Dr. Yashica Robinson, an Alabama OB-GYN, explained that she planned to continue providing abortion services to her patients despite the sweeping ban just passed in her state. Robinson made her case in an opinion piece published by CNN.
“As a mother and a physician, this abortion ban is deeply personal. I carry both these identities with me as I care for women and honor their decisions to become parents or to terminate their pregnancies,” she wrote. Robinson also draws on her own personal experience, sharing that she herself became pregnant in high school and, due to fear and lack of resources, kept the secret from her family until it was too late for an abortion.
“I love my children with all my heart, but I know that everyone should be able to make this decision for themselves,” she continued.
Robinson went on to discuss the fallout she has witnessed following Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signing the bill into law, banning almost all abortions in the state. She described her feelings of anger as the reality set in that the bill had passed, and expressed her frustration with politicians who she sees as failing to view women as capable of making such decisions for themselves.
Robinson also talked about how what she considers to be “ethical and medically appropriate care” will soon make her a criminal in her state. Under the law, which takes effect in six months, Robinson, as an abortion provider, could face up to 99 years in prison for violating the ban.
She went on to point out that one of the consequences of the bill is that providers like herself will begin to leave Alabama rather than being forced to provide what she described as substandard care. Even in situations where a patient is in a medical emergency and would prefer to carry a pregnancy to term, the new law in Georgia could complicate treatment decisions as doctors and patience weigh the implications of a decision to abort a fetus in the best interest of the mother’s health.
Robinson, in her opinion piece, indicated that she intends to continue providing services just as she does today, despite the specter of a prison sentence for doing so. She pointed out, however, that inevitable court challenges will likely draw out the implementation of the bill beyond the six month timeframe, if not indefinitely.
Should the case be considered by the Supreme Court, it could prove to be a defining precedent the likes of which has not been seen since the longstanding decision in Roe v. Wade.