APTA President's Statement on Supreme Court Decision: Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization

Last week’s United States Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate federal protection for abortion is a major shift in health care.

Of APTA's numerous policies and positions, none of them refer to abortion, and physical therapists and physical therapist assistants don't perform or directly assist in the procedure. Yet our profession is part of the health care system, and we are providers of prenatal and postpartum care. APTA also advocates on issues related to pelvic health in physical therapy, including the recently introduced H.R. 8181.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Nursing, and American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, recognize that "reproductive health care is essential to women’s overall health" and "access to abortion is an important component of reproductive health care."

As a result of this decision, many physicians will be limited in their ability to provide established, evidence-based medicine, and pregnant women now face greater risk to their personal health at a time when maternal mortality rates are increasing, particularly among women from racial and ethnic minorities.

APTA's Code of Ethics calls on physical therapists to "act in the best interests of patients and clients" and to "collaborate with patients and clients to empower them in decisions about their health care."

Our commitment to person-centered services establishes that APTA "opposes efforts by government, institutions, and other entities that may threaten personā€centeredness in the provision of physical therapist services."

As stated by the APTA Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy, pelvic health decisions should be made between patients and their medical providers.

– APTA President Roger Herr, PT, MPA

APTA Pediatrics LGBTQIA Letter of Support

As states continue to present and pass legislation related to LGBTQ+ rights, we want our communities to know that APTA Pediatrics stands in support of LGBTQ+ youth and their families across the U.S. who continually face legislative actions that undermine their worth, value, health, and well-being. As healthcare providers, we urge those who are considering the passing of such legal measures to recognize that these bills adversely affect the community by removing protection from discrimination and compromising their physical and mental health. We propose including and listening to those who will be directly impacted by these social and political determinants of health. It is only when we listen and understand that we can recognize and overcome healthcare and health disparities that negatively impact so many in our communities.

The following link shows the legislative actions that have been or are in the process of being passed: https://freedomforallamericans.org/legislative-tracker/

Furthermore, if you would like to take action and access more resources about how to better advocate for LGBTQ+ youth and families, please see the following statement of advocacy that was previously written and released by APTA Pediatrics with the help of the APTA Pediatrics DEI Committee: APTA Pediatrics Statement on Transgender Legislation.pdf - Google Drive

APTA Pediatrics DEI Committee, with support from the APTA Pediatrics Board of Directors




APTA Pediatrics Stance Against Gun Violence in the Aftermath of Escalating Mass Shootings, Including Children and Teachers

The mass shooting in Uvalde, TX, is the 27th school shooting this year. Nineteen children and two teachers died in the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting claimed 26 lives in 2012. In the 18 days after the racial massacre at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY, there were 18 mass shootings in the United States, including at a hospital in Tulsa, OK.

Firearms are now the leading cause of death in children and adolescents 0-19 years of age, with an 83% increase in youth firearm fatalities over the past decade; nearly two-thirds of youth firearm deaths were from homicides. Black youth had an unprecedented 40% increase in firearm fatalities between 2019 to 2020, according to a commentary published in Lancet Child and Adolescent Health. More than 311,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since Columbine. In 2022 we have had more mass shootings than days in the year. These tragic statistics point to the urgent need to take action to prevent more youth from dying by firearms.

Please take a moment to read:

Now is the time to reach out to your legislators to engage in difficult conversations about how to protect children and make our communities safer.

A Statement from the APTA Pediatrics President:

APTA Pediatrics members provide services in a variety of settings to some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society. Our community of physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and physical therapy students grieve for the tragic loss of children and teachers in Uvalde, TX, the individuals in Buffalo, NY, and the victims of all mass shootings and gun violence in the United States.

Members of APTA Pediatrics and the American Physical Therapy Association embrace an evidence-based practice model. Congruent with that model, we take evidence while asking questions and formulating strategies on how to protect and enhance the members of our society, including our most vulnerable members.

Is it time to work together and review evidence from other industrialized countries and compare outcomes. Evidence shows that countries that have enacted policy change to curb gun violence see mass shootings as rare events rather than everyday occurrences.

APTA Pediatrics envisions a world where every child can experience a fulfilling life. Our core values challenge us to Advocate, Collaborate, Elevate:

  • Advocate for safe environments for all members of society.
  • Collaborate with other organizations to enact positive change for all members of society
  • Elevate research and education on gun violence and prevention.

Although I understand the issues are complex, I encourage ALL members to be thoughtful leaders for our profession and the families that we serve by reaching out to your legislators to engage in difficult conversations, listen without judgment, and collectively come up with reasonable solutions to protect children and make our communities safer.

A Tibetan belief: "Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful the experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster.”

Cindy Miles, PT, PhD

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy

President, APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy