Today APA issued a statement expressing disappointment in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization regarding abortion rights. Today’s decision overturns that of Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed women nationwide the right to a safe abortion. Now the legality and access to abortion will be left up to the states to determine. APA urged Congress and the Biden administration to act immediately to protect access to abortion services.
APA summarized its response to the decision this way: “By dismantling nearly 50 years of legal precedent, the Court has jeopardized the physical and mental health of millions of American women and undermined the privacy of the physician-patient relationship.”
The organization added that the Dobbs decision will disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, such as communities of color, people living in rural areas, and people who have low incomes and may have to travel long distances to receive abortions.
“In light of the ruling, the American Psychiatric Association, alongside many of its colleagues in the house of medicine and in the field of mental health, pledges to continue its long-standing support for legal abortion services,” APA said.
APA also joined the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers in a joint statement decrying the decision. “Our nation is already experiencing a mental health crisis. This is yet another factor that will contribute to negative mental health outcomes for our society,” the organizations said. They also noted how the inability to obtain an abortion increases the risk for domestic abuse when women must stay in contact with violent partners, which puts both the women and their children at risk.
For further information, see the Psychiatric News article “APA Joins Amicus Brief Opposing Abortion Restrictions.”
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