Alabama Doctor Vows To Continue Providing Abortions Despite Law

May 20, 2019  |  

Female doctor wearing stethoscope

Source: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty

Last week Alabama governor Kay Ivey signed into legislation one of the most restrictive bills pertaining to abortion in a long stakes effort to revoke the 1973 Supreme Court case which gives legal access to abortion, Roe v. Wade.

The bill also aims to criminalize anyone who administers the medical procedure, largely doctors and physicians who could face up to 99 years in prison if found guilty of providing an abortion.

In an opinion piece written for CNN, Dr. Yashica Robinson, a Black female physician in Alabama, recently shared that she will continue to provide abortions in spite of the impending law and argues that it is within her vows as a medical professional to do so.

Robinson serves as the medical director at the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives and is also board member for the Physicians for Reproductive Health.

“Just as I have for the last 15 years of my medical career, I will continue to deliver babies, give prenatal care — and provide abortions,” Robinson writes.

“As a mother and a physician, this abortion ban is deeply personal. I carry both these identities with me as I care for women and honor their decisions to become parents or to terminate their pregnancies,” she continued.

As a teen Robinson shared that she faced her own decision to have an abortion, which she later decided against. As a doctor she voiced her concerns surrounding Alabama’s current legislation which does not take into account the many nuances of pregnancy, including the outliers which can affect the overall health of the mother and baby.

“I am frightened for Alabamians because, should this law ever go into effect, doctors like me will leave Alabama rather than stay and practice substandard medicine,” she stated. “And I am afraid for patients, particularly when I reflect on treatment I recently provided for one woman. She was 22 weeks pregnant and had a condition called preeclampsia, which is when high blood pressure puts the health of the mother and baby at risk and can result in death. The only option in that situation was to immediately deliver.”

Though the bill will not go into effect for another six months and will most likely be fought at every turn due to the efforts of advocacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union who have vowed to sue, it has disrupted the hearts and minds of those who agree that women should have autonomy over their bodies.

The legislation spurring up across the country will no doubt have the most severe effects on Black women, who are underserved with limited access to health care, linked to the country’s racist history and systems of oppression within the medical industry which have wrecked havoc on Black women for over 400 years.

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