NMA Statement on Abortion Ban
Friday, May 31, 2019
NMA opposes the wave of abortion bans throughout the U.S.
Washington, D.C. --- The National Medical Association (NMA) is strongly opposed to the wave of restrictive anti-abortion laws sweeping the country with the goal of dismantling Roe v. Wade and cutting off access to safe and legal abortion care.
Last week Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed an extreme abortion law. At any time, the Missouri State Health Department is set to close the last remaining health center providing abortion care. Missouri would now become the first state in the country with no health center that provides abortion services. This will deny access to abortion care for more than 1.1 million women of reproductive age in Missouri.
This decision is fraught with issues that are severely detrimental to the health of the mother or child. Some of these laws do not include exceptions in the case of rape or incest. These decisions are not made lightly, and often involve the expertise of a medical professional. To that end, we oppose any and all legislation which interferes with the physician-patient relationship and attempts to impose harsh criminal penalties on physicians who deliver safe, legal, and necessary medical care.
Dr. Niva Lubin-Johnson, President of NMA, issued the following statement:
“In 2019, at least 15 states have either passed or attempted to pass abortion legislation. While Alabama’s anti- abortion law is the most restrictive in the nation, thus far, by outlawing an abortion at the detection of a heartbeat, which is often before a woman knows she’s pregnant; it removes any provisions for rape or incest; and it criminally charges physicians who perform abortions.
Georgia has also recently enacted similar laws. Any of these restrictions would make safe and timely abortion care increasingly unavailable, which increases women’s health risks. This is not just an attack on people
in those states, this is an attack on the reproductive rights of all women in America.”
“We are particularly concerned about the physician-patient relationship which is something we at NMA hold dear in our communities. The insertion of politics between patients and their physicians undermines the foundation of trust that this relationship is built upon and inhibits the delivery of safe, culturally
sensitive, timely, and comprehensive care, especially in communities of color.
We trust women to make their own decisions about their bodies. NMA believes that all women deserve the right to make their own decisions about their health care and all women deserve access to safe and legal health
care. We will join the fight with similarly-minded organizations to ensure that women are protected against those who strive every day to strip away their constitutional rights over their own bodies.”
NMA is the largest and oldest national organization representing the interests of more than 50,000 African American physicians and the patients that they serve. The organization is the collective voice of African American physicians and serves as the leading force for parity and justice in medicine.