The District I region of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, representing obstetrician-gynecologists across New England, condemns the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization reversing Roe v. Wade, which represents a direct attack on the patient-physician relationship and the practice of medicine.
The decision in Dobbs upends the public health infrastructure in our country, and the values we as health care professionals hold dear. By putting physicians in fear of retribution for providing evidence-based, appropriate, lifesaving care, and denying patients the ability to turn to their trusted physicians for care, this decision fundamentally, irreparably, and devastatingly compromises the patient-physician relationship.
Patients will lose the ability to make decisions about their health, their families, and their futures. Physicians and practices in our country, depending on their location, will either be overwhelmed by an influx of patients forced to delay care to travel hundreds of miles away from their communities or will be forced to contradict their years of training and ethical obligations by withholding evidence-based care.
The consequences of this decision will be sweeping, not only by opening the floodgates to widespread bans on abortion but also for what it represents—a frightening era for health care professionals who must fear criminal, professional, and civil penalties for providing evidence based, appropriate care. The Court's decision will have devastating ripple effects, and this legislative interference will not stop with abortion—its chilling effect will impede miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy management, care for patients with pregnancy complications, and threaten infertility treatments. It will also fuel efforts to target other essential care, including contraception and gender affirming care.
Pregnancy can be a high-risk time in a person's life, particularly for those with medically complex conditions, and our nation's maternal mortality rates are already unacceptably high—this decision will take us backwards. The harm of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision will be experienced most acutely on the communities that are already systemically marginalized, exacerbating unacceptable inequities in our health care system.
District I of ACOG is committed to mitigating the fallout of this decision; to accommodating patients seeking care from outside our borders to the best of our ability and capacity; and to advocating for our patients, our colleagues, and our profession in the face of further unfounded and dangerous legislative/judicial interference.