On Friday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a 6-3 decision to reverse the 1973 Roe vs. Wade case, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion.
Since 1973, Roe vs. Wade had permitted abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy in the United States.
CNBC reports that almost half of states are expected to outlaw or severely restrict abortion as a result of the decision, which is related to a new Mississippi abortion law.
The American Nurses Association has released a statement in response to the ruling, calling the decision “a serious setback for Reproductive Health and Human Rights.”
“ANA is deeply disappointed in the decision to upend Roe v. Wade, which we view as a legal protection of basic reproductive health rights and human rights,” said ANA Enterprise CEO Loressa Cole, DNP, MBA, RN, FAAN, NEA-BC.
Nurses have an ethical obligation to safeguard the right to privacy for individuals, families, and communities, allowing for decision making that is based on full information without coercion. As the largest group of health care professionals, nurses have for decades assisted their patients with weighing the benefits, burdens, and available options, including the choice of no treatment, when discussing sexual health issues and pregnancy. ANA firmly believes that no nurse should be subject to punitive or judicial processes for upholding their ethical obligations to their patients and profession.
We will continue to cover the decision and its repercussions for Americans. To read the ANA’s full statement, visit the American Nurses Association website.