UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences statement on the severe restrictions on access to abortion care in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs
As experts in the care of pregnant patients, we have watched with outrage as state after state has banned or severely restricted access to safe abortion care. We know that policies that make abortion difficult or impossible to access harm women and those with the capacity for pregnancy. We know that health outcomes, including maternal mortality, will worsen as people are forced to continue unwanted pregnancies to term; socioeconomic outcomes will also worsen, pushing more people into poverty. We also know that Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, as well as those living on low incomes, will disproportionately suffer more harm in the face of these bans.
As we navigate our role in this emerging crisis, we proudly state our commitment to address these challenges across all the pillars of our Department’s mission. As providers of high-quality, evidence-based abortion care, including later in pregnancy and for patients with complex medical conditions, we will strive to expand our services to meet the demand for care among those unable to obtain it where they live. As educators of the next generation of abortion providers, we will work to ensure training for all ob-gyn physicians, including those unable to acquire these skills where they are based; we will also work to provide learning opportunities for advanced practice clinicians and physicians in other specialties interested in training and who could help to meet the demand for services. As researchers, we will document the harms of these restrictive policies, as well as test innovative strategies aimed at improving care. And as advocates, we will stand up for policies both in California and nationally that help to mitigate the harm of these restrictions. As with all our work, we aspire to make equity the focus of our actions and partner with those who are most affected by these policies to ensure our work responds to their priorities.
The impact of the Dobbs decision likely will be felt for decades, dramatically changing health care in the US. In this new reality, we in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences aim to be leaders in our field and look forward to partnering with colleagues across the country to respond to this public health and human rights crisis.