WASHINGTON, D.C. – In advance of the long-awaited U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which many expect will repeal Roe v. Wade, Reed Smith’s global Life Sciences Health Industry Group has launched a working group to help companies navigate the legal impact of the court’s decision. The Reproductive Health Working Group includes seasoned lawyers from a wide range of practice areas, including health care regulatory, product liability litigation, data privacy, and corporate/employee benefits.

“We are already advising our clients on the potentially far-reaching and profound legal impact this decision may have on health care providers, pharmacies, manufacturers, insurers, distributors and other companies across the industry sector,” said Scot Hasselman, co-chair of the Life Sciences Health Industry Group. “Our group began working on these issues shortly after the draft majority opinion in Dobbs was leaked to the media. Currently there are more questions than answers, and we are focused on helping our clients navigate potential business issues, disruptions, challenges or litigation that may arise.”

Should the Supreme Court’s opinion in Dobbs reverse Roe – and thereby eliminate federal protection of abortion rights – a wide range of issues could arise related to private rights of action, physician or pharmacist practice acts, licensing considerations, coverage by payors, and possible criminal or civil implications associated with dispensing certain medications or providing health care services, particularly in some states.

“We are also examining how this decision at the federal level could trigger changes to many state laws, and the potential implications for clients with national or multi-state operations,” said Sarah Cummings Stewart, partner and a member of the working group. “These companies will face compliance issues and legal risks related to conflicting laws and regulations. Even if the Dobbs opinion does not fully reverse Roe, there may be other important changes to consider.”

The group has established a resource center dedicated to providing information to companies.