For the first time in its history the Supreme Court is poised to eliminate an existing constitutional right. The court is reducing women’s autonomy as humans entitled to control their own lives. The court is subjugating a class of people to be controlled by legislators who largely fall outside the group.
Help Women Seeking Abortions
From May 25th to June 15th Advocates for Women are raising money to benefit I Need an Abortion (ineedana.com. To donate go to euuc.org and click on the Give button. Select “Advocates for Women” from the drop-down menu. All money donated to Advocates for Women during the fundraiser will be sent to I Need an Abortion (ineedana.com). Please also read, “Abortion is a Human Right”.
Lacking Legal Logic
The logic employed by Justice Alito is seriously lacking.
Alito’s logic is perverse and cruel. He claims that an implied right cannot exist unless it is “deeply rooted in the nation’s history and tradition,” but he ignores the fact that for the first 129 years of our nation’s history, women were denied the right to vote—and thus denied any realistic opportunity to create a “deeply rooted tradition” permitting contraception and abortion. Under Alito’s backward logic, a right plainly implied in the Constitution cannot exist because white male legislators successfully suppressed that right for more than a century. ~ Robert Hubbell
Even though 60% of Americans oppose overturning Roe (as reported by the Washington Post-ABC News), in 2021 conservative states enacted 108 abortion restrictions in 19 states. These bills also focused on passing measures that restrict voting access and discriminate against LGBTQ individuals, especially transgender youth.
In just the first five months of 2022 state legislatures have introduced over 500 bills that would further restrict abortion. One of the main themes is aimed at curtailing medication abortions, which currently comprise well over half of the abortions. Medication abortions are the easiest and most cost-effective method for pregnant people who live far from clinics. Research shows they are quite safe and effective up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Repercussions of the court’s opinion
When the court back tracks on precedent and overturns 49-years of a constitutional right, abortion will likely be legalized or criminalized state by state. However, Republicans are reportedly already working on a federal law that will criminalize abortion in every state.
Distance = Time + Money
New research by the Guttmacher Institute reveals some of the repercussions of the Texan ban on abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy. “Excluding the four states that border Texas, 11 states and the District of Columbia had an increase in the number of abortions provided to Texas residents. These included states that are hundreds, and even thousands, of miles from the Texas border, such as Illinois, Washington, Ohio, and Maryland.”
Research also shows that the farther a pregnant person must travel to obtain an abortion, the higher her costs:
- out-of-pocket costs (food, lodging, gas, childcare, lost wages)
- finding transportation
- longer delay in getting the abortion
- increased chances of getting an unsafe abortion
- reduced likelihood of surmounting the difficulties and getting an abortion
Criminalizing abortion doesn’t significantly reduce abortions
When abortion is criminalized, the rate of abortion hardly changes. Instead, people “flee their own states to seek abortion — if they can afford to. Those without resources or support will be forced to remain pregnant or seek abortion outside of the health care system… Unsafe abortions are the third leading cause of maternal deaths worldwide and lead to an additional five million largely preventable disabilities.” ~ World Health Organization
“Regardless of whether abortion is legal or not, people still require and regularly access abortion services. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a US-based reproductive health non-profit, the abortion rate is 37 per 1,000 people in countries that prohibit abortion altogether or allow it only in instances to save a woman’s life, and 34 per 1,000 people in countries that broadly allow for abortion, a difference that is not statistically significant.” ~ Amnesty International
Marginalized groups suffer more
People who are already marginalized are disproportionately affected by laws restricting abortion, because they have fewer opportunities to seek safe and legal services elsewhere. These people include low-income populations, refugees and migrants, adolescents, LGBTIQ persons, racial minorities, and Indigenous women, according to the World Health Organization.
Of course, the person needing the abortion and their families pay the highest non-monetary costs. And, as the Guttmacher Institute found in 2014, they also usually paid the money.
- 53% of abortion patients paid out of pocket for their procedure
- State Medicaid funds provided the second-most-common method of payment and was reported by 24% of abortion patients.
Stigma and Prejudice
“The mere perception that abortion is unlawful or immoral leads to the stigmatization of women and girls by health care staff, family members, and the judiciary, among others. Consequently, women and girls seeking abortion risk discrimination and harassment. Some women have reported being abused and shamed by health care providers when seeking abortion services or post-abortion care.” ~ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
The fact that it is not commonly considered an appropriate topic of conversation, that many people feel uncomfortable sharing their personal stories demonstrates that abortion is used as a reason to shame, disrespect, or publicly criticize others.
We are angry
People who support people’s autonomy over their own bodies, including control of whether to remain pregnant are feeling angry, sad, frustration, grief, as well as energized, determined, and ready to fight for abortion rights. What do you feel?