Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society reacts to overturning of Roe vs. Wade

Massachusetts Medical Society reacts to overturning of Roe vs. Wade

Today is a heartbreaking and challenging day for many. The Massachusetts Medical Society believes that health care is a basic human right and strives for equity in access to and quality of care and condemns today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court as antithetical to those principles. Massachusetts is a leader in reproductive health care and abortion is protected under our state law and will remain so.

Abortion is an essential medical component in the continuum of reproductive health care and should be safely accessible to all, regardless of where you live. Protecting equitable access to reproductive health care, including abortion, and the right to seek the trusted guidance of a physician are critical to the health and well-being of all who may become pregnant. Today’s ruling also violates the primacy of the physician-patient relationship. It undermines the ability of a patient to freely consult with their physician and determine the best course of care.

There will be negative health consequences for the millions of people of reproductive age who no longer have access to essential reproductive health care, as this decision will force many to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, which carries medical risk, and for others lead to less safe terminations of pregnancy. These harms will disproportionately impact those with the least means who already face the most significant barriers. People of color, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, and those with low incomes will bear the brunt of this decision, further exacerbating existing inequities in access to care and disparities in maternal health outcomes.

The Medical Society stands with the physicians and care providers who will continue to provide compassionate, judgment-free health care and to all the people whom this decision will harm.

We applaud Gov. Baker’s swift executive order protecting access to reproductive health care services in the Commonwealth and urge the Massachusetts legislature to adopt strong protections for our citizens who engage in activities that are lawful under our state laws and statutes. We call on Congress to codify federal protections to ensure the continued ability of all to access safe and legal abortion throughout the entire country. Abortion is health care and must remain legal, affordable, and accessible.

-Theodore A. Calianos, II, MD, FACS, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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