As physicians, we believe that all individuals have rights to full spectrum reproductive care, including abortion. As of Sept. 1, patients in Texas face the largest threat to abortion since it became legal with Roe v. Wade. SB8 in Texas prohibits abortion after six weeks, before many people know they are pregnant. Currently, nearly 85% to 90% of abortion procedures occur after six weeks. The law is enforceable by private citizens, meaning anyone can sue anyone for $10,000: from the doctor performing the procedure to the rideshare driver who delivers the patient to clinic. There is no other clinical context in which a stranger can invade the right to privacy and limit the provider’s scope of practice.
Restricting abortion does not decrease the number of abortions but only increases pregnancy-related deaths. This ban leaves Texas patients with no safe option than to travel out of state to avoid forced pregnancy; those without means to travel will be forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. This bill is sexist, racist and classist as it disproportionately impacts low-income patients of color.
In Seattle, we will fight this new law and continue to provide abortion care as protected by law.
Colbey Ricklefs (Seattle), Emily Unger (Seattle), Nicolle Siegart (Seattle) and Kami Veltri (Chelan), resident physicians and members of the Resident and Fellow Physician Union — Northwest (RFPU-NW)