The following is a statement from Shelly Holmström, MD, Chair of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists District XII (Florida), regarding Senate Bill 146 and House Bill 5 to ban abortion care at 15 weeks:
Florida policymakers must ensure the delivery of compassionate, evidence-based health care in our state. Unfortunately, legislation that would ban abortion care at 15 weeks of gestation threatens a physician’s ability and ethical obligation to provide patients with the care they need.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists District XII and its member physicians across Florida are dedicated to securing healthy futures for patients and their families, and this legislation compromises the patient-physician relationship. Like all medical matters, decisions regarding reproductive medical care should be made between a patient and their health care provider—not lawmakers, who have no place in the exam room. Medically unjustified regulations of health care, including restrictions on abortion care, are harmful to our patients and to the health of our communities.
SB 146 and HB 5 would specifically impact patients with the direst circumstances. If this legislation goes into effect, many of our own friends and neighbors would have to travel an average of 570 miles farther to the nearest clinic, and it would significantly increase the risks already associated with pregnancy, especially for those patients with high-risk pregnancies.
Florida legislators should vote against this legislation to ensure all women in our state have access to safe, essential, and medically necessary health care.