New Report Shows More Evidence of Harm Caused by Abortion Bans
Report by ANSIRH details poor-quality care post-Roe and its harm to patients and providers.
A new report adds to the growing body of evidence that abortion bans are obstructing care and harming both patients and providers.
The report, released today by the University of California San Francisco’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), shows how health care providers have been unable to provide standard medical care in states with abortion bans, leading to delays, denials of care, and worsened health outcomes.
The report, titled Care Post-Roe: Documenting cases of poor-quality care since the Dobbs decision, outlines how patients have been impacted since Roe was overturned through 50 narratives provided anonymously by their providers from September 2022 to March 2023.
The report documents a wide range of harm occurring among pregnant people in states with abortion bans, including increased morbidity as well as complications that could result in serious impairment and risk of death. It also addresses the emotional and professional impacts on health care providers, who expressed moral distress at being forced to follow medically unsound practices.
“This stark new research from ANSIRH shows in heartbreaking detail the terrible and lasting physical and emotional harms extreme abortion bans in the U.S. are causing to patients with obstetric complications across the 13 states with total bans on abortion,” said Marc Hearron, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “These physician accounts of mass chaos and confusion over exactly when doctors can be jailed just for providing their patients the standard-of-care treatment are consistent with what we are hearing. It is why we are suing Texas in Zurawski v. Texas to try to obtain some desperately needed relief in the face of an ongoing health crisis.”
Center Representing Women Facing Serious Pregnancy Complications in Lawsuit Against Texas
In March, the Center for Reproductive Rights sued the state of Texas on behalf of five Texas women—each denied abortion care after facing severe and dangerous pregnancy complications—and two Texas obstetrician-gynecologists. The lawsuit seeks to clarify the scope of the state’s “medical emergency” exception under its extreme abortion bans.
Zurawski v. State of Texas
The Center’s case against Texas on behalf of Texas women denied abortions after facing severe and dangerous pregnancy complications.
The case, Zurawski v. State of Texas, is the first lawsuit brought on behalf of women denied abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to abortion and cleared the way for states to ban it entirely. As the experiences of the women in this case show, abortion bans such as those in Texas are causing serious harm to people facing severe complications during their pregnancies, risking patients’ health, fertility, and lives. Read more about the case here.
Separate Study Shows Oklahoma Hospitals Unable to Provide Clear Information on Emergency Obstetric Care
According to a recent report jointly published by the Center, Physicians for Human Rights, and Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice, most Oklahoma hospitals are unable to provide information on their policies on emergency obstetric care to prospective patients.
When asked how they handle obstetric emergencies, Oklahoma hospital staff provided opaque, contradictory or incorrect information about their policies on when abortion care is available.
The report, No One Could Say: Accessing Emergency Obstetrics Information as a Prospective Prenatal Patient in Post-Roe Oklahoma shows how near-total abortion bans like those in Oklahoma fuel confusion about clinicians’ ability to provide care during obstetric emergencies, even when the lives, health, and safety of pregnant people are at stake. Read more about the report here.