American Psychoanalytic Association Statement on Roe v. Wade Decision

New York, NY - July 7, 2022 - The American Psychoanalytic Association opposes

sanctions that deprive a person of control over their own bodies. In overturning Roe v. Wade, the United States Supreme Court seriously interferes with the right of American citizens to this control.


Like other citizens, our organization’s members hold a range of individual opinions about abortion. However, as psychoanalysts, we strive to approach the conflict arising from differing opinions with a spirit of curiosity and without prejudice to any sides other than that of human dignity and healthy psychological development.


Research and clinical experience demonstrate that personal autonomy is an essential attainment of human development. Autonomy is the ability of individuals to make decisions about their own lives free of coercion or interference. Autonomy begins with the child toddling away from caregivers and culminates in the confidence to rely on one’s own abilities throughout life. Failure to achieve autonomy results in crippling self-doubt and shame. Legal sanctions which deprive people of control over their bodies and choices undermine autonomy and cause profound problems in life and health in much the same way as do war, disaster, and disease.


In conclusion, the American Psychoanalytic Association supports the right of people to make decisions regarding their own bodies and opposes the ruling of the United States Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. Interfering with the right to autonomy will have devastating effects on all human beings -- effects which will ripple out to undermine the lives of families, communities, the nation, and the world.


APsaA is the oldest and largest professional organization for psychoanalysts in North America, representing 3,000 members, 34 approved training institutes, and 39 affiliate societies throughout the United States. For more than 100 years, the association has issued position statements on vital social issues. Visit


Media Contact

Tom Newman

American Psychoanalytic Association Executive Director