In light of a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the abortion rights protected by Roe v. Wade and other precedents, the AMA is profoundly worried about the impact on reproductive health in the United States if the high court ultimately rules in that fashion.
The AMA is “deeply concerned by the contents and implications of the draft Supreme Court opinion for the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization case that became public this week,” said AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, MD.
“This opinion would lead to government interference in the patient-physician relationship, dangerous intrusion into the practice of medicine and potentially criminalizing care,” added Dr. Harmon, a family physician in South Carolina.
The AMA and more than two dozen leading medical organizations filed an amicus brief (PDF) with the high court, explaining to the justices that “abortion is safe medical care” and rightfully “a decision to be made between the patient and the physician, subject to the physician's clinical judgment and the patient's informed consent,” Dr. Harmon said.
Studies have found that women are more likely to self-induce abortions when they face barriers to reproductive services and those who are forced to carry a pregnancy to term face “an outcome with significantly greater risk to maternal health and mortality,” notes the medical organizations’ brief.
"With deliberations underway, we strongly urge the Court to reject the premise of the draft opinion and affirm precedent that allows patients to receive the critical reproductive health care that they need,” Dr. Harmon said. “Allowing the lawmakers of Mississippi or any other state to substitute their own views for a physician’s expert medical judgment puts patients at risk and is antithetical to public health and sound medical practice.”
Read the full story by Kevin B. O’Reilly, AMA news editor, for more details.