Not Ready to Make Nice: Juggling unabashed advocacy and NSGC’s insidious culture of “nice”

Jordan Brown, MA, MS, CGC

All sentiments expressed in the essay below are completely my own and do not represent the opinions of either The Ohio State University or the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC).

This essay was initially intended as a blog post for NSGC Perspectives.*

Reacting to the recent Ohio and Arizona legislative “reason bans” which prohibit abortion based on prenatal diagnosis, many of my colleagues and members of NSGC wrote to the Board about the need for the organization to respond to these developments. After multiple conversations, NSGC Leadership asked me to write a piece explaining to members that it is okay to be an unabashed advocate as an individual genetic counselor (and not under the NSGC umbrella) and that advocacy via NSGC does not need to be the only avenue through which to voice opinions and support change.

I agreed to this task in the moment, seeing it as a way to reach members and encourage participation in ongoing efforts focused on increasing access to reproductive care. But when I sat down to write, I could not do it without feeling like I’m directly supporting a culture of “nice” in our organization – in other words, a culture of being complacent and biting one’s tongue when disagreements exist. Although this culture of “nice” is not something that is unique to (the lack of) advocacy efforts around reproductive issues, I think it is especially highlighted in this sphere.

In my first year as a NSGC member, I applied for and was selected to serve on the Public Policy Committee (PPC) and thought I had found my niche. Did I know exactly what the committee did? Nope, but I was filled with optimism that this role would permit me to be involved in hard, meaningful conversations about policy-related issues with my colleagues. This was particularly important to me when considering our organization’s position on reproductive justice, and specifically regarding abortion. I was surprised to learn that the role and responsibility of the PPC was really limited to revision and reaffirmation of existing position statements, most of which, however relevant and important to our profession, tread very lightly on issues which can be perceived as “political,” such as social and reproductive justice concerns.

Throughout my time as a PPC member, I noticed a lingering sense of frustration that the committee was consistently instructed not to raise issues related to NSGC’s stance on reproductive freedom and abortion. We had a position statement on “Reproductive Freedom” that was initially composed in 2014 and reaffirmed with no edits in 2017 after an attempted revision was quashed. Is the position statement well written? Sure. Does it acknowledge the importance of autonomy in reproductive decision making? Yes. It is an adequate statement, and that is about it. It has just enough substance to be able to say we have a statement, but not enough substance to be truly meaningful or actionable in any way, shape, or form.

Conversations about whether the Reproductive Freedom statement should be reaffirmed or revised ultimately culminated in the decision, year after year, to leave the unedited 2014 statement off the PPC’s working docket. Each time, the justification for this was that any controversial moves might jeopardize the passage of our federal bill. In 2021, as I transitioned to PPC leadership, it quickly became apparent that much of the feedback was coming directly from NSGC’s [unelected] lobbyist. I will not lie, it would be easy at this point to let my emotions take over. Actually, I am going to let them take over for a second. The mansplaining emails, the gas-lighting, the rude political comments at conferences, and the long-standing bizarre seemingly patriarchal power dynamic with NSGC Leadership all feels icky and gross.

However, this is something much bigger than personal feelings. The culture of “nice” is, and historically has been, pervasive in our profession. Sure, I understand that not everyone is up for a fight. This is not about excluding or devaluing our colleagues whose personal values and convictions do not align. This is not about picking sides. It is okay for genetic counselors to not personally support abortion, in fact it is beautiful to have an opinion-diverse organization. What is not okay, however, is for the organization as a whole to place the responsibility of advocacy on the few members who are actually willing to put a target on our backs under the dismissive rhetoric of “abortion is a topic that not all members agree upon.” Additionally, let’s stop displacing the weight of this onto our patients. Obviously, we all want our patients to have autonomy in their reproductive decision-making. This does not just mean abortion; this means access to reproductive healthcare as a whole, and this is integral to our profession regardless of one’s specialty or personal values. Reproductive justice is much, much more than abortion and is inherently intersectional. J in JEDI stands for Justice. If NSGC is outwardly dedicated to JEDI efforts, NSGC must also be outwardly dedicated to reproductive justice.

Frankly, at this point it seems as if many advocacy efforts within NSGC are completely on hold pending the passage of the federal bill. Our bill is important, for so many reasons. While there are other organizations that advocate for other efforts, NSGC is the only one that is advocating for the recognition of genetic counselors by CMS. However, at what point does speaking up about a larger societal injustice (namely, decreased, and in some cases completely restricted access to abortion care) that may come with losing some (or even a lot) of support on the Hill outweigh playing the politics game? For years, members have urged NSGC leadership and the Government Relations team to speak up on the ongoing legislative efforts to decrease access to reproductive health care; to boldly state that we as an organization (whose field [clinical genetics] was born of undeniably eugenics roots) believe it is unquestionably WRONG for forced sterilizations to occur in any circumstance but particularly at the US/Mexico border; and to acknowledge that we cannot have authentic JEDI efforts without including advocating for reproductive justice. At some point, continued silence and non-action is complicity.

Most of our members have ovaries and a uterus. One of every four people with functional ovaries and uterus has an abortion during their lifetime. Do the math. As a genetic counselor who has had an abortion, our organization’s continued silence stings. I have no negative feelings or regrets about having had an abortion, however NSGC’s lack of response on the essential nature of access to abortion care is hurtful. I cannot be the only one feeling this way.

As a middle-class, white, cis-female with access to great healthcare and reasonable understanding about how to navigate the US health system, I had to travel out of state to have a second-trimester abortion. I do not feel that this is the space to discuss the details of my own experience, but I will say that the added stress of jumping through logistical hoops further intensified my own emotions at the time. This is real stuff, and this was all before the recent attention on anti-abortion legislations throughout the country.

I only disclose my own experience to highlight that it is often hard for individuals regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or gender identity to access abortion services and reproductive healthcare in general. For individuals without my resources, the challenges are more acute, and care is often inaccessible. If we are going to say that we, as NSGC, value diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, then we must advocate for access to reproductive healthcare and abortion services as an organization. We know there is power in numbers, it is far overdue that we utilize that power and use our voice to advocate for both ourselves and the patients we serve.

This essay is surely not what the NSGC Leadership expected when they asked me to write a piece on how to be an advocate outside of NSGC. It goes without saying that you should be able to be an advocate outside of NSGC. There should be no repercussions from the organization for individuals advocating for a better world as they see it, and for taking a stand and being outspoken about injustices pertaining to our profession, the medical community, and society at large. The fact that this would need to be said is problematic in and of itself. Let us disrupt the culture of “nice” within our organization so we can truly be unabashed advocates for ourselves and our patients. 

NSGC’s continued silence on this issue has not and will not go unnoticed. If you feel as though NSGC should take a clear and strong stance on reproductive justice, please consider the following action plan.

  1. Email the Board, and consider encouraging your patient advocates to email the Board. Let them know how important it is to take a firm stand on this issue.
    1. Who do I email?
      1. nsgc@nsgc.org (Attention NSGC Board of Directors)
  1. What do I include in the subject line? (Feel free to copy and paste)
    1. NSGC Advocacy for Abortion Access and Reproductive Healthcare
  1. What do I say? (Feel free to copy and paste)

Dear NSGC Leadership,

As a member of NSGC, I would like to see the organization respond directly to ongoing legislative efforts to decrease access to abortion and to advocate for reproductive healthcare. Our voice as genetic counselors on these issues is long overdue.

Thank you,

Name

  1. Take this two question survey regarding your opinions NSGC’s role in advocating for abortion access and reproductive healthcare.
  2. Advocate outside of NSGC. This list was curated with the help of Katie Sagaser, MS, CGC. The resources and suggestions listed below are just a stepping stone. Do some research regarding ongoing advocacy efforts in your state.
    1. Join the National Network of Abortion Funds (https://abortionfunds.org/) and become a monthly donor.
      1. Consider setting up a recurring donation directly to your local fund.
      1. Consider whether you might be able to support not only your local fund, but also a fund for a region to which you frequently need to refer patients. For example, the DC Abortion Fund and Baltimore Abortion Fund both provide funds to out-of-state patients traveling for abortion care in those areas.
      1. What else can you do to help support your local fund? Do you have some free time in which you could provide transportation to someone who needs a ride to their appointment? Your local fund facilitates that. Do you have a spare bedroom that you could loan to someone who needs to stay overnight before their procedure? Your local fund facilitates that. There are SO many ways to help these local funds (and independent abortion clinics, too) – usually volunteers are needed to help staff helplines, create content on Instagram and Twitter, translate documents into Spanish, and assist with fundraising.
      1. Regarding Arizona specifically: The Abortion Fund of Arizona (https://www.abortionfundofaz.org/) is a NNAF affiliate and a fantastic resource.
    1. Set up a recurring donation to SisterSong (https://www.sistersong.net/), the largest national multi-ethnic Reproductive Justice collective. SisterSong founders and leadership are truly the change makers and who we need to be looking up to in the reproductive justice space.
    1. Regarding Ohio specifically…
      1. Ohio GCs, consider donating your money and/or time to Women Have Options (https://www.womenhaveoptions.org/), which provides financial and practical assistance for abortion services.
      1. Support New Voices for Reproductive Justice (http://www.newvoicespittsburgh.org/), “a social change movement dedicated to the health and well-being of Black women and girls through leadership development, Human Rights and Reproductive Justice.”
      1. Consider referencing OPEN (http://open.osu.edu/) for current educational material and ongoing research on reproductive healthcare policy in the state of Ohio.
      1. See below for information about NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.
    1. If you are particularly interested in public policy, you might consider joining your local NARAL Pro-Choice America chapter (they exist in CA, CT, GA, MD, MA, MI, MS, NV, NC, OH, OR, VA, WA, and WY).
      1. Sign up to take their volunteer training and join one of their committees – whether you want to ensure reproductive justice in the form of promoting comprehensive sex education in schools, contraceptive access at colleges, menstrual product access to immigrants, or health policy measures as they pertain to reproduction in your state, there is going to be a committee for you.
      1. You do NOT need to reinvent the wheel because there literally are folks whose entire jobs are devoted to this – they just need our time commitment (and usually donations don’t hurt either).
    1. The ACLU has a specific Reproductive Freedom initiative, and on their website you can sign up to donate your time in the form of hosting/organizing events, making calls, and other ways.
    1. Consider donating your time, spiritual energy, and physical presence in the form of being an abortion doula.
    1. Say the word “abortion.” Seriously, say it. Mirroring patient language is important, but the more that we avoid this term in daily life, the more that we add to its stigma. How can you speak more openly about abortion as an important and necessary component of healthcare? Can you perhaps even invite some of these conversations by carrying an “abortion is healthcare” tote bag to the grocery store, or wearing an “abortion is healthcare” mask to the gym?

Be on the lookout for the launch of the GENUINE Collective: Genetics Providers United in Efforts for Reproductive Justice. This Collective will serve as a landing page for advocacy resources and opportunities as well as an open discussion forum for members.

The GENUINE Collective is an independent group of clinical genetics professionals dedicated to shameless advocacy for reproductive justice in the United States of America and beyond.

While persons involved in the Collective may hold memberships in various professional medical societies, the Collective is not, in any way, affiliated with professional medical societies.

*Previously I said NSGC Perspective’s declined to publish this article, NSGC has asked me to retract this statement, I would like to clarify that while I never received a written rejection from NSGC, they did not respond to the submission (after requesting an essay with a quick turnaround time), only responded after author follow-up, and stated that this piece was not in line with the goal of Perspectives.

28 Comments

Filed under Guest Blogger

28 responses to “Not Ready to Make Nice: Juggling unabashed advocacy and NSGC’s insidious culture of “nice”

  1. 100% yes. Thank you, Jordan, for writing and for action steps!
    Philly fund option: https://www.womensmedicalfund.org/donate

    • Barbara

      Jordan, WOW! Way to wake us up as an organization and as individuals. I applaud your courage, your advocacy, your voice and your strength. If we want to offer choice to our patients, we need to advocate strongly for choice as an organization and as individuals. Well done. May you be the tipping point and may we wake to your call.

  2. Laura

    Bravo for speaking up and out on this!

  3. Jennifer

    Hear, hear! Love the action plan. Will be on the lookout for the GENUINE Collective. =)

  4. Heidi Beaver

    Kudos for your article. Another way to get involved in that I found helpful not only for me but also for my patients is the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights. In the Midwest, where there is such a heavy religious demographic which is often not supportive, this resource has been fabulous for patients.

  5. Katie Jones

    YES. It’s cowardly and duplicitous to maintain “nice” culture when we have the power to support what is right. There is no reward for silence.

  6. June Peters

    FINALLY! Thanks Jordan for finally speaking out and presenting a clear action plan for collective responsonsibility.

  7. Kathryn Kim

    Thank you for your bold and brave statement and the wonderful list of resources. Action is definitely needed and you have sent out a strong call!

  8. Shelley Mueller

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SPEAKING UP ON THIS!! I have been most frustrated (as I am sure many are) with the lack of advocacy from NSGC. Tired of being nice.

  9. Brittany Bowman

    Yesssss sign me up for GENUINE.

  10. Sam Stover

    Amazing blog post and thank you for being so transparent with how this is pervasive amongst NSGC. Email sent!

  11. Amy White

    THANK YOU for eloquently summarizing how I’ve felt about the lack of NSGC public action and support for abortion and reproductive rights. I’m so grateful to learn about GENUINE and happy to see you sharing opportunities for us to make a personal difference.

  12. Rebecca Davis

    Couldn’t agree more! To me there has always been a culture of “don’t rock the boat”, be deferential, watch your wording carefully, etc. We don’t have to fight, but we do have to engage with each other and the world on tough issues.

  13. Janice

    WOW, Jordan. WOW, and thank you. For opening our eyes, for saying what needs to be said, for arguing against complacency, and for raising your eloquent and critical voice.

  14. Laura

    THANK YOU for speaking many of the words that have been simmering under my skin for the past year or so. It is time for us to step up and advocate for the rights we state we support. Definitely looking forward to learning more about GENUINE collective

  15. Courtney Eddy

    Thank you for your honest & helpful post, Jordan! You’ve summed up my personal feelings, too, & I appreciate having the resource list to help me figure out what I can do on a personal level. Looking forward to the GENUINE collective!

  16. Stephanie Spaulding

    Jordan, thank you for bravely speaking out on such an important issue. You are absolutely correct that NSGC’s true and meaningful advocacy efforts have stagnated as the quest for licensure becomes all-consuming. NSGC as an organization (but I hope, not GC as a profession) have lost sight of what needs to be done in order to best protect and care for our patients. I hope that your article will incite meaningful change within the organization. If not, then I wonder how much of the profession will move on without NSGC.

  17. Annelise Pace

    So important. Thank you so much for posting such a well-written piece and for providing us with information on actionable steps. Email sent!

  18. Katie Krempely

    Thank you for writing this piece! The culture of NSGC has always felt very “playing it safe.” They have enough of a statement on reproductive rights and access to be able to say that they’e doing advocacy, but it’s not taking a stand or actionable in the way that it needs to be. It feels performative. As you said in your essay, “continued silence and non-action is complicity.”

  19. A GC

    Thank you for this post! When it comes to NSGC’s vision of integrating genetics and genomics for all, it seems that vision is overly focus on “the bill” and far less focused on whether individuals can always utilize that information.

    I hoping the rest of my comments doesn’t come across as hijacking this post. However, I think it is important to point out the elephant (no pun intended) in the room that most or all of us certainly are aware of. Also, given the political nature of this comment, I choose to leave it anonymously.

    There is one political party in the US that is not only attempting to restrict reproductive rights but they are also drafting legislation restricting civil rights in other ways. While I understand the desire for a bill with bipartisan support, and even the need for it depending on who is in government, I question whether it truly is worth it. At least three of the politicians co-sponsoring one of the Federal bills opposes, in some form, restricting reproductive rights. Additionally, one of the politicians co-sponsoring one of the Federal bills voted against certifying the election results in both Arizona and Pennsylvania, essentially choosing to disenfranchise thousands of voters, mainly females and mainly minorities.

    NSGC also formed a political action committee to give money to politicians that support our bill, regardless of their party. Although our membership fees aren’t used for this purpose and regardless of who is actually receiving this money, since the NSGC PAC is donating to GOP politicians, NSGC members are all supporting an organization that is helping to elect politicians who wish to restrict reproductive freedoms, make it more difficult for minorities to vote, and undermine America’s democracy. This is disgraceful.

    Unless the priorities of NSGC change and soon, I’m not sure how much longer I can support this organization or be a member.

  20. Patti Winters

    It excites me to see fellow GCs ready for action! Sign me up for GENUINE. I am petrified and appalled at what is happening in our states right now and I need to be part of the solution.

  21. Renee Laux

    In the more than 15 years of being a prenatal genetic counselor, and being present to support many women having pregnancy terminations – yes, I said it, “pregnancy terminations” – not once did I ever have a patient say she had an abortion after her prenatal diagnosis results returned to show something was wrong with her much wanted baby (yes – baby). I did have patients use the word abortion when they said that maybe they were being punished for having had an abortion in the past. I know many women and men who are against abortion “for no reason” who find the area of abnormal prenatal diagnosis results a gray one, some of those people became patients and ended up having to choose and make a decision they never thought they would make. When I was in my reproductive years, many of these people were also my peers, my children’s friend’s parents, people in my social circles, people who went to the same church. Some of them had to travel to other states for their pregnancy termination, depending on gestational age, none of it was ever easy and 100% of those babies, yes, babies, were wanted. Some of them who had abnormal prenatal diagnosis results chose to continue their pregnancy. To think that any of them would see me in a grocery store carrying a bag that said “abortion is healthcare” is actually appalling to me. Mirroring patient language ???? I held many women’s hands during their inductions at 18-22 weeks, and then held their babies (is that being an abortion doula? or a caring fellow human being and a great genetic counselor?). I attended their babies’ funerals or burials. I did the same for the women who continued a pregnancy and had a baby who died shortly after delivery. I made house calls and held women who cried in my arms on the floor of their living-rooms when I told them their results. Then later I saw them in the pick up line at school or at the gym. I can say that I would never want them to think I was a political activist fighting for abortion rights, because most of them didn’t consider themselves to be in the same category as someone who had an abortion “for no reason” and that’s where the term “pregnancy termination” comes in. I would rather them know that I was a healthcare provider who supported them through the worst time in their lives. I was successful in that, given that more than 20 years later some still find me on social media to thank me for the care that I gave to them during that time, one in particular that did have to go out of state. There is a pervasive idea out in the world that prenatal genetic counselors push abortion on people who have abnormal prenatal diagnosis results. To participate in the activities listed above and walk around with an “abortion is healthcare bag” and be loud about it, well, that just fuels the fire and perpetuates that idea. I agree with NSGC and Perspectives.

    • Jordan Brown

      Hello Renee,

      Thank you for providing your opinion and perspective, as promoting challenging dialogue about access to abortion was the catalyst of this essay.

      I would like to respond to a few of the points you raise and clarify points of my own. To begin, I would like to respond directly to your use of “pregnancy termination.” I agree, mirroring language in the clinical setting is important. Using the term “abortion” universally in the clinical setting may not always be conducive to rapport building at this point in time; I suspect the acceptability of this term may vary by region, too. However, the fact that some individuals may feel uncomfortable with the word “abortion” does not mean that we, as healthcare professionals who absolutely do refer patients for and coordinate the scheduling of abortion services at various gestational ages and for myriad indications, should not be actively working toward de-stigmatization of the term “abortion.”

      Previously, I would have agreed with you about this terminology, and I actually used the term “termination” in my graduate school research, although I would not make this decision today. I urge you to critically consider what you are inherently placing value on when using the term “termination” as you do in your response. Using “termination” as you do here as a euphemism for abortion following a genetic diagnosis places value on ending a pregnancy for a specific reason and thus, in turn, directly places shame and stigma on making the decision to end a pregnancy in other situations. We never know precisely what another person is going through, and who are we to say that an 8 week abortion of an unplanned pregnancy cannot be as painful as a 20 week abortion of a planned pregnancy with a fetal diagnosis? The use of “for no reason” is harmful, hurtful, and fails to acknowledge the weight of complex issues involved in many individuals’ decisions to end their pregnancies. An individual may seek abortion care for a desired pregnancy for reasons other than prenatal genetic diagnosis. As you state in your response, “none of it [is] ever easy.” The following article might help us think through the nuances of terminology when it comes to abortion care.

      https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/why-we-should-stop-using-term-elective-abortion/2018-12

      I am going to strongly push back on your usage of the term “abortion doula.” Abortion doulas are trained specifically in providing physical, emotional, and/or spiritual support for patients before, during, and after an abortion. While it is great to provide support for our patients, as you state that you have in the past, being a supportive genetic counselor is far different than being an abortion doula. I am making an assumption here that you are not a trained abortion doula, so I apologize if I am incorrect, but the comparison of the support you provided to that of an abortion doula diminishes the distinct importance of these providers.

      The anecdotes that you provide here are powerful. The emergence of legislation restricting abortion access and care in the setting of prenatal genetic diagnosis puts at risk the potential for individuals in the future of make these decisions. A Supreme Court decision restricting abortion would directly impact abortion access for our patients, but also for our colleagues, friends, and society at large. The downstream impact of such these restrictive laws disproportionately impacts those for whom this care is already inaccessible. We must not be myopic. Access to reproductive healthcare and abortion is not a solely a genetic counseling issue, it is a human rights issue.

      Additionally, I would like to clarify that no one is suggesting that we coerce all genetic counselors (or even all pro-abortion advocates, for that matter) to carry “abortion is healthcare” totes or other items which intentionally invite critical conversation. There are individuals in our midst (colleagues, friends, past patients, future patients, family members, etc.) who might be relieved to see explicit advocacy actions because of how they’ve felt stigmatized about their abortion decision(s). If explicit pro-abortion advocacy makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it. We hope you will consider being a behind-the-scenes supporter of those clinics who do provide abortion services to our patients, friends, and peers when these services are needed (for all types of reasons). Let’s invite genetic counselors to find ways to welcome dialogue that may be, as this one has been, challenging.

      We must challenge the ideology of “either/or” when it comes to being an outspoken advocate for a myriad of issues. Being an advocate for access to reproductive care does not mean that we cannot also be advocates for NSGC’s federal efforts. I too support NSGC and care deeply about the future of our profession, which is precisely the reason I decided to write the above piece.

      Thank you again for sharing your perspective openly. It is dialogue like this that elucidates areas that we can all continue to grow as healthcare providers and as people.

      All my best,
      Jordan

      • Lauren Murphy

        Thank you Jordan for this important and necessary conversation. Renee, Do you believe that your patients who made difficult decisions about wanted pregnancies deserved to have a choice about abortion care? Or should they have been forced to continue their pregnancies? Lack of any choice is what we are dealing with in many parts of the country, and it is getting worse. As Jordan explains so well, judging a person’s reasons for having an abortion are deeply problematic; but, even if you only care about those patients who “deserve” to have a choice, we must challenge the oppressive legislation that is threatening ALL abortion access. The anti-choice community is not in the majority, but they are much louder and more visible than the rest of the population. This is a huge part of the problem and where NSGC has been complicit. I sincerely hope our society can do better, but in the meantime, I commit as an individual to get louder.

  22. Heidi Beaver

    Bravo, Jordan, for your reply. Unfortunately, some states have tried to make abortion illegal in the circumstance of fetal anomalies whereas others may have an exception. This is a slippery slope we cannot conscientiously get into – ignorant and irresponsible legislators will attempt to make black and white lines of distinction. For example, they may say that 45,X does not involve intellectual disability and should not be an indication despite our knowledge of a multitude of physical malformations and high loss rate. I guess I personally try to “place nice” and utilize the terms anti and pro-choice in discussions and choice of any self-revealing items.

  23. Anne Madeo

    Jordan, I agree that it’s important to destigmatize the word abortion. So, let me come out here and say, without shame or guilt. I too have had an abortion.

  24. Katie Watson

    Thank you for this powerful statement Jordan! Your post made me realize I did not fully appreciate the professional & political context of the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals inviting me to be the keynote speaker for their 2020 meeting, since I gave a lecture called “Contextualizing Abortion: The History of Morality Laws and the Legal Personhood of Women,” and ISGP purchased copies of my book “Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law & Politics of Ordinary Abortion” to give to attendees for free afterward. So double-kudos to ISGP and all other state and local GC organizations trying to support their members’ education on this issue!

    For those who are educators or want to spark additional conversations with colleagues, just fyi here is an open access 2 page article I wrote for the Lancet (“Abortion as a Moral Good” 2019) that some clinicians have told me they found useful for discussion groups and classes: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)30581-1/fulltext

    For those interested in additional resources, here are 3 more ideas:
    1) If your local abortion clinic is a non-profit, that can be a great place for direct donations. For example, in Cleveland, the Preterm clinic (which has a feminist, RJ approach to patient care) took on the significant time and emotional burden of being the plaintiff in the lawsuit against Ohio’s ban against doctors performing abortion when they know the reason is a diagnosis of DS. (Which the 6th Circuit allowed, so that kind of ban – directly applicable to the work of GCs – is now permitted in the multiple states covered by the 6th Circuit, and which this Supreme Court might approve.) https://www.preterm.org/about-us

    2) State chapters of the ACLU work hard to protect your local clinics, so that can be a great place for a direct donation.

    3) National Abortion Federation (NAF) – full disclosure I am on the NAF board & chair their ethics committee, but I share here because most people do not know that the nation’s independent clinics that serve approximately 50% of the nation’s abortion patients are represented by NAF – think of it as the independent clinics’ version of the Planned Parenthood Federation – where they come together for education and to address security concerns. You can donate to NAF generally, or to specific programs like NAF’s security team which flies out to protect & advise clinics in danger, or NAF’s program to provide gas cards to poor patients driving long distances. https://prochoice.org

    I support your group’s efforts to get the GC profession on the right side of history, because we are at a turning point where silence = assent to robbing your patients of the basic human right to determine their own reproductive futures. Onward!

  25. Pingback: Reproductive Justice, Late Term Abortions, and Genetic Counselors’ Obligation to Speak Up - Grey Genetics

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