Washington, DC, June 24, 2022 – The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is disappointed, saddened, and outraged by today’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade, thereby restricting an individual’s right to an abortion.
Research clearly shows that those denied an abortion experience lasting negative impacts to their health, especially mental health, and overall well-being. As a result of today’s decision, women now face a terrifying landscape when trying to access the care they need that will undoubtedly put the health of millions of women at risk. This is especially true with vulnerable and marginalized populations.
Youth with mental disorders are a vulnerable population. Lack of abortion availability for pregnant teens with psychiatric disorders may severely impact the course of their health, including mental health and increase risk for suicide. The Supreme Court’s ruling, in combination with state laws criminalizing support or assistance to these youth seeking abortions can criminalize psychiatric care, impeding our ability as child and adolescent psychiatrists, to act in the best interests of our patient’s overall health care needs.
AACAP reaffirms our commitment to work with all of organized medicine in advocating that health care is a basic human right, and all aspects of health care must be considered, protected, and safeguarded. AACAP also reaffirms the sanctity of the physician-patient relationship.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry promotes the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are the leading physician authority on children’s mental health. For more information, please visit www.aacap.org