On Friday, June 24, the Supreme Court overturned the ruling in Roe v. Wade.
Roe v. Wade being overturned means there are going to be a many more unsafe abortions and pregnancies. With abortion bans in place, carrying a child to term may result in a greater risk of death for the pregnant person because they do not have access to an abortion, according to an article from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Many expecting mothers are already at risk of cardiovascular conditions, infections and hemorrhage caused or worsened by being pregnant or giving birth. Denying people the option of abortion can increase the amount of deaths during labor with 0.44 deaths per 100,000 procedures from 2013 to 2017 opposed to 20.1 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019.
Almost immediately after I found out the news, my Instagram and Twitter were filled with angry tweets and posts. One tweet said “guns have more freedom in America than women,” a sentence I never thought I would see.
A lot of posts I have seen on social media have said “you cannot ban abortion, only safe abortions,” which is completely true. According to the National Library of Medicine, unsafe abortion can cause hemorrhage, infection, sepsis, genital trauma, and necrotic bowel. Although they don’t have a lot of knowledge on nonfatal long-term health complications, the ones they have documented are poor wound healing, infertility, consequences of internal organ injury and bowel resections, not including loss of productivity and psychological damage.
I am a woman. If I was sexually assaulted, the thought that I would be forced to give birth to that child and have to be constantly reminded of the rape which caused the pregnancy makes me sick to my stomach. Or the fact that I could possibly become injured or die during labor, and there would be little to nothing I could do to prevent this, makes me terrified of the country I live in.
If a woman wants an abortion but can’t get one in her own state, she faces limited alternatives. According to The New York Times, some companies such as Disney, Google, Starbucks and many others will cover travel expenses for employees to go to a state that allows abortions. Biden made a statement saying that his administration will protect a woman’s access to medications that are approved by the FDA like mifepristone, which helps chemically induce abortions. The same article referred to Attorney General Merrick Garland’s statement that “states may not ban mifepristone based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy.”
Accidents do happen. Just because a woman becomes pregnant does not mean her and her partner were not practicing safe sex. Many families don’t have the resources to provide for a new child. Why bring a child into this world if they are not going to be taken care of? There are already too many children in the foster system as it is. In 2017, there were 31,042 in Indiana alone. So the argument “just give them up for adoption” makes no sense in this scenario.
Although Indiana currently allows abortions, Indiana lawmakers may restrict abortion access in the state, according to the IndyStar. Whether they will allow for exceptions for rape, incest or health of the pregnant person is still up in the air. If you live in Bloomington and are interested in contacting state legislators, Senator Shelli Yoder, a Democrat representing Indiana Senate District 40 and Matt Pierce, a Democrat representing the 61st District in the Indiana House of Representatives are two good options. They both released statements about the situation in another Indiana Daily Student article.
The Court’s decision makes me afraid to be a woman. I was already afraid of getting pregnant by accident, but now knowing I couldn’t even get an abortion terrifies me. I know a lot of other women feel the same way. If you don’t agree with the Court’s decision, let it be known. Post on social media, donate if you can or share links to places to donate. Contact your legislators about how you feel and ask questions if you have any.
This situation is far from over.
Olivia Franklin (she/her) is a senior studying journalism with a minor in political science. She is a member of the swim club at IU and the Women in Media organization.