Kemp Leaving Doctors Open To Prosecution Under Extreme Abortion Ban

August 10, 2022

AJC: Doctors are Paralyzed with Confusion, Kemp’s Abortion Ban is “Destabilizing” and “Chaotic”

Since Gov. Brian Kemp’s extreme abortion ban went into effect last month, health care professionals and legal experts have been demanding answers from Kemp on how lifesaving reproductive care could be impacted and whether doctors and women could be thrown in jail for violating his extreme abortion ban.

It’s been three weeks since Kemp’s dangerous law took effect, and the governor has repeatedly refused to provide any answers or specific information — instead telling health care providers that they’re on their own and dismissing their concerns, saying: “medical practices have legal counsel to assist with compliance.

So far, Kemp has refused to “specifically respond to how medical emergencies would be deciphered” under his extreme ban on abortion. The governor’s deflection affirms concerns raised by health care and legal experts about how his dangerous new law – which experts are calling “destabilizing” and “chaotic” – could cause dangerous delays in important care:

  • If a pregnancy is not viable, does a doctor have to wait for the patient to develop an infection instead of intervening before she gets sick? How much bleeding is enough bleeding to intervene? How sick is sick enough?
  • Will health care providers be held liable for providing care that they consider necessary due to a medical emergency – but that may violate Kemp’s abortion ban? Will they be prosecuted?

Ruth Claiborne, a recently retired attorney who focused her practice on reproductive care and who personally experienced an ectopic pregnancy, has raised concerns on how the ambiguity in Kemp’s aboriton ban could delay lifesaving treatment due to hospitals’ need confer with lawyers and compliance teams before taking actions to save patients’ lives:

  • “I shudder to think of women whose condition is not clear-cut and whose treatment may be delayed while hospital risk management and ethics committees meet, petitions are filed in court, and travel arrangements are desperately being made to obtain treatment in another state.”

LISTEN on WSB Radio (7.25.22):

Kemp Leaving Doctors Open To Prosecution Under Extreme Abortion Ban

  • WSB Radio Anchor: “Georgia doctors are looking for answers from the state over the new abortion law Atlanta OB/GYN Dr. Nisha Verma tells WSB she’s terrified.
  • Dr. Nisha Verma, MD, MPH, Georgia OB/GYN: “Because this is all new territory, how the laws are going to be interpreted — what is going to be deemed ‘ok’ under the law?”
  • WSB Radio Anchor: “Verma says she’s not sure if they [doctors] can be prosecuted for providing services to a patient who is miscarrying. Governor Kemp’s office says medical practices have legal counsel to assist with compliance.”

More on Brian Kemp’s extreme abortion ban:

  • Under Kemp’s agenda, victims of rape or incest could be forced to give birth. Kemp has repeatedly stated his staunch opposition to any exceptions for rape or incest in an abortion ban.
  • Health care professionals are warning that the governor’s new restrictions will “pile on challenges” for patients and providers in an already “tough system” to navigate.


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