NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade released Friday, medical organizations have spoken out on behalf of their profession and their patients.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) issued a statement calling the decision “a destructive setback for ob-gyns and patients,” while still avowing to “continue with unwavering resolve to support all people who struggle against interference with the patient–physician relationship.”

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The organization’s president, Ifftah Abasi Hoskins, MD, FACOG, called the decision “a direct blow to bodily autonomy, reproductive health, patient safety and health equity in the United States.”

“Reversing the constitutional protection for safe, legal abortion established by the Supreme Court nearly fifty years ago exposes pregnant people to arbitrary, state-based restrictions, regulations, and bans that will leave many people unable to access needed medical care,” he said. “The restrictions put forth are not based on science nor medicine; they allow unrelated third parties to make decisions that rightfully and ethically should be made only by individuals and their physicians.  ACOG condemns this devastating decision, which will allow state governments to prevent women from living with autonomy over their bodies and their decisions.  

“Abortion is a safe, essential part of comprehensive health care, and just like any other safe and effective medical intervention, it must be available equitably to people, no matter their race, socioeconomic status or where they reside.  When abortion is legal, it is safe. Allowing states to set individual restrictive abortion policies, including restrictions outright bans on this essential component of medical care, results in increased inequities that already plague the health care system and this country. These oppressive laws will force many people to face the known risks associated with continuing a pregnancy, including potential pregnancy-related complications and worsening of existing health conditions, as well as the morbidity and mortality associated with childbirth. The impact of this irresponsible decision will fall disproportionately on people who already face barriers accessing health care, including people of color, those living in rural areas, and those without ample financial resources. This decision, which has been foreshadowed for many months, confirms that this is a dark and dangerous time for the women and doctors of America.

“The principle of shared decision-making is founded on respect for peoples’ expertise in their own bodies and lives and clinicians’ expertise in science and medicine. There is no room within the sanctuary of the patient-physician relationship for individual lawmakers who wish to impose their personal religious or ideological views on others.  

“While the Supreme Court’s decision today is a significant and destructive setback, ACOG’s resolve is unwavering:  we will continue to support our members, our community partners and all people in the ongoing struggle against laws and regulations that violate and interfere with the patient-physician relationship and block access to essential, evidence-based health care.” 

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) also lamented the decision. AAFP President Dr. Sterling Ransone Jr. said the decision “criminalizes medical care, undermines patient-physician relationship and exacerbates health inequities” an urged state legislatures to “strike down laws that jeopardize reproductive care and access.”

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“Patients must be able to depend on their physicians to help them make critical decisions about their personal health,” he said in part. “Physicians must be able to practice medicine that is informed by their years of medical education, training, experience and the available evidence, freely and without threat of punishment, harassment of retribution. The Court’s decision prevents these basic tenets of health care.”