A draft leak of a majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito would strike down Roe v. Wade., the court case that essentially made abortions legal in the United States and protects our privacy rights. If the overturn goes into effect, 26 of the 50 states already have abortion laws that would quickly make abortion illegal or ban it early.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade would be a death sentence for those without access to receive a procedure that I believe is a human right.
Realistically, allowing states to ban abortion is only banning safe abortions. Much like the back-alley coathanger abortions of the pre-Wade era, women are turning to the internet and mail-order resources to meet their abortion needs.
One such service, Aid Access, reported an 1180% increase in demand from women in Texas after their ban went into effect a few months ago.
We already see what happens when a woman has no say over her body in Texas. Following the state ban on terminations after ten weeks, a woman was arrested and charged with murder after seeking medical care for sepsis after an alleged “self-induced” abortion.
A ruling like this will increase at-home abortions that can lead to detrimental health issues, and become fatal. Death is a guarantee in making abortion illegal, besides chipping away from everyone’s privacy rights.
By criminalizing safe abortions, lives are at risk. Homicide rates have gone up throughout history to prove this. It denies and promotes physical and emotional trauma on birth givers—specifically those in low-income and Black and Brown populations.
Besides physical and financial repercussions, emotional ties can be harmful, and by forcing a person to carry a child, they are subject to emotional trauma. In extreme cases, partners can become homicidal, another example of how lives will be lost.
Studies show that policies restricting abortion provisions may result in more women being unable to terminate unwanted pregnancies, potentially keeping them in contact with violent partners and putting women and their children at risk.
Abortions are not an avoidance of responsibility, but some states have laws that do not protect or allow exceptions for cases where women’s lives are in danger, like rape or birth complications.
My heart hurts for those who feel hopeless, without a say about their bodies. The impacts that Black, Brown and low-income folks could experience should shame politicians who claim they are trying to make the world a more fair place.
Louisiana lawmakers are moving forward with a bill this week that classifies abortion as a homicide. They should consider that outlawing abortions is the actual homicide—a mass one.