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Pro-choice health care providers: Roe v. Wade reversal will have ripple effect on medical care

A group of health care providers expressed disappointment in the decision and attempted to offer hope to their patients.

ATLANTA — Hours after the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Dobbs V. Jackson Women's Health Organization, some health care providers in the metro Atlanta area voiced their disappointment and outrage at the decision.

MK Anderson who uses the pronouns them/they, is the Director of Development and Communications for the Feminist Women's Health Center in Atlanta. Anderson said the announcement from the Supreme Court was one staff at the clinic were preparing for. 

"Abortion has always been a contentious issue. And we've as a staff have always felt that this day was going to come eventually," they said.

Anderson said staff at the center fielded more phone calls than ever after the initial draft opinion was leaked in May. This was followed by an increase in women who began seeking medication as a means to help facilitate abortions. 

Anderson also said the decision, which was announced Friday morning, doesn't change the center's plans to continue providing care for patients as long as they are legally able. 

"For folks who have made an appointment with us, you can keep your appointment. And if you're somebody who is looking for abortion care, you can still seek out that care in Georgia. And Feminist Center is committed to providing that compassionate care," they said. 

Later in the day, a group of pro-choice doctors held a virtual press conference to voice their opposition to the Supreme Court's decision and let current and potential patients know they had their support. 

"Georgians who are able will be forced to travel across state lines, likely at high costs to get the care they need. Others who aren't so fortunate will be forced to carry unexpected pregnancies to term, putting their health, well-being, and even their lives at stake," Dr. Nadine Becker said. 

Becker, an OBGYN who practices in Atlanta, said the decision will have an impact on maternal mortality rates, which disproportionally impact women of color. 

"The fact is, pregnancy and delivery are much more physically risky than having an abortion. That's especially true for people of color. Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy complications than white women."

Morehouse School of Medicine sent a statement to 11Alive on the day the decision was announced. The institution also pledged to continue providing care as long as it's legal to do so. It also noted the impact the decision will have on women of color.  

The statement said in full the following:

 "Today the U.S. Supreme Court overturned previous abortion rights that were set in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that has stood for half a century. The Court issued its highly anticipated decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case arguing that the U.S. Constitution does not grant an explicit or implicit right to abortion and eliminates the standard that was established 50 years ago which allowed abortion until about 24 weeks of pregnancy. The effect of this law essentially leaves the legality of abortions and whether there is a right to abortion up to each state. Under Georgia law, abortions are still legal for now pending certain legal reviews and rulings. The decision by the U. S. Supreme Court could have an adverse impact on the health of Black and Latino women in underserved communities. This is against a backdrop of high maternal mortality among Black and Latino women.  Morehouse School of Medicine supports access to legal terminations as a part of the reproductive health opportunities that all women should be afforded. We will continue to operate within the law to provide women with access to all their reproductive care options so that they can achieve health equity. We hope as the federal government and states begin to take actions as a result of the decision, they consider investing in new programs and initiatives that will improve the maternal health of those who have been historically underserved."

All providers stressed it's important that patients overall have the support they need. 

 

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