PPE supply shortages aren’t helped by halting abortions writes Dr. Jen Villavicencio

April 9, 2020 | Bridge Magazine, In The Media

Jen Villavicencio, a Michigan Medicine OB-GYN and CHRT Health Policy Fellow

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for healthcare systems around the world. Lack of medical supplies, particularly PPE, has become a major problem, prompting some to recommend stopping non-essential medical services, like abortions. However, halting abortions may not be an effective solution.

Jen Villavicencio, a Michigan Medicine OB-GYN, and CHRT Health Policy Fellow, in a Bridge Magazine op-ed that responds to calls to shut down abortion clinics to preserve personal protection equipment writes “On any given day, I deliver babies, screen for cancer, provide urgent consultation in emergency rooms, perform complex surgeries, and provide abortion care,”.

“As a board-certified OB-GYN, I know the necessary resources involved in the practice of medicine. And as someone providing essential health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, someone who has volunteered to be “deployed” outside of my specialty to coronavirus wards and field hospitals, I am deeply committed to excellent stewardship of resources.

Political groups working to ban abortion argue that health centers providing abortions should be “shut down” to preserve critical personal protective equipment (PPE). As a doctor actively caring for patients during this pandemic, I understand how desperately important access to appropriate PPE is — I need it to protect my life and the lives of my family.  I also know that stopping abortion care in Michigan will do absolutely nothing to improve the PPE shortage….”