Mass medical groups have denounced possible changes to the right to abortion


“Abortion is health care and must remain legal, affordable and accessible.”

Harvard University freshman Tamar Sella, center, sings with other students who gathered at Harvard Yard on Wednesday to defend abortion rights and protest a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion the United States. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

The leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion that found five justices willing to overturn Roe v. Wade caused “understandable fear and confusion,” three Massachusetts physician groups said, but the organizations also pointed out that the law has not changed and “abortion remains safe and legal until the Court formally renders a final opinion.”

The Massachusetts Medical Society, the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians emphasized in a joint statement that the organizations support protecting access to abortion.

“Protecting equitable access to reproductive health care, including abortion, and the right to seek the advice of a doctor in confidence are essential to the health and well-being of all who could become pregnant,” says the press release. “Abortion is an essential medical component in the continuum of reproductive health care and should be safely accessible to everyone, no matter where you live.”

If Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that protects nationwide abortion rights, was set to be overturned, at least 23 states still have pre-Roe laws in place or have instituted so-called trigger laws which restrict access to abortion, according to Policy.

The organizations said they fight for equity in access and quality of care, and believe that health care is a basic human right. Specifically, the statement emphasized that people of color, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community, and low-income people “will bear the brunt” of any changes to Roe.

“The health consequences for those who might become pregnant can be devastating, as pregnancy carries medical risks for some, and banning abortion will lead to less safe pregnancy terminations,” the statement said. “This damage will disproportionately affect those who have the least means and who already face the greatest obstacles.”

Promising to continue working alongside advocates to ensure Massachusetts remains a safe place for those seeking abortions, the physician organizations said they support providers who provide “health care compassionate and non-judgmental”.

“We call on Congress to codify federal protections to ensure everyone’s continued ability to access safe and legal abortion nationwide,” the statement read. “Abortion is health care and must remain legal, affordable and accessible.”


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