June 16, 2022
FAFP President's Message "Preparing for SCOTUS Ruling on Abortions"
There are very few issues in our country that are more personal than abortion. Regardless of your stance, the Supreme Court of the United States’ (SCOTUS) impending ruling will create a great deal of consternation and confusion not only for Florida’s family physicians but all Americans. It will take a significant amount of time and legal hand wringing to fully comprehend the implications and how it will impact patient care. Regardless of the outcome, I feel very confident that family physicians across the country will continue to remain laser focused on the most important element of the equation – their patients’ health. 
The immediate impact of the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision would be to end a half-century guarantee of federal constitutional protection of abortion rights and allow each state to decide whether to restrict or ban abortion. In Florida, such action could encourage an even more restrictive ban on abortions than the 15-week law that will go into effect July 1, 2022.  Specifically, most abortions will only be legal if performed in the first 15 weeks of a pregnancy with exceptions for individuals whose health is threatened by the pregnancy or if their baby has a fatal abnormality.
A primary guiding principle of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians' (FAFP) has been, and continues to be, that physicians must be able to practice medicine directed by their years of medical education, training, experience, and best available evidence, freely and without threat of punishment, harassment, or retribution. Additionally, patients must be able to depend on their physicians to help them make critical decisions about their personal health, including reproductive health.
As our nation, state and profession continue to navigate this and many other ethical and social dilemmas (e.g., hormone therapy for minors, gun violence, etc.), the FAFP will be working with the AAFP and other partners to develop practice resources to assist members in avoiding legal pitfalls and counseling their patients.  Furthermore, FAFP’s continuing professional development committee will be considering continuing medical education materials to provide high quality education on reproductive care within the new practice paradigms created by the SCOTUS decision and state legislative action.
It is my hope that this is a wake-up call to our state leaders and legislators that they, more than ever, have a moral imperative to strengthen Florida’s social safety net, invest in families and expand health insurance coverage to women and children. Not to mention that family medicine in Florida maintains its commitment in placing patients above politics in any and all circumstance. 
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