New Studies Examine The Early Impact Of Dobbs Decision


For Immediate Release:
October 16, 2023 4:03 PM CT

Highlights From the American Society For Reproductive Medicine’s 2023 Scientific Congress


New Orleans, LA – At the Annual Scientific Congress of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, researchers presented data examining the impact of the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health decision on several facets of reproductive health care.

A bi-coastal team of medical students examined statements issued by medical schools in the first six months following the Dobbs decision. They found that most medical schools did not issue any public statements. Those who did were more likely to be located in abortion-protective states. This trend was even more pronounced when examining which schools issued statements indicating support for abortion access. The researchers concluded, “Medical schools were resoundingly silent on an incredibly consequential moment in history.”

Researchers from the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine examined state abortion restrictions enacted between 2016 and 2023. They compiled all statements of anatomical, embryological, and medical facts. These statements were then assessed for their accuracy and level of misleadingness. They found that 55 of the 57 statements examined were inaccurate.

Investigators out of UT San Antonio explored the reaction of infertility patients to the Dobbs ruling. Examining threads in the online Reddit community “r/infertility,” researchers used thematic analysis to examine over 500 posts related to Dobbs. The most common emotional reactions were anger, fear, and sadness. Specifically, the posters worried about consequences including embryo disposition, management of ectopic pregnancies, and even the departure of physicians from abortion-restrictive states.

Researchers from the University of Utah asked the question, did the Dobbs decision lead to an increase in permanent contraception Using a national database of medical procedures they compared the rate of vasectomies from July - December 2021 (pre-Dobbs) to that from July – December 2022 (post-Dobbs) and found a significant increase, and that those rates were higher in abortion restrictive states.

Recent data has shown that physicians in training in OB-GYN and is subspecialties are concerned about going to abortion-restrictive states. Perhaps less expected is a new study showing that these concerns may also impact urology programs. A multi-site team surveyed applicants to Urology fellowship programs in 2023. They found that 25% of the respondents reported that abortion access was a factor in their decisions of where to seek training, with 20% stating they had eliminated consideration of programs in abortion-restrictive states.

“Clearly, the Dobbs decision’s impact on reproductive medicine is broad and deep. These studies reflect the grave worry that permeates our community. Practitioners, trainees, and patients are all justifiably concerned about the impact that poor policy choices will have on their lives and on the lives of those they care for and about.” Said Liz Ginsburg, MD, Vice-President of ASRM.

  • O-24 Conroy et al “Analysis of US Allopathic and Osteopathic Medical Schools Official StatementsConcerning Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health 
  • O-25 Feltman et al “Does Restrictive Abortion Legislation Rely on Inaccurate and MisleadingAnatomical, Embryological and Medical Information”
  • O-26 Schenken et al “Infertility Patient Reactions to the Dobbs Decision on Social Media”
  • O-45 Schardein et al “A Nationwide Assessment of Permanent Contraception Trends in Relationto Changes in Abortion Laws”
  • O-74 “A􀆫tudes among 2023 Urology Residency Applicants Regarding Dobbs v Jackson Women’sHealth Organization.”
 
To view these abstracts and more in full, please visit: https://www.fertstert.org/issue/S0015-0282(23)X0012-0

For almost a century, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has been the global leader in multidisciplinary reproductive medicine research, ethical practice, and education. ASRM impacts reproductive care and science worldwide by creating funding opportunities for advancing reproduction research and discovery, by providing evidence-based education and public health information, and by advocating for reproductive health care professionals and the patients they serve. With members in more than 100 countries, the Society is headquartered in Washington, DC, with additional operations in Birmingham, AL. www.asrm.org 

For media inquiries regarding this press release contact:

Sean Tipton
ASRM Chief Advocacy and Policy Officer
E: stipton@asrm.org

Anna Hovey
Advocacy Engagement Specialist
E: ahovey@asrm.org 

J. Benjamin Younger Office of Public Affairs 
726 7th St. SE
Washington, DC 20003
Tel: (202) 863-2494

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