Dobbs Ruling Puts Kidney Patients in Jeopardy
Statement from the National Kidney Foundation on Supreme Court Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
New York, NY (June 28, 2022) – The following is a statement from Kevin Longino, Chief Executive Officer of the National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant recipient, on the Supreme Court Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.
“We recognize that abortion is a controversial topic about which people have deeply personal and strongly held beliefs. For individuals with kidney disease, however, the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson raises unique and unanticipated consequences that must be addressed. As state and federal policymakers navigate a post-Dobbs landscape, the National Kidney Foundation encourages them to keep the following considerations in mind.
First, pregnancy can be a very high-risk condition for individuals with kidney disease, kidney failure, or a kidney transplant. Risks of poor outcomes are higher in people with CKD, for both fetus and mother, than in the general population. Individuals with a kidney transplant might need to make modifications to their immunosuppressive drug regime that require advanced planning and preparation before they can safely become pregnant. Additionally, individuals with kidney failure may have to change their dialysis modality if they become pregnant, which could involve invasive surgery and be potentially disruptive to the patients’ health and quality of life.
Kidney disease also disproportionately affects communities that already face health equity challenges, including difficulty accessing primary care and transportation to health appointments. These communities are likely to face increased hardships due to the Court’s decision, and kidney patients in these communities could experience yet another burden accessing necessary health treatments.
Finally, the Dobbs’ ruling takes health care decisions out of the hands of patients and their healthcare professionals and subjects them to state legislators who are not trained to anticipate the unique and heartbreaking circumstances that often surround reproductive health considerations, especially for kidney patients. We must do all we can to preserve the independence of the patient/doctor relationship, so that all patients have a full choice of treatment options and ensure that healthcare decisions are made by those directly affected.
In closing, good kidney care requires comprehensive access to all healthcare services, including reproductive health services and potentially abortion. NKF urges lawmakers at the federal and state levels to act now and work with physician groups and health advocates to ensure all kidney patients have timely access to the healthcare they need.”
About National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org