr. Bhavik Kumar, on YouTube.

Finally, we would like to share a wonderful video that was submitted as part of our “Why I Provide/Why I Support” project by Vanessa Cullins, MD, MPH, MBA, who is Vice President for External Medical Affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In this beautiful video, she talks about why she provided abortions as a physician and why she supports all abortion providers and all women who seek abortion care. Please watch it and share with friends and loved ones.

If you’re feeling inspired, please send us your own video. Read more about the project here

Medical Groups Issue Amicus Brief in Support of Contraception Access

“Decisions concerning contraceptive use, like all health care decisions, should be made by patients in consultation with their health care professionals.”

New York, NY— The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Physicians for Reproductive Health (Physicians), the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Nurses Association, along with other medical groups, have filed an amicus brief before the United States Supreme Court in Zubik v. Burwell. In March, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether the accommodation offered to religiously affiliated organizations by the Affordable Care Act violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The amicus brief explains that contraception is essential to women’s health and well-being, a critical component of preventive care, and integral to the health of families.

Background: In implementing the contraceptive benefit, the Obama Administration accommodated certain employers with religious objections to birth control by allowing them to opt out of covering it for their employees, provided that they fill out a form notifying their insurer, or the government, of the employer’s objection. If the employer provides such notice, the insurer would then provide coverage to the employee at no cost to the employer. Despite this, several employers have sued the Administration, alleging that the accommodation violates RFRA. Now, the Supreme Court will review seven of these challenges as part of Zubik v. Burwell.

Excerpt of amicus brief: The contraception coverage requirement recognizes that women of childbearing age have unique health needs and that contraception counseling and services are essential components of women’s preventive health care. Decisions concerning contraceptive use, like all health care decisions, should be made by patients in consultation with their health care professionals based on the best interests of the patient. This is best accomplished when contraceptive coverage is provided within the same overall framework as a woman’s other health care services in consultation with a woman’s chosen provider. The accommodation accomplishes this, while at the same time respecting an employer’s sincerely held religious objections to contraception….

Under the accommodation, prescription contraceptives are covered seamlessly and automatically as part of a woman’s health insurance package. If access to appropriate, cost-free contraception is removed from women’s routine health care services or is made more difficult to obtain, the likely result is that many women will simply not use contraception or will use an imperfect form of contraception inconsistently or improperly, with a concomitant increase in unintended pregnancies with all their consequences.  

The amicus brief can be read and downloaded here: http://bit.ly/1Q3nBux

Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for March 23.

 PHYSICIANS AND NURSES AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT 

On the 43rd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Our Doctors #ReclaimRoe

Antonella LavelanetForty-three years ago, the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the United States in its landmark decision on Roe v. Wade. In the current political climate, there is reason to celebrate another year with legal abortion as the law of the land. But there is no doubt that millions of women cannot exercise this constitutional right without overcoming significant barriers.

Physicians for Reproductive Health is doing everything we can to #ReclaimRoe, making the promise of Roe v. Wade a reality for every single woman in America. As part of today's anniversary, we are pleased to feature a piece by current Leadership Training Academy fellow, Antonella Lavelanet, DO, JD.

Late in 2015, a United Nations Working Group traveled to the United States to assess the state of U.S. women’s human rights, including the ability to access comprehensive reproductive health care. As a self-proclaimed world leader devoted to medical and scientific advancement, one might expect that the U.S. leads the pack in terms of protecting the health of its citizens. And yet, what the UN group found instead were core failures to advance women’s standing in society. In its initial report, the group’s human rights experts pointed out that paid maternity leave is not universal in our country, that U.S. policy- and law-making bodies lack adequate representation of women and their needs, and that the full spectrum of reproductive health care services is not accessible to many women.

As an obstetrician/gynecologist specializing in family planning, these findings come as no surprise to me. Continue reading Dr. Lavelanet's piece >>

Add Your Voice as a Provider or Supporter: Submit a Video

If you are a medical professional, we want you and those you know to raise your voice in support of access to safe and legal abortion care by participating in our “Why I Provide/Why I Support” video project.

We’re collecting short videos (a minute long or less) that illustrate why you are proud to be an abortion provider (or, for those who don't provide, why you support those who do). This is a chance to lift up the voices of and stand in solidarity with those who ensure that patients can access the care they need.

We are hopeful that these combined efforts, and many others across the next few months, will give us a number of high quality, articulate, and inspiring statements we can air on our website and on YouTube to encourage more of our community to speak out proudly and assertively in support of abortion providers.

Need inspiration? Take a look at our video, "Why I Provide."

We hope you will join us! Questions? Email us at communcations@prh.org.

Click through for instructions and tips >>