Alabama doctor explains why she won’t stop providing abortions despite ban – By Rachel Frazin (The Hill) / May 16 2019
An Alabama doctor laid out the reasons why she will not stop providing abortions, despite a new state law that will impose steep penalties for doing so.
“I am enraged that the state of Alabama would force me to choose between what is ethical and medically appropriate care and breaking the law,” Dr. Yashica Robinson, a physician at Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives and a board member of Physicians for Reproductive Health, wrote in an op-ed published by CNN.
Robinson invoked her own experience with an unwanted pregnancy and a medically complex situation she handled as a doctor to explain her decision.
“Because of my fear and lack of resources, I didn’t confide in my mother or grandmother until it was too late to have an abortion,” she wrote of her high school pregnancy. “I love my children with all my heart, but I know that everyone should be able to make this decision for themselves.”
Robinson also detailed a case she handled in which a woman decided to terminate a pregnancy after learning she had a condition that made the pregnancy dangerous to her health.
“The patient understood the high stakes and instead decided to end her pregnancy. But it took time (which we did not have) to convince the hospital and other physicians that this was the correct course of action because of the already hostile climate for abortion,” she wrote.
“I fear what could happen to women in this situation if the law and its criminal penalties go into effect. Physicians will hesitate in how to care for complex health situations — and Alabama is already a state with an unconscionably high maternal mortality rate,” she added.
Robinson expressed worry that some doctors might leave the state “rather than stay and practice substandard medicine.”
Robinson’s op-ed came one day after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) on Wednesday signed into a bill that outlaws nearly all abortions in the state and does not include exceptions for rape or incest.
The new law, which Ivey noted is unenforceable, is designed to challenge the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that gave women the right to abortion.
Other state legislatures have recently adopted or advanced “heartbeat” bills that outlaw abortion at six weeks, before most women know they are pregnant.