Effect of Dobbs on Maternal Health Care Overwhelmingly Negative, Survey Shows
Sweeping restrictions and even outright abortion bans adopted by states in the year since the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling have had an overwhelmingly negative effect on maternal health care, according to a survey of OBGYNs released Wednesday that provides one of the clearest views yet of how the U.S. Supreme Court decision has affected women’s health care in the United States.
The poll by the health research nonprofit KFF reveals that the Dobbs ruling — which ended federal protection on the right to abortion — affected maternal mortality and how pregnancy-related medical emergencies are managed, precipitated a rise in requests for sterilization and has done much more than restrict abortion access. Many OBGYNs said it has also made their jobs more difficult and legally perilous than before, while leading to worse outcomes for patients.
The findings are the first nationally representative survey of OBGYNs since the Dobbs ruling, after which at least 15 states now ban abortion outright or within a few weeks of conception.
Nearly 7 in 10, or 68 percent of OBGYNs, said the effects of Dobbs have made the management of pregnancy-related medical emergencies worse, while 64 percent said the ruling has worsened pregnancy-related mortality. The poll, conducted between March 17 and May 18, collected responses from a random sample of 569 board-certified OBGYNs across the country who provide sexual and reproductive health care to patients in office-based settings.