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In Light of Potential Supreme Court Ruling, APA Reiterates Support for Legal Abortion

  • May 11, 2022

Last week, a draft of a potential U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe v. Wade was leaked to Politico. State proposals are emerging that would criminalize the practice for women and for doctors, including one that would make abortion punishable as a homicide.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has held the position for decades that abortion is a medical procedure for which physicians should respect the patient’s right to freedom of choice. Further, APA opposes all constitutional amendments, legislation, and regulations curtailing family planning and abortion services to any segment of the population.

APA strongly opposes overturning Roe v. Wade. Whatever action the Court takes, APA will continue its long-standing advocacy alongside many of its organizational colleagues in the medical establishment to ensure that abortion remains a procedure legally available to pregnant people.

To learn more about its advocacy on the issue, read the amicus brief APA joined last September in the case in question:

Thomas. E. Dobbs, M.D., M.P.H. et. al. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization et. al., Supreme Court of the United States, No. 19-1392 

The brief, in short, states that Mississippi’s attempt to ban nearly all abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy is fundamentally at odds with the provision of safe and essential health care, scientific evidence, and medical ethics. Contrary to the assertions made by the Mississippi legislature and the State below, there is no medical or scientific justification for House Bill 1510 (the “fifteen-week ban” or “Ban”). Instead, the Ban threatens the health of pregnant patients by arbitrarily barring their access to a safe and essential component of health care. In particular, patients of color, those with limited socioeconomic means, and those in rural communities would be most severely harmed should the Ban be allowed to go into effect.

Since the beginning of 2021, APA has signed onto nine other amicus briefs in which states have attempted through legislative or administrative action to restrict women’s access to abortion:

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