Medical Students for Choice Statement on Gaza

As an advocacy organization with more than 10,000 members across 34 countries, Medical Students for Choice is guided by our mission to “support future abortion care providers and advocate for reproductive justice globally.” Our words and actions center reproductive justice in an effort to disrupt the ways in which white supremacy, racial capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy all converge to limit access to care. In this spirit, and as an organization whose global membership is actively harmed by these forces every day, Medical Students for Choice denounces the multiple crises happening globally, from Palestine to Sudan, Armenia, Haiti, Ukraine, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other contexts.

After bearing witness to more than 140 days of escalating bombardment in Gaza, the International Court of Justice recently determined that the Israeli government is plausibly committing genocide. Since October, the Israeli government has killed more than 26,000 Gazans, with an estimated two mothers being killed every hour. With no fully-functional hospitals remaining in Gaza, more than 540,000 reproductive-age women and girls are being systematically denied access to essential health care. That number includes an estimated 50,000 people experiencing pregnancies in the absence of the routine prenatal and peripartum care required for long-term maternal and child health. Experts warn of impending famine, undrinkable water, and inaccessible sanitation services, as humanitarian aid to the region remains strangled.

This genocidal violence is one of the worst instances of reproductive injustice that we have witnessed in our lifetimes. As current and future physicians, we recognize that the systems of harm that created conditions for these atrocities are as old as our profession. Despite our moral and ethical commitments to doing no harm, physicians have long engaged in reproductive coercion, from eugenics movements and experimentation to ongoing systemic discrimination.

As the next generation of reproductive healthcare providers and advocates, we are determined to create a more just future. Our vision for reproductive justice compels us to build systems of care grounded in principles of abolition and harm reduction, like those that poor, Black and brown, Indigenous, queer, undocumented, and other marginalized communities have cultivated for centuries — those that we are seeing from the caregivers in Gaza and other communities enduring violence. Our work begins with solemn recognition that reproductive injustice anywhere is reproductive injustice everywhere, and that the silence and silencing of health professionals is complicity.

To that end, Medical Students for Choice echoes calls from MSF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO for an immediate, permanent ceasefire. We stand alongside reproductive justice organizations like ARC-Southeast in calling for Palestinian liberation through self-determination. And we urge our fellow health professionals and advocacy organizations — particularly those in imperialist nations like the United States — to join us in solidarity with the most marginalized among us, in Gaza and around the world.