HealthcareHealthcare groups react to Supreme Court abortion ruling

Healthcare groups react to Supreme Court abortion ruling


The Supreme Court eliminated the federal right to abortion in a ruling issued Friday. The historic decision has major consequences for the healthcare system. Below is a compilation of statements from healthcare organizations, companies and government officials responding to this massive change in U.S. abortion law.

American Hospital Association

“We expect that today’s decision will have practical impacts on hospitals and health systems, including on healthcare provided across state lines, EMTALA obligations, maternal healthcare, the clinician-patient relationship, medical education and access to care for individuals regardless of socioeconomic status. We are committed to helping our member hospitals and health systems navigate the evolving landscape consistent with AHA’s mission of advancing the health of all individuals and communities.”

– Melinda Hatton, general counsel (news release)

Federation of American Hospitals

“FAH members remain committed to providing the best possible care to every patient who comes through our doors, while at the same time complying with state and local laws and regulations.”

– Chip Kahn, president and CEO (news release)

America’s Essential Hospitals

“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. For example, providers might face concerns about how to reconcile state restrictions with their obligations under federal law to stabilize and treat emergency department patients. A chilling effect on physician training and shortages of obstetrician-gynecologists in some states also could follow this ruling.

“We urge policymakers to carefully consider their actions in the wake of this ruling and reject policies that would restrict healthcare access, undercut medical decision-making, and put patient care and health at risk.”

– Dr. Bruce Siegel, president and CEO (news release)

Catholic Health Association of the U.S.

“In Catholic healthcare, we do not perform elective abortions as it is counter to our mission, our values and our faith. Members of CHA will continue to provide women, children, and families with the highest standards of medical care.”

– Sister Mary Haddad, president and CEO (news release)

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 healthcare—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. States that end legal abortion will not end abortion—they will end safe abortion, risking devastating consequences, including patients’ lives….

“We will always have physicians’ backs and defend the practice of medicine, we will fight to protect the patient-physician relationship, and we will oppose any law or regulation that compromises or criminalizes patient access to safe, evidence-based medical care, including abortion. As the health of millions of patients hangs in the balance, this is a fight we will not give up.”

– Dr. Jack Resneck, Jr., president (news release)

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

“Today’s decision is a direct blow to bodily autonomy, reproductive health, patient safety and health equity in the United States. Reversing the constitutional protection for safe, legal abortion established by the Supreme Court nearly 50 years ago exposes pregnant people to arbitrary, state-based restrictions, regulations and bans that will leave many people unable to access needed medical care. The restrictions put forth are not based on science nor medicine; they allow unrelated third parties to make decisions that rightfully and ethically should be made only by individuals and their physicians. ACOG condemns this devastating decision, which will allow state governments to prevent women from living with autonomy over their bodies and their decisions.”

– Dr. Iffath Hoskins, president (news release)

American Academy of Family Physicians

“The American Academy of Family Physicians is disappointed and disheartened by the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down longstanding protections afforded by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The AAFP will continue to advocate for everyone’s right to healthcare and to protect family physicians. This echoes our longstanding policies opposing any governmental interference in the confidential relationship between patient and physician, including those related to criminalizing medical care.”

– Dr. Sterling Ransone, Jr., president (via email)

American Nurses Association

“Nurses have an ethical obligation to safeguard the right to privacy for individuals, families and communities, allowing for decision making that is based on full information without coercion. As the largest group of healthcare professionals, nurses have for decades assisted their patients with weighing the benefits, burdens and available options, including the choice of no treatment, when discussing sexual health issues and pregnancy. ANA firmly believes that no nurse should be subject to punitive or judicial processes for upholding their ethical obligations to their patients and profession.”

– Loressa Cole, president, ANA Enterprise (news release)

National Nurses United

“Registered nurses understand that abortion is a basic healthcare service, and as a union of healthcare providers dedicated to advocating for the best interests of our patients, National Nurses United opposes any efforts to restrict our patients’ control and choices over their own healthcare and their own bodies. The basic tenets of ethical medical care dictate that patients should enjoy autonomy, self-determination and dignity over their bodies, their lives, and the healthcare they receive. Singling out this exception, the right to end a pregnancy, that targets only people with reproductive capacity, is not only bad health policy, it is immoral, discriminatory, misogynist, violent, unacceptable and violates the nursing ethics we nurses pledge to uphold.”

– (news release)

Service Employees International Union

“As a direct result of this ruling, more women will be forced to choose between paying their rent or traveling long distances to receive safe abortion care. Working women are already struggling in poverty-wage jobs without paid leave and many are also shouldering the caregiving responsibilities for their families, typically unpaid. This radical decision will impact all of us, especially those who already face barriers to accessing healthcare because of structural racism, sexism and corporate greed. Without the ability to determine whether and when to have children, essential workers serving their communities as child care providers, home care workers, healthcare workers, janitors and fast food workers can’t hope to join the middle class.”

– Mary Kay Henry, president (news release)

National League for Nursing

“With multiple states poised to legislate to eliminate or severely restrict abortion access and potentially hold abortion providers criminally liable, the result will inevitably be a patchwork of laws that will disproportionately negatively impact people of color and those on the economic margins of society, including rural Americans who already travel great distances for medical care.”

– (news release)

Advocate Aurora Health

“Pregnancy termination is a deeply complex and personal matter in healthcare. Guided by our purpose to help people live well, we will continue to address reproductive healthcare with a focus on each individual patient’s needs and in accordance with federal and state laws.”

–(via email)

Atrium Health

“The Supreme Court’s ruling permits individual state laws to govern the legality of pregnancy terminations. At Atrium Health, we will always follow the law. As new laws are adopted or enforced, we want women who need help to know that they are not alone and we are here to help.”

– (via email)

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.”

– (via email)

Kaiser Permanente

“We believe that reproductive health is central to women’s health and we’re committed to providing safe, effective, high-quality, person-centered and equitable care. We respect an individual’s right to make decisions about their own health. Kaiser Permanente will continue to provide the full range of comprehensive, integrated women’s health services including prenatal, maternity, family planning, contraception and pregnancy termination services consistent with our obligations to our members, patients, employees, customers and all applicable laws.”

– (via email)

Mayo Clinic

“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.”

– (via email)

Mount Sinai Health System

“We are profoundly disheartened by this decision. We will continue to provide the full range of healthcare services to any patient who seeks our care. We also are fully committed to our staff and faculty who provide abortions, to protecting access to these services for all our employees and their covered dependents, and to continuing our research and education programs related to these services.”

– (via email)

Northwell Health

“This decision is a setback for women’s reproductive health. Our concern as the [New York metropolitan] 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.”

– (via email)

NYC Health + Hospitals

“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 healthcare professionals who provide these services.”

– Dr. Mitchell Katz, president and CEO (news release)

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

“UPMC will continue to provide reproductive services in accordance with applicable state laws.”

– (via email)

AHIP

“Health insurance providers have long worked with partners across the country to support and promote women’s health. We remain committed to working with federal officials, state policymakers, employer customers and local healthcare leaders to provide coverage options that best meet the local needs, rules and regulations in states and communities across the country.”

– David Allen, spokesperson (via email)

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
“As a healthcare organization, we believe strongly that our members should have access to the care they need and want. While abortion services will remain legal in Massachusetts based on a 2020 state law, we will work closely with our employer customers to evaluate the potential impact to our members in other states and determine how we can best support them.”

– (news release)

American Cancer Society

“As a nonprofit entity whose mission is improving the lives of people with cancer and their families, the American Cancer Society isn’t taking sides on the decision. However, the decision will impact cancer patients and their families and is likely to disproportionately effect communities of color…. Up to 1 in 1,000 pregnant women each year receive a cancer diagnosis. We know timely cancer treatment improves a person’s chances of survivorship. As some states signal a determination to define personhood at fertilization, we are concerned about potential threats to a pregnant woman’s ability to receive rapid cancer treatment. Every patient should be able to increase their likelihood to survive cancer by having the option to start cancer therapy immediately, regardless of pregnancy status.”

– (news release)

White House

“The court’s decision to [revoke the right to abortion] will have real and immediate consequences. State laws banning abortion are automatically taking effect today, jeopardizing the health of millions of women, some without exceptions. So extreme that women could be punished for protecting their health. So extreme that women and girls who are forced to bear their rapist’s child — of the child of consequence. It just stuns me. So extreme that doctors will be criminalized for fulfilling their duty to care.”

President Joe Biden (speech)

Health and Human Services Department

“Today’s decision is unconscionable. Abortion is a basic and essential part of healthcare—and patients must have the right to make decisions about their healthcare and autonomy over their own bodies…. [W]e stand unwavering in our commitment to ensure every American has access to healthcare and the ability to make decisions about healthcare—including the right to safe and legal abortion, such as medication abortion that has been approved by the FDA for over 20 years. I have directed every part of my department to do any and everything we can here. As I have said before, we will double down and use every lever we have to protect access to abortion care. To everyone in this fight: we are with you.”

– Secretary Xavier Becerra (news release)

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

“Today, more than 150 million people are served by Medicare, Medicaid and [the Children’s Health Insurance Program], and the Affordable Care Act, including more than 80 million women and girls. To you I say: CMS will continue working to maintain and expand access to the full range of reproductive healthcare services across the lifespan—that includes IUDs, emergency contraception, oral contraception, other forms of contraception and abortion care within our legal authority. It is our fundamental value that reproductive healthcare is critical to ensuring that everyone can build healthy lives with economic security.”

– Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure(news release)

Office of the Surgeon General

“When reproductive health decisions are restricted, the number of unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortions rises. Ultimately, the health of women and pregnant people is put at risk—an effect that will be felt disproportionately in historically marginalized populations, including communities of color, low-income Americans and rural residents. Healthcare providers, who are already under extraordinary strains due to the pandemic, will be forced into an impossible choice between doing what’s right for their patients and complying with laws that are at odds with their patient’s health interests.”

– Dr. Vivek Murthy, surgeon general (news release)

Justice Department

“The Justice Department will work tirelessly to protect and advance reproductive freedom. Under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, the department will continue to protect healthcare providers and individuals seeking reproductive health services in states where those services remain legal. This law prohibits anyone from obstructing access to reproductive health services through violence, threats of violence, or property damage…. [F]ederal agencies may continue to provide reproductive health services to the extent authorized by federal law. And federal employees who carry out their duties by providing such services must be allowed to do so free from the threat of liability.”

– Attorney General Merrick Garland (news release)



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