Press Release |

PRH Fellows Testify Before Congress

Today, Physicians for Reproductive Health Fellows Dr. Nisha Verma and Dr. Allison Linton are testifying before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Dr. Verma is a Georgia-based ob/gyn and Dr. Linton is a Wisconsin based ob/gyn, both dedicated to caring for communities in states with restrictive abortion laws. Alongside Guttmacher Co-CEO Ms. Destiny Lopez and abortion storyteller Madysyn Anderson, Drs. Verma and Linton will share some of the health, financial, and social implications of threats to reproductive rights. Today’s hearing will be live-streamed at 10am EST.

The following are excerpts from Dr. Linton and Dr. Verma’s remarks to the Committee: 

“…most of all, I have been honored to take care of patients. I see them annually for Pap tests and breast cancer screening exams, catching up on their new jobs, where their kids are going to college, or what vacation they have coming up. I see them as adolescents when they have questions about how their body is changing. I see them for STI testing, discussions of birth control, irregular periods, and chronic pain symptoms. I sit with them for hours on labor and delivery as they push to bring a new baby into the world. And I cry with them when something changes in their life or a new diagnosis is made and they are forced to make decisions they never thought they would have to.

…my patients and my colleagues have been existing in a state of chaos, confusion and fear.

“Sometimes they come alone. Sometimes with a partner or a friend. But we are always with them. Their doctors, their nurses, their health care teams — we support them in every situation, giving them all the information we can, and trusting them to make the decision that is best for them.

“Unfortunately, our ability to do our job changed two years ago. On June 24, 2022 at 9:10 a.m. Central Time, the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling sent reproductive health care into a tailspin. For the past 711 days, my patients and my colleagues have been existing in a state of chaos, confusion and fear.” —Dr. Allison Linton

“As patients face a growing wave of abortion restrictions, many describe feeling betrayed by a government and health care system that is supposed to serve and protect them. Doctors, too, feel betrayed by our government. Many of my colleagues, overwhelmed by laws that threaten to make us criminals for providing evidence-based, life-saving care to our patients, are leaving their states. In places like Georgia, where already over 50% of counties have no OB/GYNs, these worsening workforce shortages are devastating for all aspects of reproductive health care.

I urge you to listen to the stories of people who provide and access abortion care.

“I understand that abortion care can be a complicated issue for many people, just like so many aspects of health care and life can be. I also know that abortion is necessary, compassionate, essential health care, and that patients are capable of making complex, thoughtful decisions about their health and lives no law should prevent them from doing so.

“I am unwavering in my commitment to support people in my home in the South. It shouldn’t have to be this way. I urge you to listen to the stories of people who provide and access abortion care. I hope these stories help you to see how profoundly restrictions on abortion access harm all of our communities.”
Dr. Nisha Verma