USAID Global Health Leader Atul Gawande Addresses Global Partners’ Concerns Over Women’s Reproductive Rights

Dr. Atul Gawande, Assistant Administrator for Global Health at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), joins us to share how countries are responding to the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

He says, “There have been some instances of concern about a possible chilling effect…I’ve been in touch to address questions and meet with our partners…the United States is the largest supporter of family planning around the world…we are the leading experts in how to ensure modernized forms of family planning women reach the world, making sure women have rights and that voluntary family planning is a critical right.”

Hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter also ask him about USAID’s efforts involving COVID and the war in Ukraine.


West Alabama Women’s Center Director Talks About the Impact of Roe

The Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision, overturning a constitutional right to abortion, has led to abortion services ending at West Alabama Women’s Center, Inc., in Tuscaloosa.

The clinic’s director, Robin Marty, explains that the states making abortion illegal are also the ones blocking Medicaid expansion. She says their idea appears to be that “It’s too expensive to give people health care but you can force them to give birth against their will.”

Amanda Allen is senior counsel and director of The Lawyering Project, which is a nonprofit that uses the law to “improve abortion access and uphold the rights and dignity of people seeking and providing abortion care.” She reports that her team is devastated by the Supreme Court decision but they’re “doubling down on our efforts to help providers, to help the patients they serve…there are people out there who need our help.”

Join Conversations on Health Care hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter for this important discussion.


Health News This Week: Omicron Makes Gains Around the World as U.S. Supreme Court Justices Hear Mississippi Abortion Case

ts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter examine the latest details about the omicron COVID variant, including the important role community health centers continue to play in the pandemic. In addition, we revisit their recent conversation with Planned Parenthood Federation of America President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson on the Supreme Court hearing on the Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks, posing the greatest threat to Roe v. Wade in half a century. She also talks about systematic efforts in many states limiting women's access to abortion, and examines the previous administration’s Title X abortion ‘gag’ rule, which seriously impeded access to reproductive health services, creating particular hardship for vulnerable women. She expects the conservative-leaning high court will ultimately rule to undermine Roe.


“Roe Hanging On By A Thread”: Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson on Imminent Threat To Reproductive Rights

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Planned Parenthood Federation of America CEO Alexis McGill Johnson, on upcoming Supreme Court hearing on S.B.8., the Texas law banning abortion after 6 weeks. She discusses the record number of restrictive abortion laws across the country causing harm to patients and clinicians committed to providing family planning services, and the former administration’s Title X abortion ‘gag’ rule, which greatly hampered access to legally-guaranteed ‘right to choose’. She expects Roe-v-Wade will likely be permanently compromised with the current conservative configuration on the nation’s High Court.


Dr. Leana Wen on the Pandemic and the ‘Fight for Public Health'

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Leana Wen, emergency physician, former Baltimore Health Commissioner, and medical analyst for CNN. Dr. Wen’s new book, “Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health” addresses the dramatic failings of the public health system to adequately address the pandemic, the need to create a more coordinated national and international public health system and the way forward through the pandemic.


Dr. Leana Wen’s Advice for President-Elect Biden: Fireside Chats and a COVID Czar

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Leana Wen, CNN Medical Analyst, contributing columnist to the Washington Post and Visiting Professor of Public Health Management at George Washington University. Dr. Wen discusses the public health tactics President-elect Biden should deploy immediately to get out ahead of what could be the worst impact seen yet by the pandemic. She recommends he appoint a COVID-19 Czar to coordinate a national response, and conduct regular “fireside chats” to open a clear line of communication to the public who need a cohesive message about public health protocols and the coming vaccine.


Dr. Leana Wen, Day One: Charting Planned Parenthood's Course for Protecting Women's Health

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Leana Wen, newly appointed President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of American. Dr. Wen talks about successful interventions she launched as Baltimore's Health Commissioner on opioids, maternal mortality and gun violence, planning to take her tough public health approach to addressing challenges to women's health and reproductive rights in America.


Dr. Leana Wen, Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Leana Wen, Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore. Dr. Wen, an emergency room physician and author of When Doctors Don't Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests discusses her innovative approaches to tackling Baltimore's most pressing public health issues such as poverty, violent crime and the opioid crisis.


Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America

This week, Mark and Margaret speak with Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America who discusses the millions of Americans receiving basic health care through the organization and the expansion of health information outreach to tens of millions via the internet and social media. Ms. Richards also discusses the numerous legal challenges to Planned Parenthood on the state and national levels.


Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Conversations on Health Care® focuses this week on Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of reproductive healthcare in the country. Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Planned Parenthood’s President, Cecile Richards, about its role expanding access to health care for women, men and teens. The conversation moves beyond the current political debate in Washington to the underlying health care needs of Americans.