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Conservative explains how ‘forced birth’ laws will kill American women

Conservative explains how ‘forced birth’ laws will kill American women
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Conservative explains how ‘forced birth’ laws will kill American women

Over the years, countless abortion rights activists have warned that overturning Roe v. Wade would create a surge in women dying from illegal and dangerous back-alley abortions, which were common before the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its Roe decision in 1973. But back-alley abortions are by no means the only reason why pregnancies, planned or unplanned, could prove dangerous or fatal for American women now that the High Court, after 49 years, has overturned Roe with its widely protested ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Conservative Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin, in her July 27 column, lays out some of the many reasons why planned or unplanned pregnancies could become more dangerous for women in the post-Roe United States.

“No health-care provider or researcher on maternal health would ever use the term ‘pro-life’ in reference to the forced-birth movement,” Rubin argues. “We know with great certainty that abortion bans present a serious threat to the lives of women. Indeed, a 2012 study calculated that the risk of death from pregnancy is 14 times that of abortions, which are exceptionally safe thanks to advances in medicine. We also know the risk of death from pregnancy is also three to four times greater for Black women, because of higher rates of poor health and poverty, more limited access to health care and discrimination by health-care providers.”

READ MORE: How the ‘unprecedented’ Supreme Court leak made efforts to lobby conservatives on Roe ‘all but impossible’: report

Unlike other pro-choice columns that have been published since the Dobbs decision, Rubin doesn’t focus heavily on illegal or back-alley abortions. Instead, she describes a variety of other reasons why post-Roe “forced birth” will be potentially dangerous for American women, from poverty to lack of health insurance to weak or inadequate maternal care to OB-GYNs who are now afraid to do their jobs.

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