Now that Roe has been overturned, abortion is banned or restricted to the point of inaccessibility in more than 20 states, where trigger laws have been put in place.
This means people will be forced to give birth against their will, even in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the pregnant person is in danger if they carry the fetus to term. Many will have illegal and unsafe abortions. People who have abortions and those who assist them, in states such as Oklahoma and Texas, may face criminal charges in the process.
The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade makes what was already severely restricted access to abortion services much worse. This will impact those who don’t have the resources to travel to another state and may not have access to doctors, nurses, friends or relatives who can help them navigate the process of ordering abortion pills. The policies will overwhelmingly harm the working class, people of color, those who have suffered from rape or incest, and people who choose abortion to care for their family’s well-being, avoiding deeper poverty.
With Roe v. Wade overturned, many more women and pregnant people will die, with the death rate highest among people of color.
Already in the U.S. women are 14 times more likely to die from giving birth than from having an abortion.
Black women in Mississippi are 118 times more likely to die from giving birth than from having an abortion.
Many have dubbed this new era “The New Jane Crow,” a time when those with wealth continue to have access while the poor and people of color in states where abortion is banned suffer increased poverty and death.
Abortion restrictions will further increase the distance patients must travel to receive care, and strain the resources of remaining clinics. Over time, the clinics in states where abortion is illegal may relocate to states where it is legal, or near their borders, so some will have access to services. This will increase the pressure on nearby states where abortion is legal to expand their capacity to accommodate more patients.
Yet in many states it is now illegal for patients and those who support them to seek abortion services outside of their state, where they can face large fines or jail time. In addition, abortion clinics near impacted states will become further overburdened by the surge in patients, pushing some pregnant people further into their pregnancies before being able to receive care.
Women and pregnant people must have access to abortion services at any stage of pregnancy, without apology, to protect their lives and those of their families, as well as their dignity. The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is a reminder that we cannot surrender our lives to the Supreme Court, to the laws and the whims of the capitalist system. The fight to have legal abortion on demand throughout the U.S. is our urgent task.