On Aug. 3, in its continuing response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization which overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, the Biden administration issued an executive order, Securing Access to Reproductive and Other Healthcare Services. The order contains actions intended to support patients traveling out of state for medical care, ensure that health care providers comply with federal nondiscrimination law, and promote research and data collection on maternal health outcomes.
In another effort to protect reproductive rights, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit against the state of Idaho, which recently enacted a law banning abortion after six weeks. In the complaint the DOJ stated that the Idaho law will “prevent doctors from performing abortions even when a doctor determines that abortion is the medically necessary treatment to prevent severe risk to the patient’s health and even in cases where denial of care will likely result in death for the pregnant patient.” The DOJ argued that the Idaho law directly conflicts with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which requires physicians and hospitals to perform medically necessary abortions when needed to protect the pregnant person’s health.
AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, previously issued a press release in response to the Supreme Court decision noting, “We are deeply concerned about the impact of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson on patients nationwide. The consequence of the decision will significantly limit access for so many and increase health inequities across the country, ultimately putting women’s lives at risk, at the very time that we should be redoubling our commitment to patient-centered, evidence-based care that promotes better health for all individuals and communities.”