On Monday, a Supreme Court document was leaked and concluded what we already knew was coming: Roe v. Wade will be overturned in the United States. For now abortion is federally legal, but this is expected to change in June. This decision will have a ripple effect through many sectors, including public health.
If the arguments actually had much of anything to do with infant well-being, perhaps we’d see more legislation stating, “From the moment of conception the biological father will be responsible for appropriate child support to ensure the safety and well being of the child until that child reaches the age of 18 or 22 in special circumstances.” Fat chance.
Thank you for this great analysis! One aspect I haven't seen information about is the projected impact on the number of children who will end up in the foster care system due to abuse or neglect. I predict the number of kids in foster care will increase significantly in the states that prohibit abortion, and it won’t just be the unwanted children who end up in the system, but also the siblings of these childen. Is anyone tracking this?
Thank you for this data-rich illustration of why anti-abortion laws do not help anyone. As someone who has been pregnant twice, I cannot imagine going through that against my will. No one should have to be pregnant unless they really want to.
Thank you for these important facts and links to those articles. We need to keep reminding people that this is a public health issue. As President of the Board of the Trust Women Foundation, we operate two clinics in those abortion deserts you describe - Kansas and Oklahoma. We are on the front lines of trying to protect women's health. We need more people in these areas to step up and fight back, especially at the ballot box. In Kansas, the state constitution currently protects abortion rights but Republicans have put a measure on the Aug. 2 primary ballot (where voter turnout is lowest) to strip away those rights. Please spread the word and support the effort to defeat this measure - this will be the first test of the strength of the support for abortion rights. Kansans for Constitutional Freedom is the coalition leading this effort.
Here in Oregon we expect a large number of women coming here to take advantage of our protection of the right to choose. Planned Parenthood is even opening a new clinic in Ontsrio, our easternmost city next to the border with Idaho, a trigger law state. If anyone on this blog has read about the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, they will see the coming trouble when states like Texas and Missouri pass laws allowing punishment of their citizens seeking abortion care outside their jurisdictions. This just adds to the stress and strain the women face. A horrible situation if the Court acts as anticipated--from a moral, legal, and public health perspective
At the end of the day this has evangelicals all over it. When desegregation happened, the evangelicals turned to abortion, and have been chipping away at it ever since. They couldn't care less about what happens when after birth, they just don't believe women are equal. Moreover, their mistresses and daughters will still have access to safe and legal abortion.
Where are all the women who marched on Washington after the 2016 election? The right is trying to turn America into a theocracy led by evangelical Christians. The majority of Americans do not want this; yet when our rights begins to be stripped away we kvetch online and do…nothing. They will not stop with abortion; having succeeded with it, they will be emboldened to attack the civil rights of LGBTQ persons next. Maybe the majority will wake up and take action then. I hope so, for all our sakes.
We continue to see a significant preference for ignorance and the suppression of women among our citizens and many elected or appointed officials. So much suffering, poverty, and loss! Thank you, as always for this (painfully) clear analysis.
You are absolutely right. Thank you for this summary of the data. I do think that not all anti abortion voices are intentionally causing harm. Many respond emotionally to the concept and forget to think deeply. Many will exclude their own personal experience and limit their thoughts to those voiced by their community and religious/political authorities. And then there are those who simply see this as a vehicle which they can ride to power. The abortion debate is perhaps the most effective “wedge issue” in America and has contributed to the decline in our social capital. Those of us who provide care for patients during pregnancy need to improve how we engage these anti-abortion voices, and learn to neutralize the “power riders” and help the shallow thinkers expand their imagination and circle of generosity.
Thanks for the summary. For some of us, you outlined the obvious, that women will seek an abortion regardless of the law. Those who are successful tend to do better emotionally, economically, and the children they bring into the world tend to do better overall as well.
Some people are concerned about the statistics. That more black pregnancies end in abortion than live birth tells me that those women have less access to contraceptives, or less understanding about how to use them ("The Pill" requires attention to timing as to when it's taken daily, and there are drugs and even foods that can cause changes in efficacy), resulting in more unwanted pregnancies.
I'm concerned that SCOTUS is now willing to create law that virtually all of the Justices stated was settled, simply because they've achieved a majority. While they didn't file the suit coming before them, they have systematically created the environment to see it advance, and telegraphed their intent. Obviously, they don't understand the implications.
Just a THANK YOU for a FANTASTIC report, and as always, such a clear presentation. YLE is just great!
If the change is inevitably coming, what can we do to mitigate the consequences or “ripple effect”? Will leaders, organizations, institutions be able to step up to make sure that these children and women are fully supported and cared for throughout in a meaningful way with compassion & dignity?Agree 100% that a ban will not stop abortions. It’s complicated. Hoping that all those affected by legal changes are not further marginalized.
Thank you for this clarifying and objective big picture perspective. Very informative.
This is definitively the last straw on the legitimacy and objectivity of the conservative justices... completely misguided hubris and disingenuous religiosity are running amok making a travesty of settled law.
There will be formidable backlash... and the court will probably "get packed" and a newer version of R-v-W will be the result. But, ugh... what a statement about bad we need to reform the Justice system at the Judicial level... and the ramifications and damage of letting anything "trump-like" near the white house that can so damage a once-proud institution.
It is helpful to state that 25% of men have an abortion during their reproductive lives. (I don’t know the actual number and have never seen this reported. ). When I was 19, my girlfriend (we had been together for one month) had an abortion. She endured the discomfort for my abortion. The asymmetry of our abortion debate is part of the problem.
Apparently all those nationwide problems are just collateral damage for the anti-abortion crowd.
Thank you for putting this together in such an excellent summary.