According to leaders of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reverse a woman’s right to an abortion signals a “very dark day in healthcare” that will put patients at risk and make doctors unwilling to take action.
Dr. Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, President of ACOG, said, “It is a dark day indeed for the tens of millions of patients who have suddenly and unfairly lost access to safe, legal, and evidence-based abortion care.”
What’s the case?
A legal norm was established by the court’s 1973 verdict against Roe Wade. The Supreme Court of the United States made a historic ruling, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), holding that a pregnant woman’s right to an abortion is generally protected by the U.S. Constitution.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed this ruling, as it is unclear what this means for the right to an abortion, for example, in the case of abnormal fetal development.
ACOG Leaders are Concerned
Leaders of the ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) addressed the media after the high court upheld a Mississippi statute that forbids abortions beyond 15 weeks of pregnancy by a 6-3 majority. Roe vs. Wade, which had safeguarded a woman’s right to have an abortion in the US for fifty years, was overturned by the court by a 5-to-4 vote.
The decision will also have an impact on a doctor’s capacity to provide patient care. According to ACOG CEO Dr. Maureen Phipps., “It will leave physicians looking over our shoulders, wondering if a patient is in enough of a crisis to permit an exception to the law,” Phipps said. “It leaves them fearing that the evidence-based care they are providing leaves them susceptible to discipline, punishment, lawsuits, loss of license and criminal penalty.”