161141 Don't let politics trump medicine: Protecting abortion access in South Dakota

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 1:30 PM

Marvin Buehner, MD , Black Hills OB-GYN LLP, Rapid City, SD
This presentation describes the perspective of a practicing obstetrician in Rapid City, South Dakota, who participated in the 2006 campaign to overturn the most extreme abortion legislation ever passed by a state government. Despite hearing cogent arguments explaining the abortion ban's great risk to the health of the women of South Dakota, the state legislature passed the bill, rejecting attempts to amend it with exceptions for victims of rape, incest, or women with serious health conditions. Dr. Buehner's involvement in the issue grew as he realized that state policy was being developed based on a preconceived anti-abortion agenda, without regard to scientific and medical evidence. When Governor Mike Rounds signed this bill into law, Dr. Buehner became a leader in the campaign to repeal the ban. He found that a pervasive environment of intimidation by anti-abortion forces initially prevented most South Dakota physicians from speaking out against the abortion ban, but that as the movement gained momentum, many physicians joined in the public discussion. Dr. Buehner will discuss physician activism in South Dakota prior to the 2006 election, the contribution of this activism to public debate, and its ultimate consequence of moderating state abortion policy.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the impact of abortion prohibition on women’s health Describe the current challenges facing evidence-based reproductive health policy Consider the role of physicians in moderating extremist health policy

Keywords: Advocacy, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.