The Supreme Court ruling this week outlawing partial-birth abortions was overshadowed by murders in Virginia — but the decision is a watershed moment in America: Do Women Own Their Bodies or Not? If women do own their bodies — and the decisions made therein — how do you reconcile the partial-birth abortion ban that does not take into consideration the health of the mother?
“It allows [an] intrusion into the relationship between doctors and patients. What would Americans think about that?” Other physicians see the ruling as a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which, among other things, ensures the privacy and security of a patient’s health information.
“If HIPAA prevents me from speaking to family members about medical decisions without permission, how can the federal government insert itself into the decision-making process without invitation from either the physician or the patient?” asked Dr. Lisa Jones, practicing gynecologist and fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“I feel strongly about the right of a woman to choose and the right of a physician to suggest the most appropriate treatment for a patient without the interference from a nonmedical body,” Jones added.
Dr. Carla Lupi, assistant clinical professor of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said, “As a physician, I am aghast that a jurist, with no professional licensure or experience in the care of women facing very complicated medical and personal decisions, should have the power to dictate my medical practice.
These cases are often challenging even for the most seasoned practitioners. “Doctors’ hands should not be tied by categorical legal decisions.”