““Without federal protection, recent state laws that reduce or eliminate the right to abortion care will deny Americans reproductive autonomy and create an Orwellian dystopia.””
This is the sad vision of the future of the United States offered on Friday by the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in a bottle editorial published following the Supreme Court’s decision to remove Roe v. Wade.
The magazine’s editors condemned the decision and said it would disproportionately affect the poorest women and people of color, “who are less able to overcome the obstacles that have stood in their way.
“These changes,” they wrote, “will inevitably aggravate our already large disparities in wealth and health.”
The decision will not significantly reduce the number of abortions performed, as demonstrated by the experience of other countries with abortion restrictions. Instead, it will reduce the number of “safe-deposit box procedures, ”the magazine’s editors wrote, italicizing the word sure to emphasize.
“It is likely that millions of people in states that do not have protections for abortion will also be denied access to drug-induced abortions,” they wrote. “It may be difficult for many Americans in 2022 to fully appreciate how complicated, stressful and expensive, even achievable, will be their most private and intimate decisions, now that Roe it has been demolished ”.
The road to Friday’s decision was long and painful and was based on a misleading notion, the authors continued. The “fig leaf justification” behind the recently introduced abortion restrictions in states like Oklahoma and Texas, according to the magazine’s editors, is that induced abortion is dangerous and requires stricter regulations to protect the health of women who have one.
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“The facts disprove this false rhetoric,” the authors wrote. “The latest available data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics indicate that maternal mortality from legal induced abortion is 0.41 per 100,000 procedures, compared to the rate global maternal mortality rate of 23.8 per 100,000 live births. ”
A recent New York Times article highlighted the much greater risks women faced before Roe vs. Wade was adopted in 1973, the authors wrote. “They described humiliating circumstances, unsafe procedures literally carried out in the alleys and the deep shame and stigma they suffered,” they wrote.
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Complications suffered from reproductive tract injuries that required surgery, infections that caused infertility, organ failure, and death. “Now it looks like we are destined to relearn these lessons at the expense of human lives,” the editorial said.
The decision also has implications for certain contraceptive devices, he continued. “The use of postcoital contraceptives, whether hormonal contraception or placement of an intrauterine device, could be equated with abortion and processed; some jurisdictions (e.g., Mississippi) are already considering these actions, “the magazine’s editors wrote.
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It may also have implications for in vitro fertilization, which did not exist before the Roe Pass. The IVF process usually involves many embryos, not all of which are used, with some generally frozen for possible future use.
“While there are ‘adoption’ programs to allow people to donate their unused embryos to other people who would like to implant them, many people feel uncomfortable with this option and unused embryos are often destroyed.” he said. “If these embryos are declared human lives with the stroke of a governor’s feather, their destruction may be prohibited.”
By abolishing long-standing legal protections, “the revocation of the U.S. Supreme Court of Roe against Wade it serves American families badly, putting their health, safety, finances and future at risk, ”the magazine’s editorial concluded.