May 3, 2022

The Supreme Court's initial draft majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, has indicated the court's intention to overturn Roe v. Wade. If an official decision is made to invalidate the individuals right to abortion brought by Roe, trigger laws in 13 states will immediately implement a total abortion-ban.

In an interview with HCPLive® prior to the developing news, Deborah Bartz, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women's Hosptial, Harvard Medical School, addressed the issues brought by the restrictions to abortion care that are already in place around the country.

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."

With the US maternal mortality rate already reaching record highs–far surpassing all other developed nations–Bartz shared her concerns about the repercussions that abortion bans will put on public health.

In her recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Bartz addressed Mississippi's solicitor general Scott Stewart, in his defendse of the state's abortion laws.

"The state cited adoption and baby safe havens where newborns can be surrendered as means of mitigating the burden of parenting," she wrote, "thereby suggesting that gestating, giving birth to, and surrendering a child can be compared with having an abortion."

These experiences are "fundamentally, profoundly different in how the affect people's lives long term," according to Bartz. She expressed the difficulty of the times that we're living in.

"It goes beyond the health effects of abortion, versus not, it really turns into a gender parity discussion surrounding women's ability to participate fully in education, and the economic, and governance system within the United States," Bartz said.