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AMTA Board Statement on Roe vs. Wade

June 29, 2022 08:58 AM


The American Music Therapy Association is profoundly disappointed and concerned with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, eliminating the federal right to abortion and self-determined reproductive care for those we serve.

We recognize the detrimental impact this decision will have on the mental health crisis in the US, including the disproportionate impact on individuals historically and systematically marginalized due to race, sexual orientation, gender identity, size, disability, socioeconomic status, and geographical access to medical and mental health care. Research has already highlighted how lack of access to safe, legal abortions can increase stress, lower life satisfaction, and negatively affect mental health. Additionally, research suggests policies restricting abortion provision may put women and children at risk as a result of maintaining contact with violent partners.

This decision has activated regulations in some states, limiting or making illegal abortion accessible. Healthcare providers in these states, including music therapists, may be required to report clients who have sought or are seeking an abortion. We encourage all music therapists in these states who may be working with individuals navigating these challenges to seek legal consultation, professional support networks, and clinical supervision when determining duties towards therapist-client confidentiality and privacy with newly enacted state restrictions.

We encourage music therapists to monitor changing state laws and regulations impacted by this Supreme Court decision, refer to the AMTA Code of Ethics, and utilize ethical decision processes regarding the dignity and safety of those in our care. We will assist music therapy students, professionals, and service users towards finding resources and support as best we can. You may email the American Music Therapy Association.