The recent Supreme Court ruling that overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade leaves medical experts in a perplexing situation. Many physicians will be put in a bind, unable to fulfill professional obligations to provide care for pregnant patients because of state laws that forbid such things. This will all depend on where a person lives, but many women may need to travel long distances to find a clinic that can perform the abortion.
Physicians state that the goal is for a patient to make a decision for themselves about what is right for them. Depending on the state, the conversation has less to do with a person’s values, and more about the legal hoops they had to jump through prior to the procedure. The recent Supreme Court ruling opened the floodgates for a wave of litigation. One side of the ruling fought quickly to put statewide bans in effect, while the other side made it known that they would not interfere with a woman’s right to abortion.
It’s a frightening and confusing time, with some people arguing that it is a scary time. Here’s what health experts and women’s activists want you to know about the loss of abortion rights.
The Decision Isn’t Science-Based
According to health experts, there is no public health reason that validates restricting a woman’s access to abortion. In fact, public health and medical data about abortion implications find that the opposite is true. Public health scientists say that the procedure is very safe at any stage of pregnancy. Carrying a pregnancy to term is actually riskier for overall health in the eyes of health officials. The decision to have an abortion should be the person’s decision, and their decision alone.
Prohibiting Abortion Can Reject People’s Autonomy
Pregnancy isn’t something that should be a punishment. Any person who is pregnant can and does make the right decisions, and they do it on their own volition. Oftentimes, people don’t understand that one of the most common emotions following an abortion is relief. According to surveys, the vast majority of people who have abortions are certain about their decision. Additionally, they continue to believe it was the right decision for them years after the fact.
The Loss Of Abortion Rights Will Harm Minorities
When a person is forced to raise a child or children, they ultimately limit their ability to build a sustainable career over time. Consequently, minority groups will be hit hardest by new abortion bans. This includes people of color, people who live with lower incomes, and people under 18 in rural areas. It’s unlikely that many of these groups will make the necessary travel to states where abortion is legal. On top of that, people who want to get abortions but are unable to do so are statistically more likely to live in poverty, and their children may not meet developmental milestones.
It’s a fact that women in the United States have higher death rates while pregnant, during childbirth, or after delivery compared to women in other developed nations. This risk is higher for Hispanic and Black mothers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report in February 2022 that stated these types of deaths increased from 2018 to 2020.
Denying Abortion Hurts People
This is not merely an emotional hurt; rather, statistics show that people who cannot get abortions have worse physical health. The Turnaway Study found that people who wanted abortions and couldn’t get them because of legal limitations had poorer health outcomes. Denying people the right to abortion causes long-lasting harm. People who are forced to give birth have a higher risk of living in poverty and are less likely to achieve life goals than people who want to get abortions and can.
In contrast to the United States, several countries have recently expanded, or now allow, access to abortion. In 2018, the Republic of Ireland legalized abortions, and Northern Ireland followed suit in 2020 after longtime restrictions. Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that abortions were constitutional in 2021, and Colombia legalized abortion through 24 weeks of pregnancy in February 2022. Unfortunately, it seems that the United States is moving in the opposite direction of progress.