16 Healthcare Responses to the Roe v. Wade Decision
By Erica Carbajal and Cailey Gleeson
Hospitals and medical associations across the nation reacted to the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade by calling attention to the consequences it will have on vulnerable populations, and the increased demand providers will see in states where abortion services are still acessible.
Becker’s compiled excerpts from 16 medical groups and health systems’ responses to the federal ruling. To read the statements in full, click on the hyperlinks.
American Nurses Association: “The American Nurses Association is dismayed by the 6-3 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health which has overturned the longstanding and significant precedent of Roe v. Wade. The Dobbs ruling removes the right of all women to access high-quality healthcare and make personal decisions about their sexual and reproductive healthcare. In doing so, it potentially paves the way for laws that will fundamentally come between patients and health care professionals, including nurses, who must be guided by ethical obligations to their patients and the profession.”
American Association of Medical Colleges: “We are deeply concerned about the impact of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson on patients nationwide,” the association said in a statement. “The court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, rescinding the protection of the right to safe and effective abortions for nearly five decades, will leave women’s reproductive health under the purview of various state laws. Laws and policies that restrict or otherwise interfere with the patient-physician relationship put a patient at risk by limiting access to quality, evidence-based care. Everyone should be able to access comprehensive health care, including women of reproductive age.”
Beaumont Health Spectrum Health (Southfield, Mich.): “BHSH System is reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court’s final opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and its impact on Michigan’s 1931 law. We are currently determining what it means for our policies and practices and the people we serve to ensure we are following the law.”
Bruce Siegel, MD. President and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals: “We are concerned about how today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision might affect access to care and maternal health, especially among low-income and marginalized people, and the ability of providers to deliver care without fear of possible criminalization. All people should have access to safe and necessary health care services. Further, providers should be free to deliver needed health services without concern they would run afoul of state or local laws. But this decision could inspire policies that result in an uneven distribution of providers across states, greater disparities in maternal health, and conflicts between state and federal laws.”
Cleveland Clinic: “Like other healthcare systems, we are carefully reviewing the recent Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade and working to understand the full impact it will have on our patients and healthcare providers.”
Dartmouth Health (Lebanon, N.H.): “Dartmouth Health is unwavering in its belief in the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship to make the best-informed decisions for patients to reflect their needs and healthcare priorities.
“We also strongly believe that abortion is an essential component of healthcare. Like all medical matters, decisions regarding abortion should be made by patients in consultation with their healthcare providers. Abortion remains legal and accessible in New Hampshire and Vermont, and Dartmouth Health will continue to provide this care as part of our commitment to our patients.”
Hackensack Meridian Health (Edison, N.J.): “As a leading healthcare provider, Hackensack Meridian Health is concerned by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which protected critical reproductive health care services for nearly 50 years. Abortion remains accessible and legal in New Jersey and we will continue to provide comprehensive healthcare to all of our communities in accordance with state law. We fear that this decision will disproportionately impact women in underserved communities in other states who already face barriers to accessing high-quality care. Hackensack Meridian remains deeply committed to providing this access to all of our communities.”
Jack Resneck, MD. President of the American Medical Association: “The American Medical Association is deeply disturbed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn nearly a half century of precedent protecting patients’ right to critical reproductive health care — representing an egregious allowance of government intrusion into the medical examination room, a direct attack on the practice of medicine and the patient-physician relationship, and a brazen violation of patients’ rights to evidence-based reproductive health services,” Dr. Resneck said in a statement. “States that end legal abortion will not end abortion — they will end safe abortion, risking devasting consequences, including patients’ lives.”
Mitchell Katz, MD. President and CEO of NYU Health + Hospitals (New York City): “Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling restricting the reproductive rights of millions of Americans is a step backwards and a threat to public health,” he said in a statement sent to Becker’s.
“The potential for unsafe abortions, unwanted childbearing, and unmet health needs will also lead to lack of economic freedom and obstacles for young people trying to excel or pull themselves out of poverty.
“But here in New York, NYC Health + Hospitals will continue to provide safe, legal, accessible abortion services to all who make this deeply personal choice.
“We will do whatever it takes to accommodate patients from near and far. And we will take the necessary steps to protect the safety and security of our patients and the health care professionals who provide these services.”
Marschall Runge. CEO of Michigan Medicine (Ann Arbor): “U-M Health remains committed to providing high-quality, safe reproductive care for patients, across all their reproductive health needs,” Mr. Runge stated.
“This includes abortion care, which remains legal in Michigan while challenges to various state law criminal statutes continue to proceed. Michigan Medicine will continue to offer these services, based on Michigan court rulings. Many of the patients we see are diagnosed with fetal anomalies or experience other complications that make ongoing pregnancy and giving birth dangerous, or they have serious underlying illnesses or other needs that make abortion care in an outpatient facility not possible. At Michigan Medicine’s hospitals, we primarily provide abortions for patients who need hospital-level care. Our commitment is to be there for those who need the specialized care we can offer.”
Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.): “Healthcare for pregnant people is complex and personal. As with any medical concern, decisions regarding a pregnant person’s health are best discussed between the patient and healthcare provider,” the system told Becker’s.
National Nurses United: “The Supreme Court’s overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling today in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is a shameful and dangerous assault on women, other child-bearing people and families at a sweeping scale,” the organization stated. “This decision is part of a coordinated right wing effort to undo hard-won human and civil rights in the United States and to control working people by removing their power and bodily autonomy. This decision goes against the beliefs and values of the vast majority of people in the United States and is an attack on democracy itself.”
Northwell Health (New Hyde Park, N.Y.): “Northwell Health is disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, which made access to safe and legal abortion a constitutional right for five decades.
“This decision is a setback for women’s reproductive health. Our concern as the region’s largest healthcare provider is that this ruling will succeed in ending access to safe abortions and disproportionately cause harm to those who already have limited access to healthcare.
“In New York State, we already have laws that establish a woman’s right to an abortion. Gov. Hochul recently signed a series of bills that preserve this right, and importantly, offer protections for healthcare providers in the state who perform this procedure legally. But we will vigorously monitor any developments related to this very important issue in the coming months, and we will continue to advocate in the name of raising women’s health.”
Northwestern Medicine (Chicago): “We respect the primacy of the patient-physician relationship in making healthcare decisions. Having access to comprehensive healthcare services that are in compliance with state and federal law is vital to the health of our patients and the communities we are so proud to serve.”
UChicago Medicine: “As an academic health system based in Illinois, where abortion remains legal, and the only hospital-based abortion provider on Chicago’s South Side, the University of Chicago Medicine plays an essential role for the community and for patients needing high-quality care.
“Our organization has a lengthy record of providing high-quality, evidence-based reproductive healthcare and a strong reputation of training the brightest future physicians to offer these clinical services to patients. This involves a broad range of medical care, including abortion, contraception/family planning, fertility treatment, care for general and high-risk pregnancies, and miscarriage management. These are common services that are integral to obstetrical and gynecological medicine and a vital part of comprehensive medical education for physicians in training.
“Our health system remains committed to providing the full spectrum of safe reproductive healthcare and is preparing for how we can best serve patients who travel to Illinois to seek our care and services.”
UW Health (Madison, Wis.): “The U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case will have profound impacts. The loss of access to abortion and critical reproductive healthcare will be felt everywhere in Wisconsin, particularly by underserved rural areas or marginalized populations that are disproportionately affected by barriers to safe and effective reproductive healthcare,” the system told Becker’s.
“As we enter a time of rapid change and uncertainty, UW Health will put the needs of our patients first and foremost to ensure they receive, not just the best care, but the best medical advice related to their care options. We will support our thousands of providers and staff, many of whom never expected to face a challenge like this in their careers and are deeply affected by the news.
“While reverting to a 173-year-old state law on abortion will create some legal uncertainties, we recognize that this court decision has effectively banned abortions in Wisconsin except to save the life of the mother, and UW Health will continue to comply with the laws related to reproductive healthcare.”