Ahead of the expected Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared abortion bans a “violation of human rights” and said it would seek “expanded legal protections” for abortion patients and providers.
The association adopted a policy resolution declaring that abortion bans passed by state governments are a “violation of human rights.” According to a press release Tuesday accompanying the new policy, the AMA said it would seek to expand legal protections for abortion patients and doctors against those bans, including patients who cross state lines to procure an abortion.
“Responding to the growing threat of over-policing and surveillance of reproductive health services, the nation’s physicians and medical students at the AMA Annual Meeting adopted policy recognizing that it is a violation of human rights when government intrudes into medicine and impedes access to safe, evidence-based reproductive health services, including abortion and contraception,” the organization said in its press release. “In accordance with the new policy, the AMA will seek expanded legal protections for patients and physicians against government systems of control and punishment that criminalize reproductive health services.”
“A growing number of current and pending laws insert government into the patient-physician relationship by dictating limits or bans on reproductive health services and criminally punish or penalize patients for their health decisions,” incoming AMA president Jack Resneck, Jr. added. “The new policy also calls for AMA to seek legal protections for patients who cross state lines to receive reproductive health services, as well as legal protections for physicians and others who support or provide reproductive health services or referrals to patients who cross state lines.”
In addition to providing legal protection to abortion patients and providers, the AMA said it would continue to “challenge” criminal or civil penalties on other physicians, health professionals, health systems, and patient advocates who support or assist in providing abortion referrals or services to patients, “[in] alignment with the AMA’s longtime opposition to the criminalization of medical practice,” the organization added.
“The new policy strengthens the AMA’s long-held position opposing political intrusions into the practice of medicine that infringe on the patient-physician relationship and compromise patient access to safe, evidence-based medical care,” it said in its press release.
The AMA’s statement comes as the nation hold its breath in anticipation of the expected Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Court did not release the opinion Wednesday, which means it will have to release its opinion, as well as rulings on nearly 30 other cases, before the Court breaks for the end of term in July, as The Daily Wire reported.
A draft of the opinion was leaked to Politico in early May. The draft indicated that the majority of the Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade and return abortion law to the states. In its press release, the AMA noted that it was one of a number of medical organizations that filed an amicus brief in Dobbs, stating that “abortion is safe medical care that is a decision to be made between the patient and the physician, subject to the physician’s clinical judgment, and the patient’s informed consent.”