Internal Medicine Physicians Greatly Concerned by Supreme Court Decision Eliminating Right to Reproductive Services
Statement attributable to:
Ryan D. Mire, MD, FACP
WASHINGTON June 24, 2022 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) is greatly concerned by the Supreme Court decision that was issued today overturning Roe v. Wade and eliminating the constitutional right for millions of Americans to make their own decisions about their health care.
ACP firmly supports patient autonomy and ensuring access for all patients to the full range of reproductive health care services, including abortion. ACP believes that such reproductive health care decisions are foundational to the patient-physician relationship. A patient’s decision about whether to continue a pregnancy should be a private decision made in consultation with a physician or other health care professional, without interference from the government. We strongly oppose medically unnecessary government restrictions on any health care services.
With the final decision from the Supreme Court, access has already disappeared in the states with automatic bans on abortion, and it is likely to encourage other states to pass similarly restrictive policies. The decision is particularly concerning because it has the potential to be applied much more broadly than just to abortion services. Although the majority opinion states that the decision applies only to abortion, ACP is concerned that by eroding the constitutional right to privacy, the decision has the potential to restrict the ability of patients to access contraception or fertility treatments in some states, or to threaten other constitutional privacy protections.
Today’s announcement is a major setback in ensuring that all Americans are able to access necessary health care services. ACP will continue to advocate with lawmakers in Congress and other policymakers to restore the right to access reproductive services for all Americans.
The College established a formal new policy on these issues in May. That policy can be found online at https://www.acponline.org/acp_policy/policies/updated_womens_health_policy_position_statement_2022.pdf. The PA Chapter of the American College of Physicians will hold to this language in all state level discussions and legislative deliberations.
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About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness.