Beyond Flexner Alliance Summer 2022 Newsletter
“Or when I would feel overwhelmed by what was going on in the world, I would just say to myself: “Hope is a discipline.”… the practice of making a decision every day, that you’re still gonna put one foot in front of the other, that you’re still going to get up in the morning…we have an opportunity at every moment to push in a direction that we think is actually a direction towards more justice.” – Mariame Kaba, Organizer and Transformative Justice Practitioner, Author of, “We Do This ‘Til We Free Us”
These are trying times for many of us in the health professions committed to social mission. The Supreme Court’s verdict gutting Roe v. Wade has been a massive blow to the rights of women and pregnant people to access safe abortion care. With abortion care no longer a guaranteed right, women and pregnant people lose a crucial safety net on which they can fall back on in unforeseen circumstances. In a country where the maternal mortality rate reaches unimaginably high levels, outlawing abortion ignores the larger picture relating to healthcare access. The reversal of this protection from a federal to a states’ rights issue has implemented trigger laws in a handful of states, making abortion a criminal medical procedure, putting both patients and practitioners at risk of criminalization. Our institutions have been impacted as well, as the training of our learners in these states that criminalize abortion are now jeopardized. Now, many of our future providers are faced with an uphill battle to receive the education they need around family planning and abortion care.
President Biden’s most recent federal declaration to protect abortion rights for medical emergencies has been welcome news for many providers, many of whom have their hands tied when it came to whether they could provide life saving care for unsafe pregnancies. However, even with this silver lining, it is hard not to acknowledge how daunting the situation has felt in a situation that many feel as hopeless. But we cannot stop now. In the words of organizer Mariame Kaba, “Hope is a discipline”. It is not the feeling of hope that sustains us through difficult times, it is the practice of struggle that brings us over towards the change that we seek. Our commitment to social mission, our commitment to improving the institutions we are a part of and the clinical settings in which we operate, is an unwavering one. Through this practice of hope, we implore you to take up the mantle to continue advancing the work of transforming our institutions, both for the providers we and our learners want to become, and to serve as entities that can step up to the plate in advocating for the needs of our patients. We hope that in this newsletter you may find ways in which we may take those first steps, together.
The Beyond Flexner Alliance Team