Press Release

BCHC statement on Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade

June 2022

Crowd in front of Supreme Court, woman holding sign that says Abortion is Health Care. Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Abortion is a vital health care service that has been legal and safe in the United States for nearly 50 years. Access to legal, safe abortion—and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health more broadly—are critical to protecting and supporting the public’s health.

The Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade ends this basic right of safe access to appropriate health care for too many women and families in this country. Many of our cities will be safe havens for those seeking access to a safe abortion, and where it is legal, and where we can help, we stand at the ready to do so.

We will continue to fight to prevent more population-wide devastation, trauma, and disability whether it be at the hands of a gun, a disease, or discriminatory laws at any level of government.

In light of the Dobbs ruling, and as health leaders from 30 of the largest cities in the country, we recommit to working tirelessly to ensure that reproductive health care, including the right to safe and legal abortions, continue to be a cornerstone of our public health practice. Importantly, we will also combat all attempted criminalization of medical professionals who provide these services. And, we will use our collective resources to combat misinformation, center science in the narrative, and share accurate and trusted materials about sexual and reproductive health with those who need it.

To work in public health is to dedicate your life to preventing disease and death, and working to minimize disparities in health outcomes. Our field works each day to save and improve lives, to protect communities from deadly diseases now and in the future, and to build an evidence base that decision-makers can rely on to execute policies and programs that enhance health and well-being. Evidence shows that access to reproductive health services, including abortion, improves health outcomes and supports economic mobility and success. For example, according to an article in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, women – in particular, black women – living in states with more restrictive reproductive rights policies have poorer birth outcomes, including higher rates of low-birthweight babies. And as demonstrated through the Turnaway Study, being denied an abortion results in poor financial, health, and family outcomes for the woman. Public health practitioners and health care providers have spent more than two years working to protect the public from a pandemic that decimated entire families, communities, and our workforce. We will continue to fight to prevent more population-wide devastation, trauma, and disability whether it be at the hands of a gun, a disease, or discriminatory laws at any level of government.

Alameda County Public Health Department
Austin Public Health
Baltimore City Health Department
Boston Public Health Commission
Chicago Department of Public Health
City of El Paso Health Department
City of Milwaukee Health Department
Cleveland Department of Public Health
Columbus Public Health
Dallas County Health and Human Services
DC Department of Health
Denver Department of Public Health & Environment
Detroit Health Department
Houston Health Department
Kansas City Health Department
Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Mecklenburg County Health Department
Minneapolis Health Department
Multnomah County Health Department
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Philadelphia Department of Public Health
Pima County Public Health Department

Public Health – Seattle & King County
Public Health Services, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency

San Antonio Metropolitan Health District
San Francisco Department of Public Health

Santa Clara County Public Health Department
Shelby County Health Department
Southern Nevada Health District