Jake Ermolovich: Why I Support the Vermont Reproductive Freedom Amendment

This commentary was written by Jake Ermolovich, a third-year medical student at UVM’s Larner School of Medicine. These opinions are his own, and may not reflect the views of Larner College or the UVM Health Network.

Pregnancy and the process of childbirth are two amazing, horrific, and totally fallible parts of our existence. Each of us is drawn to the center of this world. Our lungs are opened by the unpolluted air in the womb, our cries emanate from the ether that is before us.

All birth trauma has been a part of our healthcare system for centuries, yet often goes unnoticed by those who don’t encounter it daily, or those who never learn its intricacies.

During my role in obstetrics and gynecology, I had the privilege of seeing this process up close. From prenatal counseling to intrapartum care to postpartum follow-up – every step of the way is paved with “what can go wrong” and worry songs written among waves of streaming joy.

Since each ebb and flow imposes a burden on two lives, the stakes are much greater in this field of medicine.

To paint a better picture, resources (easy to use And the Inclusive) to guide and report on every step taken in routine antenatal care. Before entering medical school, I was frankly unaware of all the burdens that baby carriers carry as they work toward the one historical moment that many have only partially seen in films and the media. One visit followed by another, followed by lab work, Pap smear, ultrasound, medication changes, lifestyle changes, genetic screening, infection screening, questions leading to answers leading to more questions leading to 37 to 42 weeks of monthly follow-up, Bi-weekly, weekly- up – all for the chance, if you’re lucky, to bring a little of you into this world.

When one understands the risks and challenges associated with pregnancy and childbirth, it is not surprising to know Abortion is safer than childbirth. If a parent is fortunate enough to have the health care needed to continue the pregnancy, they still face a lot of risks. Molar and ectopic pregnancy, preeclampsia, cumulative, placental carcinoma, chorioamnionitis, gestational diabetes, placental abruption, uterine rupture – to name a few serious complications.

However, the freedom of choice – to risk a pregnancy or terminate a pregnancy for which you are not ready – is threatened. The Leaked Supreme Court Draft Outline as much. Therefore, as an aspiring clinician, I feel a responsibility to advocate for patient independence and to respond to the volatile political backdrop that appears to be making its way between a person and his or her body.

If you are like me and value your health and freedom, it is important that you support the passage Vermont Reproductive Freedom Adjustment. The Reproductive Freedom Amendment (formerly Pillar 5) will be a ballot measure in the 2022 Vermont general election in November. If passed, it would protect the right of every Vermonter to make their own reproductive decisions, such as whether and when to become pregnant, use temporary or permanent birth control, or seek abortion care.

Our reproductive decisions are our decisions, without interference from politicians. This is what the modification will do. Please join me and take We pledge to vote yes on the Reproductive Freedom Amendment.

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