Every month we will be highlighting our coalition partners who work with us in the fight for Reproductive Rights. In the month of celebrating our families and coming together for the Thanksgiving holiday, we are proud to showcase our partners at the National Partnership for Women & Families who relentlessly work to promote access to healthcare and equality for women and their families in our nation. Here is their story:
What if the law required a health care provider to go against everything she was taught in medical school? What if the law prevented her from giving a patient information that was critical for the patient’s care or required her to delay a patient’s care even when there was no medical reason to do so?
It sounds unthinkable, but unfortunately, “bad medicine” laws that disregard medically appropriate health care are in force in many states – including here in Florida. But as we continue to fight these dangerous laws – and we will prevail when all is said and done – there is something we are incredibly thankful for: the strength and passion of our friends and allies who fight tirelessly to make sure women receive the health care they need, no matter what.
Earlier this year, The National Partnership for Women & Families fought alongside the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates to oppose a bad medicine law that would require health care providers to delay care for women seeking abortion care for 24 hours. This would mean that every woman seeking abortion care would have to make two separate trips to her health care provider before receiving care.
The increased expenses of securing child care, transportation and time off of work – twice – are especially burdensome for women who live in rural areas, are young or are low-income, exacerbating health disparities. Fortunately, this law has been temporarily put on hold by the courts – and we hope it will be struck down permanently.
Unfortunately, Florida is now considering more harmful bad medicine legislation. HB1 would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and HB233 singles out abortion clinics to conform to onerous ambulatory surgical clinic standards. Both proposals impose medically unnecessary, burdensome requirements that are meant to shut down health care clinics. These proposals would harm women’s health by restricting access to safe and legal abortion care.
But laws that interfere with the patient-doctor relationship aren’t limited to reproductive health care. For example, Florida limits health care providers’ ability to ask patients whether they own a gun and if it’s stored out of reach of children – despite the fact that doing so is a part of routine preventive care recommended by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics. It’s outrageous, and it’s harmful.
Across the country, politicians are pushing similar laws that intrude into exam rooms and conflict with professional and ethical standards of medical care. To call attention to the dangerous proliferation of these laws, the National Partnership recently joined with the National Physicians Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence to release a powerful new report that highlights three areas where political agendas have intruded into exam rooms in harmful ways: The clinical management of toxic exposures, reproductive health, and gun safety.
If we’re serious about improving health care in this country, if we truly respect the medical professionals we train and the oath they take, and if we value each woman’s ability to make her own health care decisions based on accurate information, these bad medicine laws must be stopped. Lawmakers instead must pass proactive bills like the Patient Trust Act, recently introduced in Pennsylvania, that will ensure medical decision-making stays between a patient and her health care provider.
We can only win this change together. That’s why we are so thankful for the fierce and passionate advocates in Florida and across the country who work with us to fight back against bad medicine laws every day.
This page is controlled and operated by Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliate, Inc.