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San Francisco Marin Medical Society Blog

San Francisco Marin Medical Society Will Fight for Reproductive Rights

On Monday, May 3rd, 2022, reports emerged indicating that the Supreme Court of the United States drafted an opinion that will overturn the federal constitutional protections on abortion rights determined by its 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade.

Should this draft opinion become the opinion of the court, individual states will be able to decide whether to ban or restrict abortions. It is expected that 13 states would ban abortion immediately or very quickly, and 11 could restrict access, affecting access to vital care for up to 69 million Americans. As a result, the number of patients traveling to California to access abortion services could increase from 46,000 to 1.4 million.

The San Francisco Marin Medical Society (SFMMS) has longstanding policy that “abortion are medical decisions to be made by the patient and her physician, and […] no woman should be denied the right to have an abortion if that is the decision she reaches in consultation with her physician.”

SFMMS has a proud history of fighting for access to abortion services, including:

  • Authored policy adopted by the American Medical Association (AMA) making the national association for physicians explicitly pro-choice.
  • Authored California Medical Association (CMA)/AMA policy declaring that European medical abortion medications should be available in the US.
  • Conducted two national mailings to over 60,000 US medical students urging them to learn about and provide abortion.
  • Participated in UCSF medical education forums on reproductive health issues
  • Authored CMA/AMA policy denouncing harassment and murder of physicians providing abortion.
  • Authored CMA/AMA policy denouncing the deceptive anti-choice “clinics” pretending to provide reproductive health services.
  • Joined with Planned Parenthood and other such groups to oppose proposed ballot and other initiatives that would restrict access to the full range of reproductive services.
  • Authored CMA policy urging that approved medical abortion medications be promptly evaluated by the FDA for wider availability via pharmacies.

The President of the California Medical Association, Dr. Robert E. Wailes, has also released a statement, stating ““We are gravely concerned that the U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to overturn the protections offered by Roe v. Wade and put the lives and welfare of millions of women at risk. CMA has long-standing policy supporting access to reproductive services. Personal medical decisions – including those around abortion – should be made by patients in consultation with their health care providers.”

Organized medicine will fight for our values, for our communities, and for our patients.

Much about the recent opinion is uncertain and may change in the coming weeks. No matter the outcome, we pledge that SFMMS will continue to partner with local and state legislators to protect women’s reproductive rights, including access to abortion services; the physician-patient relationship; the right to privacy; and the practice of an evidence-based medicine that is free from political interference.

In solidarity,

Michael Schrader, MD

President, San Francisco Marin Medical Society

Heyman Oo, MD

President-Elect, San Francisco Marin Medical Society

Monique Schaulis, MD

Immediate Past-President, San Francisco Marin Medical Society

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