ABFM Board of Directors Endorses ABMS and AAFP Statements on Supreme Court Decision regarding Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization

Submitted on Tue, 06/28/2022 - 09:38

ABFM respects all family physicians, and we acknowledge that different but deeply principled beliefs about abortion guide the manner in which they provide care to their patients and communities. This statement is not intended to indicate a specific viewpoint as representative of all family physicians, but rather to signal support for preserving the sanctity of medical decision making between doctor and patient, assuring that all patients are able to access and receive the care they need in a safe and effective manner, and maintaining training opportunities for those who wish to provide a range of women’s health services.

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of Mississippi’s challenge to the constitutionality of federal protections for abortion rights in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. In light of this decision, the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Board of Directors strongly endorses the American Board of Medical Specialties statement on Legislative Interference in Medical Education, Training, and Practice, as well as the statement from The American Academy of Family Physicians.

As a certifying board that serves over 100,000 family physicians in the U.S., we recognize the commitment they make each day to provide optimal health care for all patients they serve. We stand by the need for them to be able to deliver safe and accessible reproductive health services to women, including management of abortion, ectopic pregnancies, and other conditions that threaten the health and well-being of pregnant women.

ABFM also recognizes the need for ensuring a well-trained physician workforce that can capably provide for women’s health care needs throughout their lives. We emphasize the importance of continuing to provide training that allows family medicine residents to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and effectively provide pregnancy termination, if they choose to do so.

Finally, we are deeply concerned about the criminalization of information that is discussed in the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship. This applies not only to issues related to women’s reproductive options, but also to the provision of many other personal medical issues. ABFM believes that the preservation of the doctor-patient relationship is critical, and both patients and society need assurances that these discussions will be protected.