The US Supreme Court is taking on a key abortion case—igniting a potential challenge to Roe v Wade.
According to CNN, “Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, which then-Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, signed into law in 2018, made exceptions only for medical emergencies or cases in which there is a ‘severe fetal abnormality,’ but not for instances of rape or incest. A federal judge in Mississippi struck down the law in November 2018, and the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling in December 2019.
After being rescheduled for the court’s consideration in conference over a dozen times, the case could present a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide prior to viability, which can occur at around 24 weeks of pregnancy.
It will be a blockbuster case, with the justices revisiting an issue that still deeply divides the country some 50 years after the landmark opinion, and with a ruling potentially coming in the middle of the 2022 midterm elections…
Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans — 60 percent to 70 percent, in recent polls by both Gallup and Pew — say they do not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe. Similarly, close to 60 percent of Americans say they favor abortion access in either all or most circumstances, according to Pew…
The most confounding aspect of public opinion is a contradiction between Americans’ views on Roe itself and their views on specific abortion policies: Even as most people say they support the ruling, most also say they favor restrictions that Roe does not permit. Roe, for example, allows only limited restrictions on abortion during the second trimester, mostly involving a mother’s health. But less than 30 percent of Americans say that abortion should ‘generally be legal’ in the second trimester, according to Gallup. Many people also oppose abortion in specific circumstances — because a fetus has Down syndrome, for example — even during the first trimester.
One sign that many Americans favor significant restrictions is in the Gallup data. Gallup uses slightly different wording from Pew, creating an option that allows people to say that abortion should be legal ‘in only a few’ circumstances. And that is the most popular answer — with 35 percent of respondents giving it (in addition to the 20 percent who say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances)…
Both advocates and opponents of abortion access believe the issue is too important to be decided by public opinion. For advocates, women should have control over their bodies; after all, no major decision of men’s health is subject to a veto by politicians or other voters. And for opponents of abortion access, the life of an unborn child is too important to be subject to almost any other consideration.
If the Supreme Court overrules or substantially weakens Roe, this intense debate will play out state by state. Many states are likely to restrict abortion access substantially.”
In a recent poll, 900+ Sermo physicians react to this news and share their professional opinions—with 67% saying that in general, they support women’s access to abortions. More specifically, this is how physicians responded to distinct elements of abortion:
- 91% said they believe a woman should have access to abortion if her own life is at stake.
- 44% said they support access to safe abortions.
- 21% said they do not support abortion.
- 13% said they support access to abortions only in the 1st trimester.
- 13% said they support access to abortions in only a few circumstances.
- 8% said they support access to abortions into the 2nd trimester of pregnancy.
Sixty-nine percent of doctors are concerned by the health implications for women if abortion access becomes substantially restricted or banned.
Here is a sampling of the 470 comments that physicians posted on Sermo regarding this hot-button issue:
Simple: abortion is a medical procedure and as such should remain between the patient and her doctor. This is NOT religion, it’s medicine. If you don’t want and abortion don’t have one, but what someone else does is not your business. How many Federal or State laws are there about men’s bodies: oh that would be ZERO.Dermatology
Our duty is as physicians is to provide comfort, promote health and improve quality of life. The discussion should really be about when life begins, and from there, we can discuss treatment options.Family Medicine / Practice (FP)
Having treated the outcomes of criminal abortions, uterine perforations and sepsis, I advocate for a woman’s choice when faced with the difficult decision of abortion when and how it arises. A difficult decision that should be made through counsel with her physician as all other medical/surgical decisions are made. Why should this be different?Obstetrics & Gynecology
I am a huge advocate of respecting personal autonomy and individual liberty, but, it is impossible to deny that life exists. A life that, ultimately, I did not create nor should I destroy. For that reason alone, I am pro-life.Psychiatry
It is practiced in many places and sometimes by untrained people, it is better to have qualified people who know how to do things in clean and authorized health centers.Traumatology / Trauma Surgery