This commentary is written by John R. Brumsted, MD, President and CEO of UVM Health Network.
As a healthcare safety net provider to over one million people in two states, UVM Health Network exists to meet the needs of patients. We therefore have a duty to speak up when patients’ essential right to make decisions about their health care is at stake.
This is one of those times.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and subsequent moves by politicians in many states to curb or eliminate access to safe abortion services have impacted millions of people’s access to health care. weakening the The impact is disproportionately on people who already face long-standing health care inequities and systemic or socioeconomic barriers to health and wellness. Reproductive Health Her access to care used to be a constitutional right but is now largely determined by geography, politics and privilege.
This is not how healthcare works. UVM Health Network supports maintaining access to all reproductive health services, including abortion services. We support the right of patients, along with their healthcare providers, to make decisions for themselves and their families. As a longtime physician focused on women’s and family health care, I have seen firsthand how personal and difficult these decisions can be. I am proud that our healthcare system is here to help patients make these decisions.
Due to the increasing political rhetoric, we would like to provide some facts and background on this issue as it relates to our network. First, it is important to note that patients asked us for complete reproductive care and we responded by providing those services. It provides quality reproductive health care, including contraceptive services and education. Pre-conception care and planning; Infertility; Assisted reproduction (including IVF); Pregnancy;
We believe that reproductive health decisions, including abortion, are personal issues between patients and providers. A frequent reference to “late-term abortion” in public debate is that late-term abortion is extremely rare (both in Vermont and nationally) and is almost always out of urgent medical need. It ignores the fact that it is caused by a combination of strong social stressors. Follow the decision making process. Even under these circumstances, we strive to provide compassionate and compassionate care.
I would also like to note that we have strengthened our policies to allow our staff and students studying at our institutions to opt out of certain procedures for moral objections. is also included.
I applaud the recent actions of leaders in Vermont and New York to incorporate reproductive health care rights into state law. This November, Vermont voters will consider a constitutional amendment declaring that “individual autonomy with respect to reproduction is central to the freedom and dignity to determine the course of one’s life.” This is an important step in ensuring the continued availability of these vital health services.
Divisive rhetoric is likely to intensify in the run-up to Vermont’s constitutional vote. , communities and public health impacts.
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