By Yvonne Lindgren
In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, the constitutional floor that had protected the abortion right for nearly fifty years, and returned the issue of regulating abortion to the states. In the post-Dobbs landscape, thirteen states have banned abortion, either through laws passed after the decision, through trigger laws, or by reviving pre-Roe era abortion bans. As a result of criminalizing abortion, the protective function of medical malpractice law is supplanted by provider and institutional decision-making driven by the imperative to avoid criminal liability and loss of licensure. This essay argues that abortion bans have made all reproductive health care less safe, and that these new pregnancy-related dangers will disproportionately impact assisted reproduction, because those who conceive through assisted reproduction often face a higher risk of complications needing medical intervention, and because women may be reluctant to act as surrogates in light of the heightened risk of pregnancy.