SAAAPM Statement on Reproductive Rights

July 12, 2022

The Society of Academic Associations of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine (SAAAPM) is deeply concerned about government regulation that interferes with the confidential relationship between patients and their physicians and decisions surrounding reproductive health. The recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization struck down five decades of legal precedent that protected the right of individuals to make personal reproductive health decisions. Shared decision making between patients and their physicians is the cornerstone of health and this relationship should not be dictated by legislation. The recent Supreme Court decision will exacerbate current reproductive health inequities present across the country. This decision will also have profound negative effects on medical education. Anesthesiologists play a critical role in the safe care of people requiring surgical procedures; thus, anesthesiologists-in-training must be educated to provide anesthesia for the spectrum of surgical reproductive health care. Finally, SAAAPM denounces attempts to criminalize or impose civil penalties on physicians who assist patients in making reproductive health decisions. Physicians should not be placed at risk for prosecution for using knowledge based on scientific evidence to provide patient-centered care.

Our concerns align with those of many other leading general professional medical associations, including the American Medical Association and the American Osteopathic Association; leading specialty associations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American College of Surgeons; and the Association of American Medical Colleges