The recently announced decision of the Supreme Court in the Dobbs v. Jackson case has left health care providers, researchers, and administrators struggling to defend reproductive health care against legal restrictions. Although some hospital-based providers may not consider reproductive health care as part of their “wheelhouse,” anyone who cares for adolescents and young adults must see this as a call to action. Reproductive health screening is often missed in the primary care setting1 which has led to recommendations to provide this care wherever adolescents and young adults present for care.2 As adolescents are under the legal age of majority and typically have less experience, education, and resources to help them access reproductive health care when needed, these new abortion laws will create disproportionate burdens on the adolescent population. For low-income youth and adolescent and young adults of color, this will likely worsen the disparities that already exist with regard to access to reproductive health care.3 Adolescents have the highest rates of unintended pregnancy4 and these pregnancies are more likely to end in abortion than adult pregnancies.5,6 Adolescents younger than age 20 make up 12% of individuals who have abortions in the US; minors who are 17 years or younger account for about 4% of all abortions in the US.7
CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURES: Dr. Goldstein is a Nexplanon Clinical Trainer for Organon. Drs. Carlson and Tyson have no conflicts of interest relevant to this article to disclose.