- October 22 - The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the nation's largest, independent medical student organization, condemns legislation that bans "partial-birth" abortion procedures. The measure, which the Senate passed late last night and the House passed earlier this month, states that it is a crime for doctors to deliberately kill "a living fetus" that has been partially removed from a pregnant woman's body-punishable by up to two years in prison.
The Senate overwhelmingly approved the legislation (64 to 34), marking the nation's first federal ban on a form of abortion since Roe v. Wade.
AMSA policy officially opposes the prohibition of intact dilation and extraction abortion and believes that all women should be able to obtain a voluntary abortion. The proposed legislation, which will soon be signed by President George W. Bush, inserts politics into the examination room and will prevent physicians from providing the best and safest health care for women.
"Abortion should be a decision between a patient and her physician, without the interference of any third party," says Lauren Oshman, M.D., M.P.H., National President of AMSA. "Congress has created a political entity, the 'partial birth abortion,' that does not exist in medical education or medical textbooks. This ban directly and inappropriately interferes with the practice of medicine and the patient-physician relationship and prevents women from making decisions about their own health. That is not only dangerous, but unconstitutional."
About the American Medical Student Association
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), with more than a half-century history of medical student activism, is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. With approximately 40,000 members, including medical and premedical students, residents and practicing physicians, AMSA is committed to improving medical training as well as advancing the profession of medicine. AMSA focuses on five strategic priorities, including universal healthcare, disparities in medicine, diversity in medicine, leadership development and transforming the culture of medicine. To learn more about AMSA, our strategic priorities, or joining the organization, please visit us online.