Human Rights & Democracy

December 21, 2022: Abortion Rights Are Not Just About Babies

Posted on December 21, 2022 at 12:00 AM

By Karen Pataky, Director, Public Policy & Political Action Committee; Chair, Health Policy Task Force

The midterm elections and the Georgia runoff have been more about Democracy and the human rights of women than inflation and the price of gas.

The recent SCOTUS decision stripped away the rights of American women to have an abortion and to use birth control to plan their families. The three new judges appointed by Donald Trump were specifically vetted by the Federalist Society to be anti-abortion, with the assumption that they would reverse a half century of the established law of Roe v Wade.

SCOTUS further states that all medical methods of contraception have been deemed “abortifacients” by religious leaders. Accordingly their use is banned, although medical experts point out that contraceptives only prevent ovulation (i.e., production of an egg by a woman’s ovary) so the pregnancy is prevented, not aborted. But, religious dictates have overtaken science.

Tragically for many women, the hormones used in contraception have a variety of additional very specific medical uses for serious gynecologic problems, such as recurrent ovarian cysts, endometriosis, severe menstrual pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, premature menopause, and prophylaxis against ovarian cancer in women with a positive family history. Consequently, religious leaders are interfering with the patient–doctor relationship in many states, by forbidding the availability of these safe and totally unique medications. Thousands of women in America will suffer needlessly and die prematurely due to the medical dogma of a minority of religious followers.

The religious dictates of this Supreme Court have made clear that pregnant American women’s lives are of less importance than all stages of a pregnancy, and additionally forbids the treatment of most gynecologic conditions by state-of-the-art medications for fear the medications might be used to prevent someone else’s pregnancy. American women are thus denied excellent and specific medications available in all the rest of North America and most of South America, Europe, and the Middle East.

We deserve better.

– Karen Pataky, Director, Public Policy & Political Action Committee; Chair, Health Policy Task Force

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