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Roe v Wade, Tensions Still High Over Potential Repeal of Abortion Law, Experts Fear Effect On Doctors

Roe v Wade, Tensions Still High Over Potential Repeal of Abortion Law, Experts Fear Effect On Doctors

There was shock throughout the United States of America (USA) when on Monday news broke of the leaked US Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v Wade, a historical case that made the right to abortion a legally recognized right. Emotions were high on both sides of the spectrum and citizens took to social media and even the streets to make their opinions heard.“I am angry,” said Elizabeth Warren, voice shaking as she led a pack of reporters straight over a flowerbed outside the Supreme Court. “I am angry and I am hurt. Never mind that 69% of Americans are against overturning abortion legislation. The Republicans have been working towards this day for decades,” she added even as a man in the background yelled, “You want to dismember children in the womb!”Such rhetoric and more was stamped into the public consciousness as the days passed and the news went global. All of a sudden there seemed to have been a line drawn with one side, the ‘pro-life’ group throwing vitriol against the ‘pro-choice’ group and vice-versa. Yet, even as Nigerians and other global observers join the fracas, experts have also made their worries heard.“If this decision ends up being similar to what was leaked, this is going to substantially affect abortion care, obstetrics care, and healthcare more generally,” said Dr. Nisha Verma, a Darney-Landy fellow with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Such a decision would represent a seismic shift in the American healthcare landscape with devastating consequences for medical care, education, and the doctor-patient relationship.”Also speaking, Lindsay Lewis, co-author of a report by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers remarked: “It starts with doctors because overturning Roe will have a severe chilling effect. Abortion restrictions are now more likely to contain extremely narrow exemptions to save the lives of pregnant people, severe criminal penalties for providers, and a lack of exemptions for rape and incest.“…this has the potential to turn the doctor-patient relationship on its head,” said Lewis. “Doctors may not feel comfortable advising women to go to another state to seek abortions, while women may be uncomfortable being open about speaking about her considerations.”“Largely because of the politicization of obstetric and abortion care, the public sees these as two very different and separate things when pregnancy management and pregnancy termination are very interconnected,” Dr. Kavita Vinekar, assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine and a fellow with the Physicians for Reproductive Health. “A lot of the skills we use in obstetrics are directly related to the training we receive in abortion care.”As these and many more arguments rage on, observers have looked anxiously at the Supreme Court for an answer. But as the final decision of the Court won’t be made until June, it seems the debates both on and offline will not be ending any time soon.

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