UW–Madison Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology response to U.S. Supreme Court decision

The following statement comes from the UW–Madison Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Chair Ellen Hartenbach, MD, on June 24, 2022:

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case all but eliminated access to abortion in Wisconsin, except to save the life of the patient. The uncertainty over the status of existing state law interferes with the relationship between physician and patient in determining what is best for patients’ health and overall wellbeing. Abortion care is an essential component of comprehensive reproductive health care. Lack of access to abortion care will have a profound, lasting impact on the health of individuals, families and communities across Wisconsin. 


As we enter a time of rapid change and uncertainty, the UW–Madison Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology affirms the autonomy and dignity of every patient we serve. In alignment with UW Health, we will put the needs of our patients at the forefront of all we do, making sure they receive the best possible medical advice and care. We also acknowledge the significant impact this change may have on the wellbeing of our faculty, and the educational experience of the resident and fellow physicians who are training within our department.


While this U.S. Supreme Court decision disrupts 50 years of constitutionally protected access to abortion in Wisconsin, the UW Department of Ob-Gyn remains committed to our mission of improving the health of women and families in Wisconsin and beyond.

Read statements on the U.S. Supreme Court decision from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.