The Effects Of Dobbs On Cancer Care

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Project HOPE




When the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, the justices declared more than seven times that the decision would “return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization suggested this would free the judiciary of a role in abortion policy debates, but quite the opposite has occurred. Overturning constitutional protection for access to abortion has unleashed confusion, chaos, and conflict across states with incompatible laws, between state and federal laws, and at the patient’s bedside. Dobbs did not remove abortion from the dockets: In the first quarter of 2024, the US Supreme Court will hear two new abortion-related cases, one involving Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of mifepristone, the other regarding state law conflicts with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which has protected patients with medical emergencies since 1986. The increasing legal chaos after Dobbs has led not only to profound interstate and federal-state conflict, but also deeper fragmentation in US health care, greater health risks for patients living in abortion restrictive states, and shifts in how and where medicine is practiced. Medical care has become more challenging and precarious for people of reproductive age and their providers.

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