FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. – Today, AMCHP’s CEO Terrance E. Moore, issued the following statement in response to the final majority decision by the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:
“Today’s news confirms our worst fears, as outlined in my statement last month, that the U.S. Supreme Court’s final majority opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization would effectively overturn Roe v. Wade. In doing so, the Dobbs decision reverses nearly 50 years of legal precedent and issues a direct assault on reproductive justice, the public’s health, and human rights.”
“As the national professional association representing state public health professionals dedicated to improving maternal and child health in the United States, AMCHP cannot be silent about the known consequences of curtailing access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care, including abortion care, on the health and well-being of our nation’s women, children, and families. In order to live up to our organizational commitments to ensure racial equity and health equity and undo systemic racism, we must clearly articulate the ways in which populations already disproportionately impacted by poor maternal health outcomes in the U.S. will experience the most harm as a result of the Dobbs decision.”
“Access to abortion care is inextricably linked to maternal health. The United States is already failing to adequately support healthy births and healthy families. We have the highest rate of maternal deaths among industrialized countries. Poor maternal health outcomes disproportionately impact women and birthing people with low incomes, women and birthing people of color, and women and birthing people in rural communities. The Dobbs decision will exacerbate existing maternal health disparities and counteract the potential of recent investments made by the federal government and state governments to improve maternal health.”
“A December 2021 study estimates that eliminating access to abortion care in the United States would increase pregnancy-related deaths among individuals of all races and ethnicities studied and most significantly among non-Hispanic Black individuals. The widely referenced longitudinal Turnaway Study (2008-2010) documents how individuals who are denied an abortion experience lasting, negative impacts on their health and well-being, and the well-being of their families. An amicus brief led by the National Birth Equity Collaborative and filed in the Dobbs case further illustrates the ways in which limiting access to safe and legal abortion will deepen our nation’s maternal health crisis, particularly for Black women and birthing people.”
“Access to safe and legal abortion in the United States is not eliminated by today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, but it has been severely curtailed. However, there are actions that state policymakers and federal policymakers are taking to protect and expand access to abortion services.”
“How can public health professionals and individuals dedicated to improving maternal and child health respond in this moment? We can educate ourselves and others about the impact of abortion restrictions and other limits on reproductive health care on maternal and child health outcomes. We can support transparent, evidence-based, and culturally rigorous public health surveillance, programming, and communication. We can recommit to and build new and equitable partnerships with individuals and organizations leading the reproductive justice movement. We can humble ourselves and acknowledge that public health institutions have not always been reliable or vocal partners in advocating for the full spectrum of reproductive health care or in recognizing the urgency of reproductive justice, which is an enduring concept first defined by a group of Black women in 1994.”
“AMCHP stands ready to work with our members in state health departments across the country to navigate a post-Roe landscape in ways that best support maternal and child health, advance equitable outcomes, and center our actions in a commitment to protecting human rights.”
The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) is a national resource, partner, and advocate for state public health leaders and others working to improve the health of women, infants, children, youth, parents, families, and communities. AMCHP builds successful programs to serve its members by disseminating best practices; advocating on their behalf in Washington, DC; providing technical assistance; convening leaders to share experiences and ideas; and advising states about involving partners to reach our common goal of healthy children, healthy families, and healthy communities. For more information visit www.amchp.org and follow AMCHP on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Please contact Chery Manon Espinal (202-843-9304, firstname.lastname@example.org) for questions or media requests.
Download the full statement HERE.