ONS Board Releases Statement About Dobbs v. Jackson

June 28, 2022

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On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson, reversing the decision from the 1973 case, Roe v. Wade. Many nursing, medical, and health organizations issued statements in reaction, and opinions among ONS stakeholders and constituents will differ on the decision. As it leads an organization that represents oncology nurses and advocates for patient-centered care, the ONS Board of Directors reviews social and political issues through the lens of the Society’s mission. With that perspective, the ONS Board believes that two statements from other organizations are important for members to know.

First, the American Cancer Society (ACS) issued a statement (http://pressroom.cancer.org/SCOTUS-2022) regarding the potential impact on patients with cancer and their families outside of the legal aspects of the case. ACS’s position is in alignment with the ONS mission, and the ONS Board endorses it. The statement identifies three specific concerns for consideration and possible action at the state level. Many ONS chapters are active in their communities and may want to discuss adding these to their advocacy efforts.

Second, the American Nurses Association (ANA) issued a statement (https://www.nursingworld.org/news/news-releases/2022-news-releases/us-supreme-courts-decision-to-overturn-roe-vs.-wade----is-a-serious-setback-for-reproductive-health-and-human-rights/) expressing concerns about the ruling, including the potential that subsequent laws could jeopardize the patient-provider relationship, including those with nurses. In the statement, ANA also reminded nurses of their ethical obligations and the importance of showing empathy and respect to all.

Finally, for additional perspective on how the decision relates to ONS’s mission, members should refer to the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitment statement (https://www.ons.org/about-ons/ons-leadership/mission-vision-and-values) authored by the ONS, Oncology Nursing Foundation, and Oncology Certification Corporation Boards. Our corporations are committed to supporting all oncology nurses and ensuring an inclusive environment where all opinions and perspectives are shared and heard.

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