Physicians emphasize detrimental health impacts of Texas ban, call on state lawmakers to repeal and expand access
AUSTIN — Physicians across Texas today condemned the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v Wade, which has protected the constitutional right to an abortion for nearly 50 years.
“As physicians, we are critically concerned about what this ruling will mean for our patients and people across the country, especially here in Texas where an extremist ban on abortions has already been being enforced,” said Dr. Rashmi Kudesia, an OB/GYN and fertility specialist in Houston. “By stripping Americans of their constitutional right to an abortion, the Supreme Court has left people in states hostile to this health care, like ours, in an extremely dangerous position. That’s why doctors like us are calling on our state leaders to repeal the harmful abortion ban and instead work to expand access in the wake of this catastrophic ruling.”
In 2021, Texas passed Senate Bill 8, banning most abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, at about six weeks of pregnancy. Though the law is being challenged in court, with the overturning of Roe v Wade, the legal ground to challenge it could be taken away.
“We have already seen the devastating impacts of the state’s abortion bans on our patients, who are being forced to scrape together funds to travel many states away, or to carry their unexpected pregnancies to term, regardless ofthe impact on their health and well-being,” said Dr. Lisa Gurwitz, an OB/GYN in San Antonio. “It is heartbreaking, as a doctor, to have to turn away patients who need and deserve care due solely to this cruel, dangerous law. Many of these patients unfortunately have to deal with the severe risks of pregnancy, which can include death, or being forced to stay with an abusive partner, or the mental trauma and financial issues that come from forced pregnancy.”
Texas’ Republican leaders have also passed a trigger law that could ban almost all abortions entirely now that Roe v Wade has been overturned. Doctors who violate the law could face life in prison.
“Judges and politicians don’t belong in our exam rooms, yet they’re interfering with people’s personal decisions and taking away their autonomy over their bodies,” said Dr. Lee Bar-Eli, a family physician in Houston. “Abortion is safe, normal health care, and decisions around abortion should be made between patients and their doctors, in private. Elected officials who don’t respect the doctor-patient relationship must be held accountable.”
About the Committee to Protect Health Care
The Committee to Protect Health Care is a national mobilization of doctors, health care professionals, and advocates who are building a pro-patient health care majority in Congress and in states so that we can live in an America where everyone has the health care they need to thrive. To learn more: www.committeetoprotect.org