Abortion: How Abortion Rulings Could Affect Women in America

Health & Gender Policy Brief #149 | By: Inijah Quadri | November 22, 2022

Header photo taken from: PBS Newshour




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Policy Summary

By basically overturning Roe v. Wade, six unelected Supreme Court judges took away the right of tens of millions of women to make their own decisions about their bodies. After their ruling, several areas in the United States were to be transformed into a dystopian nightmare of online tyranny, where even a Google search for “abortion medication” could be used as evidence against people seeking abortions. Your location data could also be used against you if you try to have an abortion in another state where it is still allowed. This was considered a total nightmare for most people.

Surprisingly, the New York concealed carry law was knocked down by the same Supreme Court the day after Roe v. Wade was reversed, making it easier to carry a concealed weapon in public. Thus, the Supreme Court made a ruling the same week that states do not have the authority to adopt their own gun-control laws but do have the right to establish their own women’s control measures. This caused a lot of uproar, some of which suggested that women should “start lobbying to get uteruses recognized as a legitimate type of assault weapon.”

Policy Analysis

In the wake of recent abortion bans being passed in several states , many women are left wondering what this could mean for their reproductive rights. While the full effects of these bans are yet to be seen, it is most likely that they would have a negative impact on women’s health and well-being.

For one, abortion bans could lead to an increase in the number of unsafe, illegal abortions. This is because women who are unable to get legal abortions may resort to desperate measures in order to end their pregnancies. This could put their health and even their lives at risk.

In addition, abortion bans could also make it more difficult for women to access other essential reproductive healthcare services, such as birth control and prenatal care. This is because many of these services are provided by the same clinics that offer abortions.

Third, women who need or want abortions would be forced to either travel to another state or another country to get one. This would put them at risk of both physical and legal harm. Women who can’t afford to travel or take time off from work would be especially harmed by these bans.

Fourth, abortion bans would also likely lead to an increase in unplanned pregnancies. This would put a strain on both the women themselves, as it would limit women’s career aspirations. It could also lead to several employers refusing to employ “childbearing” women, even if they are not pregnant at the time of seeking the job. This will inevitably cause inequality down the line between men and women.

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A doctor performs an ultrasound scan on a pregnant woman at a hospital in Chicago. Reproductive rights advocates fear that tighter abortion restrictions will compound the current crisis in maternal health.

Photo taken from: Teresa Crawford / The Associated Press

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What Voters Did To Protect Abortion Rights in the Recent Elections

Voters in various places where the issue of abortion rights was on the ballot unanimously voted to uphold women’s access to safe and legal abortion. Many states, including Kentucky, Michigan, Vermont, California, and Montana, saw a surge in support for abortion rights. 

Voters also rejected a bid to alter the Constitution to explicitly outlaw abortion in Kentucky, an extremely conservative state. In Montana, a majority of voters opposed a measure that would have further restricted access to abortion.

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Study shows an abortion ban may lead to a 21% increase in pregnancy-related death.

Chart taken from: The Conversation (.com)


In conclusion, it is clear that abortion bans could have a significant impact on women in America. Not only would they be criminalized for having an abortion, but they would also face a number of other challenges. While it is impossible to know exactly how many women would be affected by an abortion ban, it is clear that most American men and women are not waiting to find out; with the recent elections, it is clear that at least a few men and women are willing to consider abortion bans.

We hope that this citizen outcry will lead to a more open dialogue between individuals in the United States corridors of power about abortion and the role it plays in people’s lives. In addition, we hope that this dialogue will lead to a reinstatement of Roe v. Wade which will see an increased number of women having abortions when they need them.

Engagement Resources​

Click or tap on resource URL to visit links where available 

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CBS New York: (https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/live-updates/supreme-court-new-york-concealed-carry-gun-law/)

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CNN Business: (https://edition.cnn.com/2022/06/24/tech/abortion-laws-data-privacy/index.html)

CNN Politics: (https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/09/politics/abortion-rights-2022-midterms/index.html)

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Occupy Democrats: (https://m.facebook.com/OccupyDemocrats/photos/a.347907068635687/1728121793947534/)

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PBS News Hour: (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/watch-what-the-abortion-debate-in-kentucky-will-mean-for-a-post-roe-america)

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The New York Times: (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/us/abortion-laws-roe-v-wade.html)

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Time: (https://time.com/6232659/montana-abortion-referendum-fails-midterms-2022/)

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Wikipedia: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade)

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