Undo Roy’s greatest impact on black women: ‘I can’t even count the damage’

Alexis Bay lives in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. For her, it already feels like a “post-caviar world”.

last year’s state law conviction Miscarriage occurs after a heartbeat can be detected, which often occurs before a woman even realizes she is pregnant. Bay’s nonprofit Frontera Fund helps low-income women of color participate in the program, often by sponsoring their interstate travel.

Before connecting with her organization, Bay said, some of the women she worked with had made desperate attempts to end their pregnancies: spending $900 on black-market abortion pills at flea markets, or trying dangerous self-administered abortions at home.

“When people don’t have access to abortion care, they’re in a very vulnerable situation,” she said. “It will only marginalize the marginalized further.”

Such experiences may become more common in the United States.Earlier this month, a leaked opinion The decision from the Supreme Court suggests it is on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established the constitutional right to abortion.

According to advocates and health care providers, black women in conservative southern states — some with limited abortion restrictions but few as strict as Texas — will be the most affected by the court ruling.

According to statistics, the abortion rate of black women is more than three times that of white women data from the Centers for Disease Control. In 2019, there were 23.8 abortions per 1,000 black women, compared with 6.6 abortions per 1,000 white women.

If Roe was reversed with Wade, the disparity would be compounded by the disproportionate impact on abortion access in the American South, where More than half The lives of the nation’s black population.

Most southern states, which generally lean conservative, have either enacted “trigger laws” that automatically restrict abortion if Roy falls, or will almost certainly pass new bans.

Even with fish eggs, many have severely restricted abortions; a lawsuit against Mississippi’s mandate to restrict abortions after 15 weeks has sparked a Supreme Court review of Roe.

At the same time, because of racial disparities in wealth, people in these states are also less likely to be able to afford an abortion across state lines.

“We’ve seen what Covid has done to this community,” said Kecia Gaither, an obstetrician at New York City Health & Hospitals in the Bronx borough of New York City. “So there’s this, and then there’s no chance of any reproductive options? Black women are going to rise up.”

Health experts attribute the relatively high abortion rate among black women to structural differences in access to health care.Contraceptives and other types of reproductive health care are less available in underserved communities, resulting in excess maternal mortality ratio Rates of black women are comparable to those in developing countries.

However, abortion is not without controversy in the black community.Some 46% of Black Americans think abortion is morally acceptable, compared to 43% of non-Black Americans. But some black leaders compared the program’s popularity in their communities to eugenics.

“You can’t tell me that losing millions is a good thing for the black community,” said Monique Chireau, an obstetrician and senior researcher at the University of Notre Dame.

“All those people who are aborted, what can they contribute to the community?” she added.

For others, however, the fight over Roy is a continuation of the civil rights demonstrations sparked by the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer two years ago.

After years of being turned away from an abortion clinic in Illinois at age 18, Laurie Bertram Roberts founded the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund to organize transportation and other services for women who want to terminate their pregnancies .

“I can’t even count the damage,” she said, referring to the possibility that Roe could be overturned.

Both Roberts and Bay have said their organization will continue to fund abortions. But Bay said the increased demand for limited appointments at the remaining clinics, and the rising cost of the long journeys required to get to those clinics, meant there would be significantly fewer women who would eventually be able to undergo the procedure.

“Honestly, I think a lot of people have been thinking that the courts are going to save us because that’s what happened in the red states for a long time,” Roberts said. “Our leaders would write these ridiculous laws, but Scotts only Will hit it back. Now they realize it was a very, very bad idea.”

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