June 24, 2024

As the Biden Administration works to maintain access to abortion care in the post-Roe era, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra visited UC San Francisco academics, educators, and clinical experts on Monday to commend them for their leadership in reproductive health.

Becerra said that research from UCSF’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) programme and the Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Reproductive Sciences is needed to shape public policy, inform legal arguments, and also guide the cultural debate around abortion in the wake of the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs decision, which ended the national right to an abortion

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Fourteen states have outlawed abortion, and eleven have set gestational limitations as low as six weeks, following the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit this spring that may limit the availability of mifepristone, a drug used in medication abortions, across the nation. In contrast to procedures that must be completed in a clinic, about half of abortions now involve pills that can be mailed following a telehealth visit with a doctor or nurse practitioner. This ruling may have an impact on access to abortion care even in states like California, where access was unrestricted following the recent Supreme Court decision.

Fourteen states have outlawed abortion, and eleven have set gestational limitations as low as six weeks, following the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit this spring that may limit the availability of mifepristone, a drug used in medication abortions, across the nation. In contrast to procedures that must be completed in a clinic, about half of abortions now involve pills that can be mailed following a telehealth visit with a doctor or nurse practitioner. This ruling may have an impact on access to abortion care even in states like California, where access was unrestricted following the recent Supreme Court decision.

ANSIRH researchers have been recording issues with care and access around the nation. Care Post-Roe, which Grossman published in May, compiles reports from medical professionals about delays, denials of care, and bad health consequences. It also expresses the grief that medical professionals feel when they are unable to give necessary care in areas where abortion is prohibited or no longer available.

Ushma Upadhyay, PhD, MPH, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Reproductive Science at UCSF, is investigating the growth of abortion services via telehealth and is co-leading the #WeCount study to track changes in state access to abortion after Roe.

One of academia’s most prized awards, the 2023 MacArthur Fellowship, was given to Diana Greene Foster, PhD, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Reproductive Sciences at UCSF, in recognition of her ground-breaking research on the plight of women who are unable to obtain abortions. She is currently working with experts around the nation to learn how individuals are adjusting to the patchwork of laws that prohibit and restrict abortion.

Daniel Grossman, MD, the director of ANSIRH, remarked, “We at UCSF really recognise the critical role we have to play as national leaders for the care of women and other people with the capacity for pregnancy.” “We have been in this position for decades.”

The secretary was informed by Rebecca Jackson, MD, the chief of ZSFG’s Division of Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Reproductive Sciences, that 1,800 residents and 20,000 medical students reside in states where abortion is illegal, highlighting the necessity for UCSF to keep training abortionists from those states.

Physicians have moral discomfort when they are unable to give patients the care they require, according to her.

“We want to provide you and others with the education and research necessary to help us overturn these bans, even as we work with medical students in residency programmes to try to mitigate that distress,” the spokesperson stated.

 

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