Trump's Vow to Make Abortion Illegal Will Have Greatest Impact on Nation's Poor

Posted Nov. 16, 2016

MP3 Interview with Dr. Willie Parker, board chairman of the group Physicians for Reproductive Health, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


Access to reproductive health care is but one of a myriad of issues that are likely to be the target of aggressive attack under the presidency of Donald J. Trump. Directly after the election, Dr. Willie Parker, board chair of the group Physicians for Reproductive Health, issued a statement saying his colleagues were “deeply disheartened by the election of Donald J. Trump. A Trump presidency, he said, will mean that attacks on access to abortion and all other reproductive health services will continue at the federal level and in states all across this country.” The statement went on to say, “As physicians, we know firsthand the medical and social harms inflicted on our patients by politically motivated policies that prevent access to safe and comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion.”

A few days later, Trump said in a television interview on 60 Minutes that if the right to abortion is overturned by a Supreme Court, to which he has promised to appoint anti-abortion justices, the issue would revert back to the states, which have a checkerboard of laws regulating the procedure. Dr. Parker responded by saying "“Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for 43 years and is supported by the majority of Americans. We have seen how unconstitutional laws that force women to travel to other states for abortion care make this care essentially unobtainable." Of great concern to physicians and epidemiologists is a rise in U.S. maternal mortality, compared with other wealthy nations that many researchers link to the imposition of restrictions upon reproductive health care.

Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Dr. Parker, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist, about his concerns especially for low-income women and women of color who will be most at risk from future changes in laws that could result in the denial of the right to an abortion.

For more information, visit Physicians for Reproductive Health at

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