The opposite limits of reproductive health of hospital systems

Last Friday, President Biden signed a executive order titled “Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services,” empowering the Department of Health and Human Services to protect access to abortion medications and services. political reported that under the order the administration would also consider updating protections under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which would better guarantee access to life-saving emergency medical care, including abortion services.

The executive order comes two weeks after the decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Healtha reflection of how few Democrats were prepared for a post-deer world. In fact, the Republicans were “shocked“by the inaction of the democrats. So far, the president has signaled support for a filibuster dig to codify deer in law. But the delayed response from the highest levels of government has encouraged anti-abortion groups and their allies to test their luck challenging a slew of state-level bills that limit access to reproductive health care services.

These battles have so far led some hospitals to try to take away access to reproductive health care services. Dr. Jamila Perritt, president and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health, explained to OUTLOOK that the reversal of deer has caused confusion across the spectrum of reproductive health care. Perritt explained that by designating abortions as a state-level issue, it calls into question the procedures and protocols for other reproductive health care services such as pregnancy prevention, family planning and abortion management.

“Abortion is the tip of the iceberg,” Perritt said.

More from Jarod Facundo

The focus of access to abortion services has so far been on the providers themselves. That’s why, Perritt said, hospital systems have responded to the upheaval deer fearing that a lawsuit would be filed against them. In Michigan, the day after Dobbs The decision, the state’s largest hospital system, Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health (BHSH), notified employees that it would no longer perform abortions, except when the mother’s life is in danger. BHSH quotes a 1931 state lawwhich would make abortions a criminal offense, with no exception for cases of rape or incest.

However, the 1931 law is unenforceable due to an order issued by Michigan Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher. Attorney General Dana Nessel has also vowed not to enforce the 1931 law.

The next day, BHSH backed away from its original stance, telling employees that it would continue to perform abortions when “medically necessary.” Although the vast majority of abortions have traditionally been performed in outpatient clinics, Perritt explained to OUTLOOK that it is imperative that hospital systems are not reactive at this time, and instead redouble their commitment to providing reproductive health services. “Hospital systems are powerful entities,” Perritt said. “They shape the well-being of communities [they serve].”

Although state laws determine what is legal or not, the hospital systems themselves are extremely influential in the types of services that are available in a geographic region. For example, unless the Michigan chain reverses its decision, those seeking an abortion at a Michigan hospital would have extremely limited choices available to them. BHSH is a combination of two massive nationwide hospital chains: Beaumont for the east side of the state and Spectrum for the west side of the state.

Hospital systems have reacted to the upheaval deer fearing that a lawsuit would be filed against them.

Before their merger earlier this year, Beaumont had they took out of the two acquisitions over criticism from lawmakers and doctors that market concentration would worsen the quality of care.

The order alone distinguishes the legal right for women in Michigan to obtain an abortion. State-level Republicans in both chambers of the legislature have filed appeals in state court to overturn it.

Although Michigan’s law focuses on abortions themselves, how OUTLOOK previously reported, the scope of criminalization for abortion services is not limited to those that are officially illegal. In states that allow individuals to administer an abortion themselves, murder charges are still filed against women seeking an abortion, even though the charges were later dropped.

Some hospital systems have jumped the gun and tried to defend themselves against potential lawsuits over emergency contraceptives like Plan B. For example, after Dobbs Following the ruling, St. Luke’s Health System, a chain of 17 hospitals in the Kansas City area, announced it would no longer offer Plan B at its Missouri locations. Laurel Gifford, a spokeswoman for Saint Luke’s, said The decision was taken with great care. “To ensure we comply with all state and federal laws — and until the law in this area is better defined — St. Luke’s will not provide emergency contraception at our Missouri-based locations.”

The next day, St. Luke reversed her decision, following REVIEWS by the Missouri Attorney General, clarifying that the state’s abortion ban does not apply to emergency contraceptives. But these preventative measures are exactly the kinds of incidents Perritt says hospitals need to avoid falling into.

Despite the change, the Missouri case serves as a barometer for potential legal battles ahead. In a statement to OUTLOOK Distinguishing the difference between abortion and emergency contraceptives, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said: “The use of emergency contraception does not cause abortion. An abortion terminates an existing pregnancy.” The statement continues: “Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy.”

What happened in Michigan and Missouri are not unique cases. Perritt explained that this is an example of how every hospital system across the country is grappling with what to do next. Indeed, uncertainty is not limited to hospitals either; Planned Parenthood clinics in Montana have decided to do just that do not give abortion drugs for out-of-state patients, citing legal risk for abortion seekers coming from states with bans on self-administered abortions.

In addition to public pressure on state legislatures to expand access to reproductive health care, Perritt explained that physician and public pressure on hospital governing boards is just as important, as they decide what services are provided by hospital systems.

In a post-deer in the world, there is no monolithic solution to ensure access to reproductive health care services. On Biden’s executive order, Perritt said it was a step in the right direction, “but we need clear protections.” Although two hospital systems have reversed restrictions, such measures should only be seen as temporary fixes.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.