Primary care is an essential component of healthy communities; it saves lives, improves individual health, and is critical to achieving health equity.
For women, sexual and reproductive health care is a core element of primary care, essential from childhood through puberty, through reproductive years, and menopause and beyond. Yet in June 2022, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, many women lost access to critical services, including abortion care, contraceptive care, and other sexual and reproductive health care, as abortion was banned in some states and clinics in many parts of the country were forced to close. The loss of these essential services will be felt most by those who already struggle to access health care: low-income women and women of color. Moreover, as more women are forced to continue pregnancies they would otherwise have ended, it is important to note that Black women will face additional risk as they “are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.”
In the aftermath of the Dobbs decision, access to reproductive health care has been curtailed and effectively re-apportioned by state, race, and income. How do we address these inequities and ensure access to comprehensive, high-quality primary care for all individuals in every part of our country?
A distinguished panel discussed policy solutions and made recommendations about the role of primary care in ensuring that sexual and reproductive health care services are accessible and equitable for any person who needs them.
Our Panelists included: