Psychiatrists express concern over Roe v Wade decision
4 Jul 2022
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) expresses its deep concern over the recent US Supreme Court decision that effectively revokes the constitutional right to abortion as established by Roe v Wade in 1973.
The RANZCP acknowledges the psychological harm this will lead to for people affected by the decision, in particular for those with pre-existing mental health disorders where already significant barriers to access will substantially increase.
The RANZCP fully endorses the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics’ statement, which notes: ‘ensuring access to safe, quality abortion is an imperative. Abortion is recognised as essential health care that must be provided by governments. Access to safe abortion is also a human right. Attacks against reproductive freedom are attacks on democracy and international human rights standards, on individual freedoms and the right to privacy, and they set back progress towards gender equality.’
This decision also highlights the need for greater consistency and equity of access to abortion across Australia. The RANZCP asks the Australian government to work towards removing inequity to access for abortion, including improving funding to reduce the cost barriers. No woman should experience stigma and shame produced by unequal access to safe abortion.
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