Roe v. Wade decision an attack on women’s right to health

June 24, 2022

Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren, AMA President

Dear Members,

Today the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the landmark Roe vs. Wade ruling. While we have anticipated this possibility with dread, the actual overturning of this decades-old jurisprudence decision on abortion is much worse for women of our neighbouring nation. It may be a harbinger of further erosion of equity, diversity and inclusion in that society. The immediate effects will be felt most keenly by already marginalized populations.

The Alberta Medical Association has always strongly supported access to safe and timely health care for all. For women, there is no more important dimension than access to reproductive care and treatments.

This is an attack on the fundamental rights of women to determine what happens to their bodies. As a medical association, we see it also as a deadly threat to the health care that women need and deserve. Falling back to a world without Roe v. Wade raises a horrifying spectre of serious morbidity and mortality for the many who will now be unable to safely terminate a pregnancy.

Many are commenting. The American Medical Association issued a statement. As I wrote this letter, Alberta colleague and Canadian Medical Association president-elect Dr. Alika Lafontaine tweeted this comment: “Roe v. Wade confirms that human rights, equity and equality cannot be taken for granted.” I agree wholeheartedly. Safe and equitable health care for the needs of women must be safeguarded.

I add, also, that we will be looking into the implications for Alberta-based physicians who provide services to American patients, as we may now face an influx in border communities and our larger cities. We will communicate what we learn to the sections involved.

You can reach me anytime in the following ways:

  • Communicate with me privately and directly by email if you would like a reply: president@albertadoctors.org.
  • Comment publicly on this President’s Letter (please be aware that comments are public, i.e., not members-only, even if you are logged in as a member).

Sincerely,

Vesta Michelle Warren, MD, CCFP, FCFP
President, Alberta Medical Association

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