A patient with asthma comes to a health center seeking an inhaler. This is the nearest health center where he can get one, and it took him three hours to drive there. Although an inhaler is a standard treatment for asthma, it is nearly impossible to obtain.
The doctor reads a government script that talks about the dangers of inhalers (which are not based on medical facts). The patient is told that if he still wants the inhaler, he can come back in 72 hours—driving six hours round trip and taking time off from work again. Through all of this, if the doctor fails to dot any “i” or cross any “t”, that physician could end up in jail.
If this scenario seems too ludicrous to exist in medicine, think again. This is the reality for abortion care in the U.S. And it’s a major threat to public health across the country.