August 23, 2022

A message about the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade and the Tennessee Human Protection Act

For over a century Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) has been committed to providing comprehensive, evidence-based, and personalized care to patients throughout our region, and increasingly to the entire nation. We will continue to do so to the best of our ability while remaining in full compliance with federal and state law.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision (Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health, ET AL v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization) has substantial negative health implications for our region’s women and their families. The rate of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality in Tennessee is among the highest in the country. Women of color and who are socioeconomically disadvantaged are at the greatest risk. On Aug. 25, 2022, the Tennessee Human Protection Act goes into effect that will likely further exacerbate these health care disparities.

VUMC has instituted policy changes intended to mitigate some of the health care and health equity concerns that are anticipated due to this new law. Our goal is to support our clinicians to provide comprehensive reproductive health care to women in need, including facilitating appropriate care for our patients who are pregnant, consistent with federal and state law.

VUMC will continue to monitor future legislative efforts and strongly advocate for legislative solutions that evidence has shown are in the best interest of women’s health.