The Supreme Court of the United States’ (SCOTUS) decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization reversed nearly 50 years of federal protection for abortion care and in the State of Michigan triggered an antiquated law criminalizing abortion care services. The MSHO advocated against the re-implementation of this law given its impact on women with both oncologic and hematologic issues. The law would have most severely impacted those populations with reduced access to and poor-quality health care.
MSHO is an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) state affiliate and an allied partner of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). MSHO represents 94% of the cancer physicians in Michigan from both academic and community settings. Coinciding with the release of the SCOTUS decision in the Dobbs case, the MSHO board of directors supported releasing a statement regarding how the Michigan Criminal Abortion Ban decision would negatively impact maternal healthcare. The statement led to a request from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan to consider supporting Planned Parenthood of Michigan (PPMI) as the plaintiffs in a case before the Michigan Court of Claims requesting a permanent injunction of the abortion ban. Working with the ACLU, MSHO submitted an Amicus Curiae brief to the court of claims supporting the injunction. The brief provided insight into the plight of pregnant persons with both oncologic and hematologic disorders and how the ban would negatively affect their care. A specific section indicated how the ban would disproportionately impact black and other marginalized pregnant patients, and specifically those who suffer from cancer and Sickle Cell Disease.
Ahead of a November ballot proposition that would eventually instill abortion care rights in the state constitution, the judge in the PPMI case ruled in favor of the plaintiff granting a permanent injunction of the ban. In the ruling, the MSHO brief was cited as helping the court to reach that decision.