Trauma of abortion restrictions and forced pregnancy: urgent implications for acute care surgeons

Trauma Surg Acute Care Open. 2023 Jan 4;8(1):e001067. doi: 10.1136/tsaco-2022-001067. eCollection 2023.


In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health decision, acute care surgeons face an increased likelihood of seeing patients with complications from both self-managed abortions and forced pregnancy in underserved areas of reproductive and maternity care throughout the USA. Acute care surgeons have an ethical and legal duty to provide care to these patients, especially in obstetrics and gynecology deserts, which already exist in much of the country and are likely to be exacerbated by legislation banning abortion. Structural inequities lead to an over-representation of poor individuals and people of color among patients seeking abortion care, and it is imperative to make central the fact that people of color who can become pregnant will be disproportionately affected by this legislation in every respect. Acute care surgeons must take action to become aware of and trained to treat both the direct clinical complications and the extragestational consequences of reproductive injustice, while also using their collective voices to reaffirm the right to abortion as essential healthcare in the USA.

Keywords: Health Care Quality, Access, And Evaluation; Healthcare disparities; health policy; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Editorial