May 19, 2019
American Medical Women’s Association Strongly Opposes Alabama Abortion Ban
The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) strongly opposes the recent law in Alabama that in essence bans abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, unless the health of the mother is at risk. A physician performing an abortion in violation of this act would be committing a felony. AMWA also opposes restrictive laws that limit access to abortion, such as the six week abortion bans passed by state legislatures in Mississippi, Ohio, Kentucky, and Georgia. Some of these laws make it impossible for a woman to have an abortion after she learns that she is pregnant.
A woman’s decision to complete or terminate a pregnancy is a medical and personal issue, to be made in the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship. Restricting access to abortion or banning abortion will not end abortion. It will, however, deter safe abortion. As in the days before Roe v. Wade, women may resort to dangerous, self-induced methods, or clandestine abortions, often by untrained “practitioners” under unsterile conditions with no follow-up care. History shows that these unsafe methods may result in infections, bleeding, and even death. Restricting abortion will compromise health, cause more pregnancy- related deaths, and increase U.S. maternal mortality rates, which are already significantly higher than other developed countries.
The American Medical Women’s Association advocates for women’s reproductive rights, and supports access to the full spectrum of family planning services, including contraception and abortion. AMWA opposes any efforts to overturn or weaken Roe v. Wade, either directly or indirectly, as in the case of the new Alabama law or other state legislation that burdens access to abortions.
The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is an organization which functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine, advocate for equity, and ensure excellence in health care. For over a century, AMWA has been the vision and voice of women in medicine.