Protect Her Choice for Her Protection

By: Penelope Giesen

In the United States’ latest revision on placing legal restrictions for women’s access to safe reproductive care, the Florida State
Legislature voted to ban abortions for women after 15 weeks. This latest law is following a similar law
passed in Mississippi which will go to the Supreme Court sometime this summer. Florida had been a
haven for women seeking abortions throughout the south, so this ruling poses a threat to millions of
women seeking safe healthcare. Access to safe abortions is a human right and despite the religious
rationale given by conservative politicians, the reality is that abortions happen. Though sanitary and safe
abortions with legal oversight are the ones restricted, illegal and horrific procedures that are a danger to women seeking them
will continue.

The reality is that women who seek abortions, often who fall into younger age groups with comparatively less disposable income relative to their peers, are likely to seek protect their future and fear of
the situation a baby would be born into. This results in many cases where women seek abortions whether they are legal or not. The New York
Times published data on the abortions sought in Texas following a new restrictive law on abortions in that
state. This data found that though the number of abortions shrunk, its impact was severely restricted by
women seeking abortion pills and out-of-state legal abortions. In total, the New York Times estimates that
abortions fell by about 10%.

The reality is that these laws don’t stop abortions, yet they endanger women and harm
marginalized and lower income communities the most. Women who can afford to travel to another state, take time
off from work, and pay for child care and/or transportation will continue to have safe and legal abortions. Yet,
women who don’t have the ability to do so will be faced with a horrifying reality. Some effects include women carrying to term a fetus
when they are not emotionally or physically prepared for or seeking a dangerous, painful, and horrifying
illegal procedure. The Guttmacher Institute reports that in 1965, illegal abortions accounted for close to
200 deaths and 17% of pregnancy-related deaths.

The laws being introduced in Florida, Mississippi, and many others are ineffective in stopping
abortions, and will result in horrifying deaths as well as traumatizing and unwanted pregnancies that are easily avoidable. These restrictions will
further burden the most vulnerable and marginalized groups of our society.

References:

  1. Gold, Rachel Benson. “Lessons from before Roe: Will Past Be Prologue?” Guttmacher Institute, 14 Sept.
    2018, https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2003/03/lessons-roe-will-past-be-prologue.
    2. Mazzei, Patricia, and Alexandra Glorioso. “Florida Lawmakers Vote to Ban Abortions after 15 Weeks.”
    The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Mar. 2022,
    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/03/us/florida-abortion-ban.html?searchResultPosition=4.
    3. Sanger-katz, Margot, et al. “Most Women Denied Abortions by Texas Law Got Them Another Way.” The
    New York Times, The New York Times, 6 Mar. 2022,
    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/06/upshot/texas-abortion-women-data.html

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