Random Lengths News
Frontline Provider Advocates for Abortion Healthcare Rights
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For more than a month, we knew how the U.S. Supreme Court was going to rule in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, thereby overruling Roe and Casey. When Random Lengths News spoke to Dr. Jessica Kiss of Palos Verdes Medical Group, a frontline doctor in the fight for abortion healthcare rights about the ruling, she identified the language in Dobbs v. Jackson as very dangerous.
“Particularly for healthcare practitioners, because it says if there is not a precedent in this country for this, then we don’t necessarily have a right to it,” said Dr. Kiss. “Well, most of modern medicine there was no precedent for because the vast majority of modern medicine did not exist. And the rights in bodily autonomy have been wiped away in that one statement.”
Dr. Kiss practices gynecologic care. She is the first stop when a woman is pregnant and needs to figure out what to do next, whether to go to the OB/GYN, particularly for HMO patients who have to see her first.
Dr. Kiss has counseled several young women in pregnancy options who have found themselves with an unwanted pregnancy or unexpected pregnancy from myriad different circumstances.
In the last week it’s been reported that California expects 9,000 to 16,000 people to come to the state seeking abortion healthcare, and in Los Angeles alone, between 9,000 to 10,000 people are expected to arrive in the next year.
How is the medical community moving forward and preparing for the amount of people who are expected to travel here to get their abortion healthcare needs met?
Dr. Kiss said physicians across the country are working together to help and mount resources right now as a group, and using resources that have networks in place already from organizations like www.reproductiveaccess.org.
“We’re really trying to mount those things,” said Dr. Kiss. “I’m doubling down on the amount of counseling I’m doing for my patients who have a uterus of a reproductive age, in what’s called a long-acting reversible contraceptives or LARCs — like IUD and Implanon which goes under the arm, or Depo Provera which is injected — in case they move to another place or they find themselves on a long trip and have a complication from an unknown pregnancy and find themself in a place where they might not be able to get emergency access.”
The doctor said over the counter Plan B, which most people are familiar with, is essentially equivalent to taking a higher dose of pills that physicians use for reproductive care already.
“Now, a consequence of (this ruling) too, is that places like Amazon are limiting the amount you can buy because they are worried about shortages — which is terrifying on a different level.”
Further, Dr. Kiss recently spoke on AskDrMom about another instance where this is a problem. Physicians often use Methotrexate for abortions. It’s most commonly used in chemotherapy and to treat auto-immune disease, “like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis and some of these other debilitating conditions, which, without this medication, (patients’) lives are incapacitated,” she said.
“And in trigger states they are now limiting access to [Methotrexate] to people of reproductive age who have a uterus, and that’s terrifying because the consequences of that are absolutely debilitating to these patients.”
Dr. Kiss is also looking into possible resources outside of the country. She has contacted multiple clinics in Tijuana to identify one location that a pregnant person might need. And she has friends in the north looking to Ontario, Canada to see what resources could be provided.
“This is the headspin,” she said. “The thought that we’re having to find resources for something that has been such a basic part of healthcare is astonishing.”
“If you are of childbearing age and you’re not ready to conceive a child, you need to remember a couple things. Anytime that you are not actively preventing, you are actively trying to get pregnant. And if I can stress nothing more, that is the statement. When I talk to my kids going off to college I always tell them, if you hear one word, you hear the word condom today.
But condoms don’t always prevent pregnancies, as we know. So, if you are of reproductive age, you should consider a longer term birth control option which would be an IUD or something like the Implanon. Have those conversations now with your physicians. Don’t wait.
If these things are upsetting to you, this news with Roe v. Wade is upsetting, you need to take action. And right now it’s not coming up with your own action. It’s taking action with places that have organized these things for many years: making donations to Planned Parenthood and to reproductiveaccess.org who can provide those networks safely and effectively. If you can’t fund them directly, share their information, share their links on social media so that you can “in kind” help them and support the services they provide.”