Roe v Wade decision disproportionately hurts black women, experts say

WASHINGTON, June 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a constitutional right to abortion is expected to have a disproportionate impact on black women and other women of color, who have traditionally faced crippling costs and logistical barriers to obtaining reproductive health care. , say the experts.

The overturning of Roe v Wade allows state governments to decide whether an abortion is legal. While some states have recently reaffirmed the right to abortion, 26 states are likely or certain to ban abortion in most or all circumstances. Read more

More black women live in states that are likely to ban abortion, and those living in southern states — with the most restrictive laws — will bear the brunt of it.

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For example, blacks make up about 38% of Mississippi’s population, according to recent census data, compared to about 13% of the entire US population.

In the United States, black women are nearly four times more likely to abort than white women, while Latina women are twice as likely, according to 2019 Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Health experts attribute the relatively high abortion rates among black women to disparities in access to health care, including lack of health insurance and contraceptives in underserved communities.

In Mississippi, black women accounted for 74% of abortions in 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“It is undeniable that this is a direct attack on all women, and black women risk being disproportionately affected by the court’s blatant assault on basic human rights,” said Janette McCarthy. Wallace, general counsel for the National Association for the Advancement. People of Color (NAACP).

If more black women are forced to carry their pregnancies to term, there will be a disproportionate increase in deaths of black women in childbirth, a study Published by Duke University Press Discoveries.

According to the White House, more American women die giving birth each year than any other developed country. Black women are more than three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women, according to data shared by the White House.

A total ban on abortion could further increase maternal deaths among blacks by 33%, compared to a 21% increase for the general population, according to the Duke study.

The Supreme Court’s decision “marks the start of a new public health crisis for black women,” said Michelle Webb, director of communications for Black Women’s Health Imperative, a nonprofit organization focused on improving health. the health of black women.

US Representative Cori Bush, who has spoken out about having an abortion at 18, said “the attack on reproductive rights and abortion care is a public health emergency, and without action it will further endanger the lives of our most marginalized communities”.


Women who are forced to have an unwanted baby are more likely to be in poverty and struggle financially for years afterwards, with higher rates of evictions and bankruptcy, research including a study by 2020 paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows.

When a woman is unable to obtain an abortion, the psychological impact of such action hampers productivity, he said. Women also face medical costs associated with prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum recovery in addition to costs associated with raising a child that typically exceed $9,000 per year, according to the research.

“The right to abortion is an economic right,” said Heidi Shierholz, president of the Economic Policy Institute. “This decision means the loss of economic security, independence and mobility for abortion seekers,” she said, which will affect women of color the most.

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Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Heather Timmons and Josie Kao

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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