Statement on Supreme Court Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

In PAEA’s new Strategic Plan, the Association’s Board of Directors reaffirmed its commitment to the core values of justice and equity, emphasizing PAEA’s belief in fair and equitable access to health care that meets the needs of individual patients. Fulfilling these values requires public policy that protects the patient-provider relationship and equips clinicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide the high-quality care that patients deserve. The Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization instead increases the role of policymakers in medical decision-making at a time when patients are seeking the informed judgment of their trusted providers.

The PA professional oath commits PAs to uphold the tenets of patient autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. This requires the PA education community to ensure that all students receive training on the comprehensive reproductive health needs of the patients they will care for as practicing clinicians. In recent months, Congress has taken important steps to help meet this need – making key investments to facilitate clinical rotations in obstetrics and gynecology, proposing legislation to strengthen the diversity of the women’s health workforce, and committing to reducing long-standing disparities in maternal health outcomes. PAEA believes that these actions reflect the proper role for public policy by promoting equitable patient outcomes through provider empowerment rather than imposing legal restrictions on clinical decision-making.

In some of their most challenging moments, patients deserve informed clinical judgment from PAs. PAEA believes it is the responsibility of all PA education stakeholders to ensure that PA graduates can meet this professional obligation.