Doctors’ group decries vote: “Women and families need compassion and a chance to make heartbreaking choices with dignity, not arbitrary barriers that limit their access to safe medical care. This bill robs them of their decision-making abilities.”
New York, NY—Today, the House Judiciary Committee advanced the nationwide ban on abortions after 20 weeks (H.R. 1797). This bill stands in direct conflict with Roe v. Wade and criminalizes doctors caring for patients.
Physicians for Reproductive Health (Physicians) opposes the ban because it takes decision-making away from women and their doctors and ignores the real-life circumstances that women and their families face.
Dr. Nancy Stanwood, Board Chair of Physicians, issued the following statement in response to the Judiciary Committee’s 20 to 12 vote:
“I am horrified by the callous actions of the House Judiciary Committee today and the effect this bill could have on the lives of women who seek my care. I can’t help but think of one of my patients, who I will call Jane. I met her two weeks into what she called her ‘nightmare.’
“Jane and her husband were expecting their first child and had gone to their prenatal ultrasound with excitement. Instead they received devastating news—the kind of news all pregnant women fear and hope to never get. The ultrasound revealed that the fetus had a significant cardiac abnormality. Shell-shocked by the news, they went home and considered whether to undergo amniocentesis and consult a pediatric cardiologist. They decided to do both and were able to schedule the amniocentesis and consultation three days later. They had to wait another eight days for devastating news from the test results—the diagnosis was a lethal fetal anomaly, Trisomy 18. The majority of pregnancies diagnosed with Trisomy 18 result in stillbirths, and most babies born with this genetic condition do not live more than a few days. Jane and her husband met with the high-risk obstetricians and genetic counselors again and after hearing all of their options, decided to terminate the pregnancy. That is when I took them into my care, walked this difficult path with them, and performed Jane’s abortion 15 days after her ultrasound.
“As is common with most women, Jane had her prenatal ultrasound around the 20-week mark, when fetal anatomy can be well studied. I performed her abortion at 22 weeks and five days. Had this bill been law in my state during Jane’s pregnancy, she and her husband would not have had the time for the necessary testing, consultation, counseling, and reflection. When facing such a stressful and tragic situation, women and families need compassion and a chance to make these heartbreaking choices with dignity, not arbitrary barriers that limit their access to safe medical care. This bill robs them of their decision-making abilities. I urge members of the House of Representatives to oppose this harmful legislation.” Read More