APHMG Statement on Reproductive Health

8 Sep 2021 

Central to the goal of achieving equity in healthcare is access to both services and information on medical options. With the recent events surrounding Texas law SB8, these foundational principles of equity are threatened for pregnant people considering abortions, with a disproportionate health impact on marginalized people of color, people of limited means, and other vulnerable populations who already are the most burdened. Importantly, these developments may also pave the way for wider restrictions on pregnancy termination and reproductive care throughout the country, making it a critical issue of social justice.

As geneticists, we recognize that reproductive care is healthcare and that pregnant peoples’ rights are human rights. As educators, it is our mission to train the next generation of providers, and these providers must be free to provide patient-centered healthcare of the highest quality that best suits the patient and their needs. Patient-centered care has long been a principle of genetics consultation, and in this climate, it is especially important that our classrooms and clinics serve to inform trainees about the ways in which the timing and approach to genetic services impact the ability of pregnant people to make informed decisions that best align with their personal situations. Notably, the vast majority of our trainees have never lived in an America without the protections of Roe v. Wade, thus it is the responsibility of those of us with perspective on the numerous harms that can result from the erosions of reproductive freedom to initiate these conversations with our trainees.

We have compiled a list of resources that can provide some tools to learn and teach about patient-centered care, intersectionality and its intensification of healthcare disparities, and a role for providers in patient advocacy. We hope these resources will help you get started on this critical call to action. Most importantly, we remain committed to working and learning together, and we welcome your thoughts and additional suggestions.

Yours in Solidarity,

Shoumita Dasgupta, PhD, President
Katherine M. Hyland, PhD, President-Elect
Cynthia M. Powell, MD, Past-President
Steve Moore, PhD, Secretary/Treasurer
Deborah Barbouth, MD, Council Member
Kathryn Garber, PhD, Council Member
Anna C.E. Hurst, MD, MS, Council Member

Resources:

Message on Diversity from APHMG Council

21 Aug 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I write to you today during a time of unprecedented loss. In the midst of a global pandemic, senseless deaths due to structural racism and police brutality continue. Our collective grief rages as our core values of equity and inclusion are challenged by events we see play out far too frequently, especially in the Black community, and most recently involving George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

As our nation struggles to find our way out of darkness and towards a more just society, we scientists, clinicians, and educators seek ways to turn anguish into action. We must unite to condemn racism, but that response alone is inadequate. We must also empower our community to acknowledge privilege for those who benefit from it and to help disseminate tools to dismantle structural racism. Some of that will come in the form of the educational programs we lead. Geneticists are in the unique position of being able to underscore our common humanity with evidence from our collective genomic history. It is up to us to create inclusive training environments where these topics are explored and used to shine a light on systems of care in our country.

APHMG is in the midst of establishing a series of new committees in our organization, and we will be seeking volunteers soon to help us do the important work of outreach and engagement with genetics educators and trainees of color. In the meantime, we ask you all to carefully consider how your classrooms and clinics can promote the ideals of inclusion in order to work towards eliminating healthcare disparities. We are providing some Diversity Resources to help you get started on this critical call to action.

Most importantly, we remain committed to healing and learning together, and we welcome your thoughts and additional suggestions.

Yours in Solidarity,

Shoumita Dasgupta, PhD, President

Katherine M. Hyland, PhD, President-Elect

Cynthia M. Powell, MD, Past-President

Steve Moore, PhD, Secretary/Treasurer

Kathryn Garber, PhD, Council Member

Anna C.E. Hurst, MD, MS, Council Member

Hope Northrup, PhD, Council Member

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