If Rowe vs. Wade falls, women will go much further to have an abortion

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Tens of millions of American women will have to travel much further to have an abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Rowe v. Wade as expected, researchers say.

Dozens of states would do abortion illegal as a result of such a decision, which would have forced about 24 million women drive at least 150 miles more than now abortion care.

“There is already a huge difference in who has access to abortion. If Rowe is repealed and state law becomes law, it will further widen the disparities,” said lead author Brenna Kelly, a graduate student at the University of Utah.

“For many people who have good access now, it will get worse. And it will be almost impossible for people who are already fighting for help, ”Kelly said in a university press release.

The average distance to seek help will triple from nearly 40 miles today to 113.5 miles, according to an analysis of 739 abortion clinics in 3108 counties adjacent to the United States.

But in large areas the distance to abortion will increase 100 times, especially in the Deep South, the Midwest and the Intermountain West.

Such “abortion care deserts” will affect disproportionately black and Hispanic women, those living in poverty and those with less education, according to results recently published in the journal Utah Women’s Health Review.

A draft opinion of the US Supreme Court written by Judge Samuel Alita, who beats Rowe v. Wade, leaked to the press earlier this month. While this is not a final decision, it shows that a majority of judges initially voted to repeal the decades-old ruling, which provides federal protection for women who wish to have an abortion.

Researchers have warned that limiting abortion care is due to poor maternal and infant health outcomes, and the abolition of Rowe v. Wade will significantly exacerbate these differences.

Both rural and urban areas one will see a sharp increase in the distance to abortion clinics. Of the 46 counties that will increase by more than 400 miles, 89% are also urban, reports new study.

But women in urban districts where abortion is prohibited will have the largest relative increase in distance. For example, a woman in Miami-Dade County, Florida, is now less than a mile from aid. This will increase by 426 miles if the state bans abortion.

“The whole South will be a desert for care drastic change will be for people living somewhere that is not bordering [a] a state where it’s legal, ”Kelly said.

She noted that a similar situation exists in the Intermountain West.

“People from Wyoming and parts of Nevada and Idaho are coming to Salt Lake City for help,” Kelly said. “Past Roo, the nearest place will be Colorado. People in Salt Lake, who can now be minutes away from relief, will be hundreds of miles away.”

Already, the laws regulate abortions are different widely by the state.

Another study published earlier this month based on surveys of more than 1,000 people pregnant womenfound that 9 out of 10 already had at least one barrier related to distance to have an abortion, even if they lived in a community with a clinic.

The study also found that women who need an abortion are more than twice as likely to postpone the procedure or choose to continue their pregnancy if they live 50 miles or more from the clinic, compared to women who live within 5 miles of the clinic. .

Twenty-one states have legislation banning or restricting abortion if Rowe v. Wade is repealed, and five more are likely to pass similar laws in the absence of federal protection against abortion.

“Abortion is a very polarizing issue, but we all need to take into account and prepare for the imbalances that will result from these large-scale changes, no matter what position we take,” Kelly said.


The Lancet warns the US Supreme Court about abortion


Additional information:
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on this abortion.

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Citation: If Rowe v. Wade falls, women will go much further for abortions (2022, May 17), obtained May 17, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-roe-wade-falls-women -abortion .html

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