As various states enforce narrower gestational limits for abortion care, medical professionals are finding it increasingly difficult to practice evidenced-based care. We interviewed various providers across the US South and under the condition of anonymity, they shared their experience of practicing medicine in this evolving landscape.
The laws don’t always let doctors perform abortions even in cases of medical complications. As a result, they have to wait helplessly for their patients to get extremely sick before they are allowed to treat them.
North Carolina state law now requires providers to read out statements before administering the procedure. The statements are tone-deaf to patients’ circumstances and providers must fulfill their legal requirement while watching their patients break down before them.
Not being able to treat their patients despite having the resources to do so, puts providers in great emotional distress. They struggle to live up to their moral code of helping people and find it impossible to practice evidenced-based healthcare.
As front-line responders, doctors often absorb the emotions that their patients feel. As their patients are shamed by the protestors and not allowed to access basic healthcare, they feel the effects of that distress too.
Along with their patients, doctors are also shamed for their work and face hurtful representations of themselves and their work in the discourse:
In these highly polarized times, providers remain steadfast in doing their best to provide the highest level of evidence-based reproductive care. Hearing their voices allows us to experience the ground reality of the abortion care landscape in the US.