Therapists can refer clients to psychiatry on UpLift. Psychiatric providers are available to answer questions about medication, changing treatment plans, side effects, and more.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.

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Providing Therapy in a Post-Roe World: Resources for Mental Health Providers

Changes to reproductive rights impact therapy, from negatively affecting clients' mental health to increasing the legal risks of client privacy.

Providing Therapy in a Post-Roe World: Resources for Mental Health Providers
Eliana Reyes, Content Strategist


min read


table of contents

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, the laws about reproduction, contraception and termination of pregnancy have quickly fractured. States have rushed to protect, further restrict, or outright ban abortion, leaving a confusing landscape of what is and isn’t legal. 

For our communities, that confusion includes navigating mental health care related to abortion: Where do discussions about reproductive health care, abortion, and bodily autonomy fit into therapy now? 

UpLift believes that therapists should be able to have a trusted relationship with clients that does not require them to act as law enforcement. Being a therapist should not put you in a vulnerable position to meet clients’ needs. 

Because we operate in states with differing policies, we have put together resources to help educate you on these policies, your rights and responsibilities, and issues clients may be facing. We hope this guidance will be helpful but it is not legal advice. It is important for each provider to stay up to date about the specific laws in the state or states where they provide services.

This is an evolving document that we will update from time to time. If you have any suggested additions or questions, please email us at help@joinuplift.co

This guide contains resources about:

  • Navigating Your Legal Risk, Rights, and Responsibilities
  • What to Expect in Sessions About Reproductive Autonomy

Navigating Your Legal Risk, Rights, and Responsibilities

What the ruling means for clients’ privacy

In the aftermath of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, mental health providers expressed concern about how to maintain their clients’ privacy. Will providers be forced to report on their clients? Can technology companies be trusted with client data?

UpLift takes the privacy of clients seriously. We are a HIPAA compliant platform that encrypts client and provider data. We follow the HIPAA Privacy Rule for PHI. Without a client’s signed authorization, we expect providers to maintain the privacy of clients’ PHI.

We do not record video sessions or store transcripts of video sessions. For insurance purposes, providers must fill out progress notes for clients. However, your notes—both on UpLift and off the platform—could be requested by a court. 

What does the federal government say about privacy

The Biden administration has taken steps to increase privacy protections in response to the Dobbs ruling. This includes enhancing the safety of providers who are “providing, dispensing, or delivering reproductive services” but the level of protection will vary from state-to-state, often because the practical reach of the federal government is limited. . 

The order also directs the Secretary of HHS to issue guidance under HIPAA emphasizing the protection of privacy rights and directs the Federal Trade Commission to enhance privacy protections. We still recommend providers exercise diligence in securing the digital privacy of their work and of their clients’ personal information. 

Privacy risks and your state

While the federal government has attempted to take some steps to increase legal protection for patient information related to reproductive health care, HIPAA and federal law may not supersede local laws. Aggressive law enforcement agencies in some states may take the position that federal law does not supersede local criminal law, for example. In some states, health care professionals and others may be “mandatory reporters” under child abuse statutes. In a state that has determined that a fetus is a child, this could have major legal and clinical care implications.

In other states, courts may be less sympathetic to privacy concerns in the reproductive health context and may issue orders requiring disclosure of patient information. Failure to comply with a valid court order could subject a provider to professional discipline or prosecution.

Abortion laws across the United States

This map from the Center for Reproductive Rights shows you where abortion is expanded, protected, not protected, or laws are hostile or illegal. Clicking on a state will display the status of abortion laws in the state and whether they’ll likely become more restricted, protected, or expanded. It also shows a list of the current bans, restrictions, and protections. 

How abortion impacts each state also differs, based on who lives there and the impact of current legislation. Guttmacher Institute’s map gives a plain language explanation of each state’s current policies as well as demographic information and statistics. Demographic information gives a snapshot of who lives in the state to highlight how access may affect socioeconomic equity. Statistics show how many abortions occur in each state and how accessible abortion is based on geography and stage of pregnancy. 

The White House launched a website with up to date information about people’s reproductive rights. The site includes sections on birth control, medication, abortion access, preventive health services, and what to do if you don’t have insurance. 

Securing your digital privacy and security

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also has released a guide teaching everyone how to secure their own personal health information on electronic devices, and providers should consider taking steps to increase their own data security and assisting patients who desire to do so.

In addition to increasing technical security, some providers could consider reducing the scope of certain records to the absolute minimum. While providers must keep accurate records for legal and clinical reasons, minimizing such information can reduce risks.

What to Expect in Sessions About Reproductive Autonomy

How the mental health community has responded

Counseling someone with different values

Therapists and counselors may have to work with clients whose views run counter to their own values and beliefs. Per the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics, we remind all of our providers to refrain from imposing your values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors onto clients. 

The ACA encourages professionals to seek guidance from other providers when facing personal conflict and to strive to go outside your comfort zone. 

Expect and prepare for worse mental health outcomes and denial of care for other health conditions

Risks are higher for people facing multiple systemic barriers

The effects of restricted access to abortions ripples across gender identities, racial identities, disabilities, economic security, and more. These resources are nowhere near exhaustive but are a start at understanding the complex problems people with intersecting identities face. 

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About the author
Eliana Reyes, Content Strategist

Eliana Reyes is a content strategist and writer at UpLift.

Edited by

Meredith McClarty

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Every UpLift article is created by our team or other qualified contributors, and reviewed for accuracy by clinicians.

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