What Outlawed Abortion Means for Women’s Health and Rights

What Outlawed Abortion Means for Women’s Health and Rights

In June 2022, Roe v. Wade (a case that allowed women to choose an abortion if they wanted or needed one) was overturned in America. This landmark ruling meant that eighteen American states have now completely banned abortion – that means 25 million women of childbearing age now no longer have access to this one-time right. So, what does this mean for women’s health and rights? Let’s look into this more closely.

Mortality Rates

The United States has the highest mortality rates of any developed country in the world. Figures show that the numbers in 2020 were 23.8 deaths for every 100,000 live births (although this number increases to 55.3 deaths for every 100,000 live births for black women). Now that access to abortion has been removed from so many women, it is highly likely that these rates will increase. This means that not only will the fetus die, but potentially so will the mother – a fact that would not be so (at least not in such high numbers) if abortion were allowed.

It is clear through these facts alone that overturning these laws and outlawing abortion in so many places within the United States is going to have a massive impact on women’s health and in fact their entire lives.

Illegal Abortions

If women don’t have access to safe, clean abortion clinics run by professionals who can not only carry out the correct procedures in the right way, but can also help with the emotional aspect of abortion as well as ensure the women are able to take care of themselves afterward, what will the outcome be?

It seems as though those states – and, further afield, entire countries – that have decided to ban abortion hope that it will stop women from being able to choose this option, and will ensure they go on to have the babies. However, if a woman does not want to be pregnant and does not want to have a child, they will actually be more likely to look for other ways to end the pregnancy. This could involve trying to abort the fetus themselves, which is extremely dangerous, or it might mean looking for people to perform illegal abortions, which, even in a medical setting, may not be as sterile and safe as it would be in a professional and legal clinic.

This will actually increase the mortality rate even more in the worst circumstances, and even if the procedure is not fatal, it could leave the woman with serious medical issues for the rest of her life.

Wide support for abortion law reform in Finland – EURACTIV.com

Other Health Conditions

The medications that are used to end a pregnancy in a medical abortion are not solely used for this purpose – they have other uses. Methotrexate, for example, can be used to end a pregnancy, but it is also highly effective for those with psoriasis.

It could be that banning abortion and the medication that is used in some cases will have much further-reaching consequences than anyone might have considered initially. Yes, it might prevent abortion, but it could also prevent people from getting the medication they need for other conditions, causing additional suffering and removing their right to treatment as a side effect of removing the right to abortion.