Today, the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established abortion access as a constitutional right. Fifty years of federally protected reproductive freedom have come to an end, and we are deeply disappointed and upset.
Because of this heartbreaking decision, fifty-eight percent of U.S. pregnancy-capable people now live in states where abortion care is inaccessible, illegal, or soon to be illegal. History tells us what will come next. People with means will find a way to access safe abortions, and those without means will find a way to have abortions whether they are safe or not or be forced to give birth. Black, brown, and poor people will disproportionately suffer.
A recent study by The Guttmacher Institute finds that the number of out-of-state people of childbearing age who now find their nearest legal abortion service in California will increase from 46,000 to 1.4 million. Health care providers, reproductive justice advocacy organizations, nonprofit organizations, and legislative leaders in California are preparing to meet the reproductive health needs of people from all over the country. Additionally, we must address barriers to abortion care access with equitable and affordable reproductive health services for the most vulnerable populations in California and in states without reproductive freedom.
As the safety-net provider in California’s second-largest metropolitan area, Alameda Health System’s role in this effort is significant. We are working with local officials, advocates, and policymakers to protect, strengthen, and expand abortion services. Our Public Affairs and Community Engagement team is expanding our communications and community partnerships to ensure that people who seek out abortions can find our services. And our Department of Obstetrics, Midwifery and Gynecology will continue to offer full spectrum sexual and reproductive health services to our local communities as well as anyone who comes to us from out of state. At AHS, we know that abortion care is health care. We respect the right of all people to make autonomous decisions about their bodies and health. We will meet the reproductive health needs of all our patients. Our clinical teams who provide abortion care have the full support of AHS. We will take all measures to protect them and their ability to deliver reproductive health care to all in need.
Alameda Health System Board of Trustees
James E. T. Jackson, Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Tornabene, Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Akileswaran, President of the East Bay Medical Group
Dr. Smith, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dr. Altshuler, Director of Family Planning