Abortion bans criminalize doctors. For black physicians, the risks are even higher.

Adia Harvey Wingfield, Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor in Arts & Sciences


On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in June Medical Services v. Gee, which will focus on whether doctors performing abortions must have admitting privileges, or permission to admit patients for treatment, at nearby hospitals.

These laws are being used to undermine Roe v. Wade. In Louisiana, where this case was originally filed, the law would shut down all of the state’s abortion clinics. But similar laws were long used to maintain divides not just in who has access to care, but who provides it.

Historically, hospitals used admitting privileges to maintain racial segregation. By refusing to allow black doctors to admit patients to hospitals that served whites, hospitals could ensure that black doctors (and patients) were relegated to segregated facilities. This gatekeeping practice left black practitioners without the same opportunities, facilities, and resources as their white counterparts.

Read the full piece in Vox.

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