The Clinical Implications of Overturning Roe v. Wade, Banning Abortion

Expert gynecologist Dr. Deborah Bartz addresses the clinical implications of an abortion ban if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The extensive HCPLive® interview addressing the clinical implications of abortion bans and restrictions with Dr. Deborah Bartz will be published at 5:30 PM.

Access to abortion has been an intensely-debated topic in the US, particulary since December 2021, when the Supreme Court decided to uphold Mississippi's law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Now that an initial draft majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, has been exposed to the public, so has the court's apparent decision to overrule Roe v. Wade. If an official decision is made to invalidate the abortion protections brought by Roe, trigger laws in 13 states will immediately implement a total ban on abortion in addition to the varying degrees of restrictions already taking place.

With the US maternal mortality rate already reaching record highs–far surpassing all other developed nations–expert gynecologist Deborah Bartz, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women's Hospital, is concerned about the repercussions that further restrictions will have on public health.

In an interview with HCPLive®, she addressed the problem of equating abortion with carrying a pregnancy to term, giving birth, and surrending a child for adoption–an argument made by Mississippi's solicitor general Scott Stewart, to defend the state's abortion ban. An issue Bartz noted in her article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"They're fundamentally, profoundly different in how they affect people's lives long term," Bartz explained. "And then, not to mention the emotional difference that could affect one patient over another patient."

According to Bartz, abortion is, indeed part of reproductive healthcare. However, many physicians choose to remain passive on the matter because of how controversial the conversation is, or because they deem it irrelevant to their patients and specialty.

"Nobody thinks abortion is relevant to them," she said, "until it is."