To say a lot is going on in the world right now would be an understatement. Headline after headline highlights the destruction, poverty, injustice, war, and discrimination going on seemingly every minute of the day. But for those living in the United States, one of the biggest topics of conversation dominating the news cycle is the controversial decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Abortion has been a long-standing hot-button issue for both pro-life and pro-choice voters. And no matter which side of the aisle you find yourself on, the impact of this ruling will be far-reaching. With individual states having the final authority to decide if abortion is legal or illegal within its borders, women who need services may be forced to travel long distances and incur hefty costs.
For the African-American community, the effects of this law may have the most significant impact, as a majority reside in southern states that are more likely to have restrictive laws.
“For example, Black people make up about 28% of Mississippi’s population….compared to about 13% of the U.S. population overall.”
Additionally, women of color often lack access to contraceptives due to discriminatory processes within the healthcare system. This imbalance results in a higher abortion rate (23.8 per 1,000 women compared to 11.7 and 6.6 for Hispanic and white women, respectively) within the Black community. So not only do they lack access to prevent unwanted pregnancies, the ability to terminate has now been restricted.
Many are calling out the overturn of Roe vs. Wade as blatantly discriminatory.
“The immigrant birth rate is swelling, and the white birth rate is shrinking. And they are deeply, deeply worried that America is no longer going to look like America – so shades of Tucker Carlson.”
On the other hand, others argue that the abortion industry is predatory and has “sought to control and hinder the growth of the Black population.”
“Preventing people from accessing abortion does not make them need abortions any less, but instead adds another barrier to safe reproductive healthcare. So, where does that leave us? What is the solution?
If abortion is off the table, then perhaps those states need to step up in other ways that don’t force women to choose risky, “under-the-table” procedures that could jeopardize their lives. That means better sex education, more support, paid family leave, easy access to contraceptives, and better healthcare in general.
It means making sure that those who have been historically marginalized (Black and Brown people) receive equal treatment and opportunities to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place.