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Society of Hospital Medicine Statement on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Decision

June 30, 2022

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Representing the fastest-growing specialty in modern healthcare, the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) is the leading medical society for hospitalists and their patients.

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Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) affirms that abortion is healthcare and an important component of comprehensive, evidence-based medicine. We reiterate our opposition to laws and policies that impose limitations or requirements on the delivery of health care without any scientific foundation and that do not improve patient care.[1] The Court’s decision has both immediate and long-term consequences that will adversely impact the health of women and all pregnant people nationwide.

As a result of the Dobbs decision, safe and legal abortion will be available only to people with sufficient resources, financial means, and geographic happenstance. Many other people will face serious health risks of either continuing a pregnancy or pursuing an abortion on their own or without the care of a licensed healthcare professional. Furthermore, this decision will exacerbate health inequities by disproportionately affecting people and communities that already experience structural and systemic barriers to accessing care, including Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, people with limited financial means, people living in rural America, and other historically disadvantaged populations.

Abortion must remain safe and legally available, without government intrusion in the physician-patient relationship. This relationship requires open and honest discussion with each patient based on their individual health needs and using the best available clinical evidence. Physicians and other healthcare professionals should not be subject to legal consequences for providing medically appropriate, patient-centered care. SHM will continue to stand for equal, accessible, evidence-based and safe health care, including access to abortion.

[1] Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. Brief amicus curiae of Society of Hospital Medicine and Society of Ob/Gyn Hospitalists. 4 January 2016.