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Brendan Prast, a physician, is chairman of Maine Providers Standing Up for Healthcare, an organization of hundreds of health care providers across the state.

The fight for reproductive justice and equal access to health care has taken a dangerous turn. And that’s why Maine Providers Standing Up for Healthcare, a group of hundreds of interprofessional health care providers across the state, vehemently opposes all laws that could restrict access to healthcare, including abortion, contraceptives, drugs for trans youth, or any other attempt. deprive a person of control over their health.

The recent leak of a draft Supreme Court decision shows what we feared – the gradual elimination of our reproductive rights in America. Over 600 abortion restrictions were accepted since 2011, since over 100 in 2021 one.

Although it is only a draft, this Supreme Court leak is one of the most drastic changes proposed. If Roe v. Wade is dropped, 26 states will restrict access to abortion almost immediately due to prepared laws that will take effect after the fall of Row. As health care providers, we know that limiting or banning access to abortion will not make it disappear. All it does is make abortion even more unaffordable, limit safe abortion for vulnerable populations, increase health inequalities, and criminalize reproductive function.

Abortion statistics often surprise people who oppose choice, so it’s helpful to highlight the exact facts. abortion is very common One in four women who can become pregnant will have an abortion by age 45. The majority of those who want to have an abortion (54 percent) report their religious affiliation, and 59 percent have already given birth before. While anti-choice politicians often discuss “partial births” or abortions just before birth, the reality is 88 percent According to the Guttmacher Institute, abortions occur in the first 12 weeks. As a public health advocacy organization, disseminating accurate information is vital to combat anti-choice misinformation across the country, and we will continue to do so to protect our patients.

We represent a wide range of professions and backgrounds, so as a group we are deeply aware of the devastating effects pregnancy takes on people’s bodies. Due to emotional or financial stress, physical changes, or the dangers inherent in pregnancy itself (bleeding, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes), pregnancy is not always a benign condition. All people who can become pregnant have the right to choose whether pregnancy is right for them. But not only is the right to abortion being contested, but laws are being introduced to limit access to birth control, whether by making it illegal or removing insurance coverage. for this.

If these reproductive health laws were truly about the safety and protection of newborns, their proponents would work to improve health outcomes and access to care for both parents and newborns. Our maternal mortality rate in the United States above than in other developed countries. There is blatant racial inequality in terms of pregnancy deaths Black and Indigenous Maternal Mortality Rate least two to three times higher than white patients. But many of the same people who demand that people have children they may not be able to raise often also refuse to support increased funding for child health care, financial support for families, parental leave, or schools for these children after they birth.

Politicians who do not improve the care of our population and instead pass erroneous or hostile laws should stay away from our examination rooms. Health professionals have known this for decades, and now more than ever, we need to mobilize. Take this as an invitation to join us at upcoming events and rallies – here is a link to our website: standupME.org. Donate to an abortion fund www.abortionfunds.org) at the national level to protect access to health care, disseminate resources such as the Guttmacher Institute for unbiased reproductive health information and communicate with your elected officials. And finally, remember this: abortion is health care. Abortion is a safe medical procedure, and abortion, like any other medical treatment, is a human right.

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