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What Yesterday's U.S. District Court Decision on Abortion Means for Duke Health

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday a federal judge in North Carolina lifted the injunction on a law that bans abortions in our state after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in the case of medical emergency. This means we must readjust our clinical operations to follow the reinstatement of North Carolina law.

As an organization, our position is clear. Family planning and reproductive health services, including abortion, are evidence-based, essential health care—and our patients should be able to make these individualized healthcare decisions in consultation with their healthcare providers. As advised by organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists and the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine, the American Nurses Association, and the World Health Organization, safe and reliable access to these services is a critical part of women’s health.

At the same time, we are a diverse community with differing beliefs, experiences, and perspectives. However, we are united by a common trait: the passionate commitment to care, teach, and discover. Anyone who does so with grace and respect for one another is welcomed here at Duke. That’s what makes us great and enables us to achieve extraordinary things.

To women across our organization and clinicians directly involved in family planning and reproductive health services who feel particularly vulnerable at this time, please know that Duke Health values you and will always advocate for you as you care for yourself, your family and the patients we all serve.

Given the rich diversity of our Duke Health community, each of us may experience this decision differently. The decision may also create the need to talk with someone about our feelings. Please know that our Personal Assistance Service is available to assist you, or you are invited to join a Conversations with Colleagues on this topic.


Duke Health Leadership