With Roe vs Wade overturned, what happens now? There are several changes coming to the country and some have been in motion already. According to a study done in 2021, almost 25% of women in the United States get an abortion at some point in their lifetime. The new ruling could severely affect the rights of a large majority of these women.
The speculation that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe came when news of a leaked draft memo dropped in early May. While the Supreme Court had confirmed that the leaked document was authentic, it maintained the opinion was still only a draft and that drafts can change at any time. However, with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of overturning the landmark Roe vs Wade decision on May 24, the ground reality has changed.
With the Roe vs Wade ruling overturned, it doesn’t mean that abortion is banned throughout the country. Rather, it gives individual states the power to determine whether or not to ban or restrict abortion within their own state limits. This can have severe impacts on the advocacy of reproductive rights in the country.
What happens now
A research group that supports abortion rights, the Guttmacher Institute, did a study that showed that about 40 million women live in states that are averse to abortion and want to ban it. This represents roughly 58% of the women in the United States who are of reproductive age. Here’s more information on who gets abortion in America.
Below is a list of what could happen now that Roe vs Wade is overturned:
Ban or restrict access
Over 20 states currently have laws that either ban or severely restrict access to abortion services after Roe is overturned. There are statutes known as trigger laws that will immediately come into effect as soon as the ruling is overturned. There are also other laws that severely restrict or ban abortion even if the Supreme Court allows it.
Increase in patients
States that allow abortion and continue to do so are likely to see an increase in patients for abortion services. This was observed earlier when Texas enacted its stringent anti-abortion laws. Many residents began seeking out the neighboring states for abortions. Planned Parenthood clinics in the surrounding states reported an 800% increase in patients coming from Texas and seeking out abortion services.
Effect on women’s health
Banning or restricting access to abortion can have negative effects on women’s health for a long time. It could adversely impact their economic well-being and the country’s economy as well. Studies show that women who are denied abortions when they ask for them end up living in poor economic conditions for years. They are much more likely to be unemployed, have increased levels of debt and past dues, and have lower credit scores when compared to women who were able to abort their pregnancies. This is due to the fact that these women were not financially ready to have a child. Raising an unwanted child drove them deeper into a financial crisis.
Women of color
Women of color will face the backlash of further restrictive abortion laws. According to available data, Hispanic and Black women get more abortions than others. More women of color are also economically weak. Hence, they could find it more difficult to travel to other states to get abortions. This could economically and financially weaken them even more.
Protection for reproductive rights
Some states are already taking the necessary steps to protect abortion rights. Democratic governors have already signed laws that protect reproductive rights. They have also stated their intent to make abortion services available to women who live in states that ban or restrict their access to abortion services.