Supreme Court ruling prompts questions about contraception

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 6:05 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has sparked a wave of phone calls from patients to their doctors. Questions are coming in about whether the ruling impacts contraception or other aspects of reproductive health.

Dr. Jeannie Kelly is a Washington University Physician who’s an OB/GYN, specializing in high-risk pregnancies at Barnes Jewish Hospital.

“Patients with infertility are worried that this law will affect their ability to undergo IVF,” she said.

The Supreme Court decision did not directly affect contraception. And the Missouri trigger law that was passed in 2019 and took effect last Friday, bans abortions except in cases of a medical emergency but doesn’t place restrictions on contraception or infertility treatments.

Kelly said women can continue to use a variety of forms of contraception, including an intrauterine device known as an IUD.

“This law does not affect your ability to receive those types of contraception. Or the Plan B pill, which does not act on a fertilized embryo,” said Kelly.

Kelly said, while Missouri’s trigger law allows for abortions in cases of medical emergencies, it’s not specific about what that means. But she said high-risk gynecologists and obstetricians are the experts in the field and can determine when a patient’s life is at risk.

“So, I think what is really important is passing on the message that every patient will be treated appropriately for these conditions still, no matter what the law says because they are exceptions to that law,” she said.

Kelly expressed some concern that some doctors might become reluctant to treat patients with high-risk pregnancies to avoid those difficult decisions.