The Feelings Healers’ Statement on a Post-Roe v. Wade America

Yesterday, a ruling we knew was coming landed that will do even further damage to an already unjust, indecent, and fundamentally damaged system across the nation. Already, the United States — and especially Texas — runs counter to globally accepted expectations of reproductive rights.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States gave states the power to inflict dire physical, emotional, and financial trauma on its people. The quickest and easiest way pathway to systemic, generational trauma is to deny social and financial mobility.

Learn more about the destructive consequences of denying abortion access here.
  • Women who were denied a wanted abortion had almost four times greater odds of being below the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Women also had three times greater odds of being unemployed after being denied an abortion than women who obtained one.
  • Not having the financial stability to care for one child, or for an additional child, is among the most common reason women seek an abortion.
  • Low-income women are more than five times as likely than affluent women to experience an unintended pregnancy, which has significant implications for social mobility given that unplanned childbearing is associated with higher rates of poverty, and less family stability.
  • Between 6 percent and 22 percent of women terminate their pregnancies because they are in an abusive relationship.
  • A 2014 study published in BMC Medicine showed that women denied an abortion remain tethered to the abusive partner and at risk for continued violence, even if they leave the relationship.
  • For Black women, the rate of physical partner abuse increases to 41 percent. Fifty-one percent of Native women will experience physical violence from an intimate partner, and up to 55 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander women will experience intimate physical and/or sexual violence. 
  • Survivors of domestic violence often report that violence increased once they were pregnant.
  • 40 percent of women don’t qualify for the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which grants 12 weeks of protected job leave, unpaid, at the federal level.
  • Only 12 percent of women in the private sector have access to any sort of paid maternity leave.

Fuck that noise. 

Here’s the thing. As therapists, we are bound primarily by the law and by our ethics. “Politics” as an abstract principle is irrelevant. As a practice, we have varying beliefs and backgrounds, but we have one thing in common: our adherence to the fundamental principles of professional ethical behavior: 

  • autonomy, or fostering the right to control the direction of one’s life
  • nonmaleficence, or avoiding actions that cause harm; • beneficence, or working for the good of the individual and society by promoting mental health and well-being
  • justice, or treating individuals equitably and fostering fairness and equality
  • fidelity, or honoring commitments and keeping promises, including fulfilling one’s responsibilities of trust in professional relationships
  • veracity, or dealing truthfully with individuals with whom counselors come into professional contact.

So what does that mean for us as therapists?

  • We are BOUND to support our clients’ ability to make their own choices.
  • We are BOUND to intentionally work toward actions that improve people’s quality of life.
  • We are BOUND to promote equity and justice
  • We are BOUND to honor our commitments to our clients and others in upholding these principles and creating trusting relationships.
  • We are BOUND to be truthful with others. 

So, we are telling you the truth now. 

We support the right to reproductive freedom. 

Reproductive freedom might look different in different circumstances for different people. In Texas, and in half the country right now, it looks suspiciously like a political agenda projected under the guise of morality and ending the moment a child is born. 

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, “a trigger law will go into effect in the coming weeks that bans all abortions from the moment of fertilization, except in rare cases to save the life of a pregnant patient or prevent ‘substantial impairment of major bodily function.’”

Here’s what we know about how the overturning of Roe v. Wade may specifically and immediately affects Texans.

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, “a trigger law will go into effect in the coming weeks that bans all abortions from the moment of fertilization, except in rare cases to save the life of a pregnant patient or prevent ‘substantial impairment of major bodily function.’”

Being forced to give birth has, time and time again, been proven to increase poverty, violence, abuse, and generational and systemic trauma. Being forced to give birth has been shown to decrease the likelihood of both full-time employment and access to public assistance. Hell, our own Texas foster care system continues to, at best, abjectly fail the most vulnerable of our population and, at worst, serve as the foundation for systemic physical and sexual abuse. 

In case you didn’t hear us the first time…


Reproductive freedom means having the ability to make the choice that best aligns to your values, needs, and circumstances. That absolutely cannot happen in a state that continues to rank LAST in healthcare access and affordability. 

The United States has the highest maternal death rate of similarly developed countries — and Texas exceeds even that. Black women are disproportionately affected — they are more than three times as likely to die. 

But what about mental health?

Some people justify taking away access to abortion by citing mental health concerns after the fact. It’s true — having an abortion can result in feelings of guilt, shame, depression, and other negative outcomes. It’s a good thing this has been studied. Repeatedly. Here are some of the findings when it comes to risk factors associated with mental health problems after abortion:

Feelings of stigma; perceived need for secrecy47%–56%53
Exposure to antiabortion picketing87%54
Feelings of commitment to the pregnancy15%–18%;50
Abortion after the first trimester9%65
Risk factors for mental health problems after an abortion identified by the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion (TFMHA) in 2008.

Not everyone who makes the decisions to terminate a pregnancy is doing so because it’s a clear-cut solution. Not everyone who makes the decision to remain pregnant does so voluntarily, either. 

We support your right to choose life.

We support your right to choose. 

We support your rights. Period

We don’t make political statements. We make compassionate outcries rooted in our ethical and moral obligation to “challenge the profound social, cultural and economic inequities that plague the quality of life for scores of people.” 

A lack of autonomy and agency is TRAUMATIC.

Texans, and all of you across the country, we are here for you. 

P.S. Mandatory pro-life as written in abortion-averse statutes are usually unethical and sometimes downright statutorily prohibited for therapists — but some continue to do so, anyway.  Should you choose to support organizations that work for reproductive justice, here are just a few. We do not endorse any of them, and we suggest you do your own research to determine which group’s missions align most closely with your own values.

P.P.S. Go ahead, check our sources.


“2014 Code of Ethics.” American Counseling Association. Counseling.Org

Ian Vandewalker, Abortion and Informed Consent: How Biased Counseling Laws Mandate Violations of Medical Ethics, 19 Mich. J. Gender & L. 1 (2012). Available at:

Lee, Courtland C. “Social Justice: A Moral Imperative for Counselors.” Counseling.Org

Major B, Appelbaum M, Beckman L, et al. Report of the APA Task Force on mental health and abortion. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2008, 105 pp, 

“Roe v. Wade: Its History and Impact.” Planned Parenthood. (2022). Retrieved 25 June 2022, from

Staff, Texas. 2022. “How The U.S. Supreme Court Abortion Ruling Is Already Affecting Texas”. The Texas Tribune

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