Four medical leaders: Article 22 will protect individual health decisions

This comment was written by Dr. Simha Ravven, president of the Vermont Medical Society; Dr. Rebecca Bell, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics Chapter of Vermont; Dr. Katie Marvin, president of the Vermont Academy of Family Physicians; and Dr. Lisa Catapano-Friedman, president of the Vermont Psychiatric Association.

Let the Vermonters continue to make their own health decisions – vote yes to Article 22.

Following the overturning of the Roe v. Wade, more and more people across the country are facing an abrupt loss of the fundamental right to bodily autonomy and the freedom to make their own health care decisions.

Instead, Vermontans have the opportunity to enshrine our right to personal reproductive freedom in the Vermont State Constitution by voting to adopt Article 22 in our November poll. By voting yes, we are not changing current medical standards, but we are protecting the fundamental right of all Vermontans to make our health care decisions without government interference.

For over 45 years, Vermonters have had personal autonomy to make family planning decisions regarding abortion along with other decisions regarding pregnancy, infertility treatment, contraception, sterilization and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. . This must continue.

Members of the Vermont Medical Society, the largest medical association organization in Vermont and the leading voice of physicians and medical assistants in the state, urge support for Article 22 approval. This proposed amendment to the Vermont constitution would protect legal right of each Vermonter to the full range of evidence-based reproductive health care in line with their needs and goals.

Termination of any pregnancy is a personal decision that must be made between an individual and their healthcare provider. If adopted, this proposed constitutional amendment will safeguard the sanctity of the relationship between a patient and their health care provider and will keep reproductive health decisions as private discussions between patients and health care professionals.

Opponents of the Reproductive Freedom Amendment have spread misinformation implying that reproductive health care in Vermont will change following the passage of Article 22. Rest assured: it will not change.

Instead, Article 22 protects the doctor-patient relationship from future changes in whims or political pressures.

Fellow Dr. Lauren MacAfee, a midwife and gynecologist in Vermont, with over 10 years of training and clinical practice in contraception, miscarriage and abortion management, answers these statements:

“The term ‘abortion to birth’ is a political term, not a medical one. There is no abortion until birth, and it is irresponsible to imply otherwise. These words have been used as weapons by anti-abortion activists to spread disinformation and control people’s bodies. Healthcare professionals practice medicine under the guidance of ethical principles and practice regulations at the individual, clinical, hospital, state, and federal levels. There are currently no state restrictions on abortion in Vermont and, put simply, the reproductive freedom amendment will not change the way medicine is practiced in Vermont. “

Everyone should have the right to control their own health decisions, including the right to abortion. As doctors and medical assistants, we firmly believe that abortion services should be treated like any other health service. We support our colleagues and our patients in asking Vermont to pass the reproductive freedom amendment.

The Vermont Medical Society, the Vermont Section of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Vermont Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Vermont Psychiatric Association support the passage of Article 22 so that Vermonters can continue to make their own health care decisions .

With more and more states blocking people’s rights to health care and in light of the Supreme Court’s opinion, we urge Vermons to vote in November to support Article 22, the Reproductive Freedom Amendment, which will amend the state’s Constitution. of Vermont to ensure that every Vermonter’s right to personal reproductive freedom is protected in the future.

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Tags: health care decisions, Katie Marvin, Lisa Catapano-Friedman, Prop 5 / Item 22, Rebecca Bell, Simha Ravven, Vermont Medical Society


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