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ABS Statement on Reproductive Health Rights and Access to Care

Jul. 01, 2022 Media Contact: Alyson Maloney, 215-568-4000

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) is committed to ensuring safe and effective healthcare for all Americans. The recent opinion issued by the United States Supreme Court in Thomas E. Dobbs, et al. v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, et. al., which reverses Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, will exacerbate the considerable inequities in access to health care in the United States, in particular by disproportionately affecting already-vulnerable populations. Further, this ruling establishes a dangerous precedent, and reflects an egregious legislative intrusion into the practice of medicine.

We reiterate the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) statement that "criminalization of physicians and medical specialists providing evidence-based care that is medically necessary and wanted by patients is inappropriate and a significant transgression into the boundaries of medical professionalism." Patient care and patient safety are of paramount importance to the ABS. This decision will restrict the ability of ABS diplomates to fulfill their professional commitment to provide safe and effective patient care.

Further, the ABS strongly endorses the statements issued by the ABMS, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), the American Medical Association (AMA), and others in the medical community supporting reproductive health and access to care. We agree with the ABMS that "patients have a fundamental right to evidence-based medical care provided by physicians and health care providers in a manner that is free of legislative and governmental interference," and that "all medical care should represent a shared decision agreed upon between a patient/guardian and a health care provider."