Women neglected by their own country


Abortion is no longer a protected constitutional right for all women in the United States as of June 24, 2022. The overturning of Roe v. Wade has left millions in a state of panic, fear, anger, and sorrow. 25 million of these are women without the option of abortion in their state. Women need to think about which territory they are in when they move across states or they may end up in a life-destroying situation. 

This isn’t solely a problem for the women residing in states where abortion is banned. Relatives, travelers, and college students as well are forced to keep this ruling in their back pockets like a little reminder; a reminder that their lives and safety are in a state of jeopardy. This shouldn’t just be an inconvenience to our nation, but a raging, throbbing sore that demands attention. The overturn of Roe v. Wade endangers the safety of women and fuels inequality in the US. 

Women are dying due to pregnancy complications. Researchers predict that the maternal death rates will rise by 24% with the abortion ban in place. It isn’t the mother’s decision to die from her pregnancy, it is the Supreme Court’s. 

Deplorably, women are impregnated against their will all the time. A 10-year-old from Ohio was raped and six-and-a-half weeks pregnant when she was forced to travel from her home state to Indiana to receive an abortion in late June of 2022. The abortion ban pressures children to endure an act that should kill them. Not only is giving birth at age 10 a result of horrific abuse, but physically straining to the health of a developing child. How can this be morally accepted? 

While states like Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas have “exceptions” for abortions when the mother’s life is in danger and Utah, Wyoming, Indiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and West Virginia have rape and incest compensations, they are nearly impossible to follow through with. These two-faced exceptions are never guaranteed with doctors and clinicians turning away nearly all patients in fear that they’ll be prosecuted by the law. As reported by The New York Times in January of 2023, since the ban, Louisiana has reported zero abortions; other states have seen similar numbers. Louisiana also has a predetermined list of fatal conditions and will immediately turn away women whose diagnosis is not on the list.

Some may argue that Roe v. Wade endangers the lives of unborn children, however, Roe v. Wade protects the life of the mother, who came first. It isn’t her decision to contract maternal morbidity and it sure isn’t the rape victim’s decision to be raped and forced to deliver the resulting baby. Mothers shouldn’t be put through additional trauma during an already agonizing enough pregnancy. They aren’t striving to end a life; they are striving to keep their own.

These women have been neglected by their own country. The overturn has taken away the protection they have over their own bodies. Imagine the government deciding what to do with a man’s body. 

The women previously neglected by America have been buried even deeper. While their options for abortion were limited before, they have become even more scarce through abortion discrimination. 

African Americans, Latinas, Indigenous people, low-income recipients, transmen, non-binary, immigrants, adolescents, and people with disabilities are discriminated against when it comes to seeking care for their reproductive health. African American women, Latinas, and Indigenous women specifically are at the lowest end of the wage spectrum making them least likely to overcome the barriers blocking the way to receive abortion care (Fuentes). 

Former research scientist Liza Fuentes concludes that the root of this problem has been health insurance and provider bias limiting access to health care for years. Many are left without health insurance at all due to the rip in the system. Data from the Guttmacher Institute shows that nearly double of Latinas and black women aged 15-49, the reproductive age range, in the US have no health insurance compared to 8% of white women from 2016-2019. 

Without health insurance, where are these women going to receive the treatment they desperately require? How are these women going to pay the heavy expenses? Not only do they have to pay for an $800 abortion, but many must pay for gas, hotel stays, and food when they are forced to travel hundreds of miles from their home state to reach an accepting clinic. Low-income recipients cannot afford these superfluous expenses. Overturning Roe v. Wade has further worsened the inequity of receiving medical attention. 

Women of all races and backgrounds deserve equal support and shouldn’t have to combat systemic racism. While these are multiple underlying health care and insurance issues, Roe v. Wade would have insured the right to an abortion without having to explain the situation. It’s one less box for women to check off in the strenuous process. 

The first, third, fourth, fifth, and ninth amendments of our Constitution entail that all citizens of the United States have the right to personal privacy, yet women have been deprived of their basic rights. Luckily, the majority of the country is pro-choice when it comes to unplanned pregnancies and it is possible for us to work together and mend the wound that will never heal, but at least will be protected.