×

World

Overturning Of Abortion Rights In US Will Disproportionately Affect Women Of Colour

A country like the United States would take away the rights of women has shocked many, and the future especially of women from Red (Republicans) South States of the country, and their ability to seek an intervention comes with a host of anxieties and questions.

A Pro Choice Rally In the United States (Representational Image) | Twitter

In May 2022, Politico released a leaked document claiming that the Supreme Court of the United States may overturn the decision for abortion rights 50 years since it awarded it in the landmark judgment of Roe Vs Wade. On June 24, the Court did just that.

A country like the United States would take away the rights of women has shocked many, and the future especially of women from Red (Republicans) South States of the country, and their ability to seek an intervention comes with a host of anxieties and questions.

More than half of America’s Black population lives in the South, Pew Research claimed that more than 56 per cent living there, as of 2019, while 17 per cent each lived in the Midwest, and the Northeast and 10 per cent in the West.

Even as discussions started on ‘what-ifs’ if Roe is overturned. The argument highlighted how many would have to travel to the states where abortions are still allowed. This would mean, that women of low income or even young women, which are disproportionately women of colour, would be most affected.

When it comes to states of residence, Pew research claimed Texas is home to the largest Black population, at about 3.9 million. Florida came in a close second with 3.8 million, and Georgia came in third, with 3.6 million. where women of colour, including Hispanic women, make up a significant proportion. The Plains states also have a large Indigenous population.

The Guttmacher Institute – a research and policy organisation working for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) worldwide, in its report cited that if Roe Vs Wade falls, 26 States are certain or likely to ban abortion. What is of significance through this report, is looking at which States will be most impacted and might see women seeking abortion provisions outside their states.

Taking into account the Pew research information, if one looks at women from Texas who would need to travel to other States, the report by the Guttmacher Institute said that it would be New Mexico and Kansas.

The increase in women of reproductive age (15-49) whose nearest provider would be in New Mexico, it says would be a tally of 74,000 to 1.9 million. This would put the percentage increase in women whose nearest abortion provider would be in New Mexico at 2,398 per cent. The maximum number of women would be from the state of Texas at 1.7 million and Arizona at 92,000 the report estimates.

Kansas looks to be one which will have anywhere between 530,000 to 7.7 million women coming to its State. The percentage increase in women whose nearest abortion provider would be in Kansas will be 1,362 per cent. With most women most likely from Texas visiting the State, around 5.2 million was estimated, while Oklahoma was at 870,000.

A study by the University of Colorado Boulder on banning abortion and its impact on maternal mortality said that a nationwide ban would lead to a 21 per cent increase in the number of pregnancy-related deaths overall and a 33 per cent increase among Black women.

Black women are more likely to seek an abortion for a variety of reasons, including unequal access to opportunities like housing, education, jobs and healthcare, Amanda Stevenson, an assistant professor of sociology at the university said.

Meanwhile, the mortality risk of carrying a pregnancy to term is more than three times as high for non-Hispanic Black women compared to non-Hispanic white women.

What is ironic is that the draft document seeking to overturn the ban was convinced that Roe Vs Wade is egregiously a historical wrong—comparable to support for racial segregation. One footnote suggested that those who fought for the right to choose abortion were motivated by racism—and argues that Roe produced a world in which fewer children of colour were born.

ALSO READ: “God Made The Decision”: Trump Praises US Supreme Court’s Abortion Ruling

States And The Increase In Providing Abortion

For other States, this decision means a lot more women will seek clinics, the report shows that the percentage increase in women whose nearest abortion provider would be in California would be a whopping 2,923 per cent. The woman who may drive from and the max number of women who may do so it said are from Arizona with 1.3 million heading to California’s neighbourhood.

The state which would perhaps receive the greatest number of traffic will be Illinois with an 8,651 per cent increase in women of reproductive age (15-49) whose nearest provider would be in Illinois from 100,000 to 8.9 million.

States these women may drive from (and the max number of women who may do so) to Illinois are 12 in total with the most number from Michigan (2 million), Indiana (1.5 million), Wisconsin (920,000), Ohio (740,000), Missouri (730,000), Louisiana (630,000), Kentucky (590,000), Tennessee (540,000), Mississippi (490,000), Arkansas (400,000), Iowa (180,000), Alabama (21,000)

Another of the States to face many cases would be North Carolina at a percentage increase of 4,672 per cent. From an Increase in women of reproductive age (15-49) whose nearest provider would be in North Carolina 230,000 to 11.2 million.

ALSO READ: After Abortion Ruling, Critics Renew Blasts At Senator Susan Collins