Join | Login

SPSSI Stands for Reproductive Freedom and Justice

Washington, June 26, 2022  – The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) joined the American Psychological Association (APA) and other leading scientific organizations in denouncing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years ago.

“The Supreme Court’s decision effectively allows states to restrict and inhibit the right to exercise bodily autonomy for millions of women and pregnancy-capable people,” said SPSSI President Linda Silka. “Psychologists have found that restricting reproductive freedom causes distress and endangers the lives and well-being of any individual facing an unwanted or unsafe pregnancy. These effects extend to their families, loved ones, and communities.”

SPSSI leadership emphasized the longstanding role psychologists have played in advocating for reproductive rights, including the constitutional right to an abortion. SPSSI also underscored the importance of APA’s February 2022 resolution that recognized the uneven consequences of reproductive oppression on the lives of women of color, poor and working-class women, transgender people, and their families.

“Abortion access is just one part of the constellation of issues that constitute reproductive justice. Without safe and legal abortion access, people cannot exercise the right to have or not have children in safe, healthy, and affirmative environments,” said Silka.

SPSSI members have contributed to the body of psychological research on reproductive justice, which highlights how race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability shape unequal reproductive outcomes for diverse social groups. In response to the Dobbs decision, SPSSI has released a Virtual Series Issue of its journals that showcases landmark papers on reproductive justice, including several from a 2020 special issue of the Journal of Social Issues on the topic.

“Our scholars have used the tools of psychological science to show how health policy related to abortion, contraception access, and a range of intersecting issues have profound psychosocial and health consequences, particularly for individuals who are structurally vulnerable,” said SPSSI Council Member and Policy Committee Co-Chair Patrick Grzanka. “We are pleased to share this research free to the public for the next several months as scientists and advocates alike work to navigate a post-Roe United States.”

For information about SPSSI and more SPSSI resources about abortion and issues of reproductive justice, visit or contact SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll (

SPSSI's New Virtual Series Issue (VSI)

Deeply Rooted in the Patriarchy: The Consequences and Burdens of Overruling Roe

VSI Editor: Dr. Kevin R. Carriere, Washington & Jefferson College 

Introduction. In the majority opinion, Justice Alito writes that in deciding Dobbs v. Jackson, “a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions” (Dobbs v. Jackson, 2022, p. 25). A nation whose history is built on the blood and backs of slaves, whose traditions range from broken promises with indigenous nations, forced internment of its own citizens, and a distain for the expanding role of women may not be the stellar defense of a decision that it sounds at first glance. As the dissenting opinion notes, “But, of course, ‘people’ did not ratify the Fourteenth Amendment. Men did. So it is perhaps not so surprising that the ratifiers were not perfectly attuned to the importance of reproductive rights for women’s liberty, or for their capacity to participate as equal members of our Nation” (Dobbs v. Jackson, 2022 Breyer et al., dissenting, p. 14).

In this Virtual Series Issue, we are joined by three decades of research surrounding abortion. We approach this Issue from a reproductive justice framework, by acknowledging the deeply rooted systemic issues that seek to limit the ability to decide when, where, and how to exercise one’s reproductive freedom. Continue reading. 

Table of Contents:

Note: Wiley, SPSSI's journal publisher, has unlocked all of the papers in this VSI until the end of September, 2022. The papers can now be read in full by any member of the public (although they are not available for downloading or printing). Please share this VSI with colleagues and students who might be interested in this content! 

If you would like to download and/or print any of the papers above, make sure that you are logged into this website as a SPSSI member before navigating over to Wiley's website through the "Publications" tab.

Virtual Series Issue (VSI) is a virtual journal based around thematic or significant anniversaries or events (e.g. MLK Remembrance, SPSSI's Annual Conferences), calendar events (e.g. LGBT Pride Month, Earth Day), and major policy initiatives (e.g., immigration reform, major Supreme Court cases). The VSI Editor identifies and selects appropriate articles from previously published issues of SPSSI's journals to be bundled for inclusion in each virtual issue.