American Psychiatric Association Statement on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
Washington, D.C., June 24, 2022 — The American Psychiatric Association is deeply disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that overturns Roe v. Wade and will ultimately restrict an individual’s right to an abortion. 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.
While the immediate implications of the ruling will vary state-to-state, the underlying national protection allowing pregnant women and doctors to determine what course of action is most suitable for their health now no longer exists. This move will disproportionately impact our most vulnerable populations, such as communities of color, people living in rural areas and those with low incomes who 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. While we determine our next steps, we iterate that today’s ruling will put many pregnant women and their families into life-threatening and/or traumatic situations.
We urge Congress and the administration, with public opinion strongly behind it, to act immediately to protect access to abortion services.
See also a statement from APA, the American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Workers: Major Mental Health Associations Decry U.S. Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade; and a statement from APA and four other organizations representing more than 400,000 physicians and medical students: Physicians: SCOTUS Decision Jeopardizes Patient-Physician Relationship, Penalizes Evidence-Based Care (.pdf).
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit www.psychiatry.org.