Dear Naturopathic Medical School Community,
The Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade upended a 50-year-old ruling recognizing an individual’s autonomy in making healthcare decisions. This reversal abrogates rights to privacy and personal freedom to make reproductive health decisions.
The AANMC stands in solidarity with all patients and our healthcare colleagues to respect patient rights. Medical science recognizes the importance of the sacred trust patients bestow upon their doctors when they seek care; this agreement guides our individual work and our collective mission, regardless of one’s personal stance on the issue of abortion.
Naturopathic doctors, specifically, espouse reverence for the doctor-patient relationship and the doctor as a teacher and guide in healthcare decision-making; many patients seek naturopathic physicians for exactly this reason.
Patient trust in seeking pre- and perinatal care is fatally eroded if they fear a provider may report them for a medical decision, or if a provider is unable to recommend and deliver the level of care that medical science dictates. As we speak, the threat of criminalization of miscarriage and pregnancy termination is real.
The far-reaching impacts of this ruling cannot be overstated. Lack of family planning services will also mean decreased access to contraception, miscarriage management, fertility management, and more.
Beyond our clinic walls, the Court’s decision will only exacerbate deadly health care disparities across the U.S. which are more prevalent in rural, low socioeconomic and BIPOC communities. Access to a safe abortion is now more costly and difficult. Patients who reside in many states will be forced to travel hundreds of miles to receive evidence-based reproductive care performed by medically qualified, licensed practitioners – if they can access it at all.
As such, the AANMC Board stance is as follows:
The reversal of Roe v. Wade is dangerous and detrimental to patients, providers, and our community at-large. The termination of pregnancy is part of established medical therapeutics, and therapeutically indicated in medical literature. All healthcare providers should follow established medical science regarding autonomous medical decisions and support all pregnant peoples’ safe and timely access to the medical care they need.