Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian has issued a statement after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision that gave women in all 50 states the constitutional right to control their own reproductive health choices.
Dr. Bagdasarian stated the following:
“Decisions about whether to end or continue a pregnancy should be made by a woman with the counsel of her family, her faith and her doctor – not politics. As a physician, I know that the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn nearly half a century of precedent protecting safe, legal abortion violates the trusted relationship between a patient and their doctor. This ruling completely supersedes and overrides a woman’s ability to dictate her health care in consultation with her physician. And it clears a path for draconian laws like Michigan’s 1931 criminal abortion ban to take full effect.
I am concerned about how this decision will negatively impact health outcomes for women and children, particularly women and children of color as they have greater disparities in health outcomes in general. A woman may choose to have an abortion for a wide variety of reasons – none of them are anyone’s business but hers. If women and doctors are under threat of prosecution and jail time due to Michigan’s abortion ban, women will have a more difficult time accessing critical health care. And with abortion not legally available, women are more likely to undergo unregulated procedures that can jeopardize their future reproductive health and in some cases be life threatening.
SCOTUS’s ruling and Michigan’s abortion ban will not only punish women seeking abortion care, but it will also punish and criminalize health care providers who have dedicated their lives to providing the best care for their patients. It casts a dark shadow over the medical community – and doctors will now be forced to choose whether to honor our oath to our patients, to our communities and to our profession, or uphold a law that is unjust and discriminatory and does not reflect the wishes of the majority of Michigan residents.”
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