Statement on Supreme Court's Abortion Ruling by Dr. LeRoy H. Carhart, the lead plaintiff in Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) and Gonzales v. Carhart (2007)

April 18, 2007 - I am devastated by today's decision. I have taken this issue to the Supreme Court twice because I care deeply about the health of my patients and all women. When the Supreme Court considered this issue seven years ago, they agreed that women's health was a paramount concern and doctors, not politicians, were in the best position to decide what procedures were safest. What a difference seven years, a new President, and two new justices, can make.

Many of the women in my practice have grown up in the post-Roe era; they believed they had a constitutionally-protected right to abortion. But with this ruling, I'm afraid that era is over. I know what it was like before Roe; I was a medical student in the 1970s, treating women victimized by unsafe, illegal abortions. I am afraid the Supreme Court has just opened the door to an all-out assault on Roe and that the women in my practice may soon experience life without access to safe, legal abortions.

Those who support this law are trying to outlaw all abortions, one step at a time. But at the expense of women's health? At the expense of good medicine? How can that be justified? I took an oath to provide my patients with the best medical care possible. I ask Congress and the Courts, how am I supposed to do that now?