GW Health Leaders Issue Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade

June 24, 2022

Statement from Barbara Bass, Dean of the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and CEO of the GW Medical Faculty Associates; Lynn Goldman, Dean of the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health; and Pamela Slaven-Lee, Interim Dean of the GW School of Nursing

We are deeply concerned about the medical and public health implications of the Supreme Court decision today to overturn Roe v. Wade. The ruling, which allows states to restrict or ban abortions outright, will have serious and irreparable negative consequences for the health of women, children, and communities across the country.

Together we have decades of experience practicing in the fields of medicine, nursing, and public health. Our experience and high-quality research have consistently shown that restricting access to an essential component of reproductive health care will put the health and wellbeing of women and children at risk. Unintended pregnancies carried to term can lead to a higher risk of maternal death, preterm birth, and other serious health problems.

With the Supreme Court ruling, women who live in states that restrict or ban abortions may have to travel long distances for comprehensive reproductive care and many may not have the resources to access this essential care at all. This ruling will disproportionately affect younger women, women of color, and their families.

For nearly 50 years, women have had the right to an abortion; this basic right is essential for many women to avoid the adverse health effects that can result from carrying an unintended pregnancy to term. It is a decision that is deeply personal and should be made with the help of a trusted health care provider.

Today’s decision disrupts the oath of physicians and health care providers to provide care that, first and foremost, honors personal autonomy and the unwavering commitment to provide care with safe and effective therapies.  We call upon all in our community who value the health of women to recommit with voice and action to ensure that women are allowed to exercise the basic human right to make their own informed choices in all health care decisions, including reproductive health.

-GW-