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ASH and 16 Organizations Publish Letter in Atlanta Journal-Constitution Highlighting Unequal Impact of New Georgia Voter Law

Voter restrictions will disproportionately affect minority communities health care providers serve

(WASHINGTON, August 26, 2021) — The American Society of Hematology (ASH) and16 other non-profit organizations representing more than 21.1 million health care providers and patients today signed a letter highlighting the impact of recently enacted voting restrictions that are expected to disproportionately affect minority communities. The organizations, driven by the commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, highlight how the laws will affect the patients they represent, especially people of color. Similar legislation has been passed in 17 states as of mid-June.

“As organizations committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the new law in Georgia and similar legislation in other states gives us pause,” said ASH President Martin S. Tallman, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “The restrictive voting laws directly affect our patients, who may have to choose between their health and their right to vote, and our members and health care providers, who have atypical schedules that may prevent them from getting to the polls. The right to vote is crucial to every citizen’s ability to advocate for his or her own wellbeing, and we oppose any efforts to restrict the democratic process, particularly when those efforts disproportionately affect underserved communities.”

The letter, published today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, emphasizes the effects the law is expected to have on the people, communities, and economy in Georgia. The letter outlines:

  • To attract conferences and events such as the ASH annual meeting, which brings together thousands of diverse participants and financially benefits the local hospitality workforce, cities and states should support inclusive policies.
  • Restricting safe, accessible voting will present barriers to individuals with health conditions and disabilities and force them to choose between their health and their right to vote. It will also impede voting for individuals with atypical or demanding schedules, including health care professionals.

The organizations listed below signed the letter:

American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics
American Medical Informatics Association
American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
American Society for Microbiology
American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy
American Society of Hematology
American Society of Nephrology
Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses
Association of Public Health Laboratories
Black Women’s Health Imperative
Endocrine Society
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Council on Independent Living
National Pancreas Foundation
Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society
Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Inc.
Society for Personality and Social Psychology

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 60 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, and Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org), an online, peer-reviewed open-access journal.

Leah Enser, American Society of Hematology
[email protected]; 202-552-4927