Michigan Medicine remains dedicated to providing full spectrum of women’s health services

May 6, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

The news cycle this week has been dominated by the Supreme Court and the future of abortion rights. Michigan Medicine experts have been quoted in prominent media publications, stating Michigan Medicine’s dedication to providing the full spectrum of women’s health services, including abortion care.

“Many of the patients we see are diagnosed with fetal anomalies or experience other complications that make ongoing pregnancy and giving birth dangerous, or they have serious underlying illnesses or other needs that make abortion care in an outpatient facility not possible,” said David Miller, M.D., M.P.H., president of U-M Health, in Crain’s Detroit Business. “Our commitment is to be there for those who need the specialized care we can offer.”

Lisa Harris, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology, was quoted in multiple publications including USA TODAY, MSN, NPR and Michigan Radio.

“There’s a wide perception that abortion is more dangerous than giving birth, but that probably comes from pre-Roe v. Wade times, when many women died because of unsafe abortions,” Harris said in USA TODAY.

Echoing those quoted in media, Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D., said Michigan Medicine is committed to providing high quality, safe reproductive care for patients.

“We will continue to care for women across all of their reproductive health needs. This includes abortion care, which, at least for now, remains legal in Michigan,” said Runge, CEO of Michigan Medicine, dean of the U-M Medical School and executive vice president for Medical Affairs at the University of Michigan. “At this time, many legal questions are still unclear. Our teams will consult with experts to plan for caring for patients who may lose access to the reproductive health care services we have to date provided.”

Dee Fenner, M.D., chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, stressed that abortion care is a critical part of providing inclusive care. 

“Learning about abortion care is a critical part of our OB/GYN residency training,” Fenner said. 

“We recognize that abortion is a complex issue that may bring up complex feelings. Regardless of one’s personal feelings about abortion, as professionals providing reproductive health care, this is a time of great uncertainty for us and for our patients. There are many unknowns right now, but we are actively and intentionally working on solutions for our patients and for our learners.”

Debra F. Weinstein, M.D., executive vice dean for academic affairs, also said plans are being assessed for what impact any legal changes would have on learners in the medical school.

“We are committed to ensuring that our learners get the educational experience they need to provide comprehensive, equitable care to women across Michigan, the U.S. and beyond. This includes the necessary knowledge and skills required to provide abortion care as part of women’s health care,” Weinstein said. “A variety of educational technologies and approaches can be utilized to develop skills in addition to direct patient care.”