3 medical groups react to Supreme Court's leaked draft opinion

Medical groups reacted with condemnation after a May 3 report from Politico uncovered a draft opinion from the Supreme Court indicating it is poised to strike down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established safe and legal access to abortion as a constitiutional right. 

"Roe was egregiously wrong from the start," Justice Samuel Alito writes in the draft. "It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives."

Chief Justice John Roberts, in a statement following Politico's report, confirmed the leaked draft opinion is authentic, though he said "It does not represent a decision by the court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case." 

The court is expected to issue its final opinion in the next two months. If the landmark ruling is overturned, abortion restictions would be left up to each state. In statements following the leaked document, medical groups largely expressed concern over how an overturn would affect women's reproductive health. 

"We are gravely concerned that the U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to overturn the protection offered by Roe v. Wade and put the lives and welfare of millions of women at risk," said Robert Wailes, MD, president of the California Medical Association.

"Personal medical decisions — including those around abortion — should be made by patients in consultation with their healthcare providers," Dr. Wailes said in a statement. 

National Nurses United called the draft opinion "an unconscionable threat to women's health and security, especially low-income women and all child-bearing people who have fewer options to exercise their reproductive rights." 

"Banning reproductive care would also accelerate a national scandal of shockingly high maternal and infant mortality rates, again especially for women of color, that are among the worst in the developed world," said NNU President Jean Ross, RN. 

"We are speaking out to defend our members, your patients and the patient-physician relationship" the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists said. "From supporting member advocacy to serving as a powerful voice in the courts, ACOG has long fought in defense of comprehensive medical care and against legislative interference in the patient-physician relationship," the group said in a statement. 



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