The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization will have a dramatic impact on access to abortion services. Thirteen states have abortion bans on the books that are designed to immediately go into effect (trigger bans), while another 13 states are expected to enact bans in the near future. Because of their location in medically underserved areas and whom they serve, community health centers are likely to be providing primary care to women and children in many of the communities that will experience the direct and harsh impact of these state abortion bans. As a result, their capacity to provide their communities with urgently needed maternity, infant, and preventive reproductive health care becomes a matter of great importance. This brief explores the OB/GYN and related staffing capacity of community health centers in the trigger and likely-to-ban states, describes the staffing challenges health centers are facing in maternity and infant care, identifies potential shortages and notes the challenges CHCs may face in meeting the needs of their patient populations as maternal and child health demand increases.
The report was authored by Peter Shin, Sara Rosenbaum, Rebecca Morris, Kay Johnson, and Feygele Jacobs.