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.

Take Action Now with Physicians for Reproductive Health Doctors and Supporters!

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

Our Advocacy:

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 >>

Doctors Share Their Stories, Call on Supreme Court to Stop Sham Laws

Physicians is proud to file an amicus brief before the United States Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole. In March, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over portions of Texas law HB2—a measure designed to shut down clinics that provide safe, legal abortion under the false pretense of improving women’s health. The amicus brief, authored by lawyers from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, shares personal stories from several doctors, illustrating their manifold reasons for providing abortion care.

“It’s crucial that we doctors share our stories and in doing so advocate for our patients,” Physicians board chair Nancy Stanwood, MD, MPH, said. “As physicians who provide abortions, we are humbled and honored to be there for our patients—whether it’s when they come to our offices or when they need us to speak up for their reproductive rights. This brief, which features doctors from many different backgrounds and from all over the country, is a testament to why we provide this essential care.”

Read excerpts from the brief here, or download the entire brief here.

For more than 40 years, the Supreme Court has said the constitution protects a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her health and family. Physicians calls on the Court to reject political schemes and sham laws that prevent women from acting on these personal decisions. 

Doctors’ Stories at the Heart of Amicus Brief

“It’s crucial that we doctors share our stories and in doing so advocate for our patients.”

New York, NY—Physicians for Reproductive Health has filed an amicus brief before the United States Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole.  In March, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over portions of Texas law HB2—a measure designed to shut down clinics that provide safe, legal abortion under the false pretense of improving women’s health. The amicus brief, authored by lawyers from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, shares personal stories from several doctors, illustrating their manifold reasons for providing abortion care.

“It’s crucial that we doctors share our stories and in doing so advocate for our patients,” Physicians board chair Nancy Stanwood, MD, MPH, said. “As physicians who provide abortions, we are humbled and honored to be there for our patients—whether it’s when they come to our offices or when they need us to speak up for their reproductive rights. This brief, which features doctors from many different backgrounds and from all over the country, is a testament to why we provide this essential care.”

Excerpts from the brief:

“I decided to become an ob/gyn because I believe that educating and providing reproductive health care can effect one of the most profound, positive changes in the life of a woman as well as in the lives of those around her. In the course of a morning, I can counsel a woman on terminating an unwanted pregnancy, provide prenatal care to another, and speak to a third about fertility treatments. The ability to give a woman the option to take control of her health and fertility, thereby empowering her to take control of her life, is not an obligation of my profession but a privilege that I am fortunate to fulfill.”Rachna Vanjani, MD, Contra Costa, CA

“My goal as an abortion provider is to create a non-judgmental space for women to make their decision and to provide the best quality medical care. The longer I have worked in this area, taking care of patients in so many different situations with different responsibilities, medical histories, or family structures, the more I recognize that it isn’t my role to have a say in their decision. I feel really good providing this care because I know I’m helping these women when they need it. That’s my calling as a doctor.” — Sarah Wallett, MD, MPH, Kentucky

“I had the opportunity to work abroad in Zimbabwe, where abortion is illegal. I saw many women who were suffering from botched, unsafe abortions— women who never recovered. The experience made me realize how important safe, legal abortion is in the United States, but also how tenuous that right can seem these days. As a doctor and an advocate, I’m determined to make sure that abortion remains accessible to everyone, regardless of where they live or how much money they make.” — Andrea Jackson, MD, MAS, San Francisco, CA

“My belief in God tells me that the most important thing you can do for another human being is to help them in their time of need. That’s why I have provided abortions full-time since 2009. I do not miss my easier path. I know that providing abortion care is just and noble and right.” Willie Parker, MD, MPH, MSc, Birmingham, AL

The amicus brief can be read and downloaded here: bit.ly/PRHamicusbrief

Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

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