In a historic reversal, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 confirmed the long-awaited suspicion that they were going to weigh in and overturn Roe v Wade. Roe v. Wade has been the landmark case for abortion rights since it was decided in 1973. The case was decided on a 7-2 vote, stating that women had the constitutional right to an abortion.
The right to medical privacy was awarded to women and their choice to a legal and safe abortion. It has been a continuous right ever since it was confirmed in the 1970’s. This right was protected at a national level, now that right will be decided at a state level.
Women and young girls growing up in the 1970s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, and 2010s were all born into the right that their body is their choice, regardless of where they lived. That right was taken away from some women in certain states instantaneously on Friday when this case was overturned.
Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, Utah, Oklahoma and South Dakota had either trigger bans or pre-Roe bans on abortion that went into effect after the ruling on Friday. Other states are expected to follow without the law at the national level, such as Montana, Tennessee and Virginia.
Women and Parents of Young Women and Girls Are at a Crossroad
The choice to have children is not a new concept. Women have been working on many forms of birth control well back into the 1800’s and before. The modern method of birth control was made available with the development of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The development of the ‘pill’ was in the 1950’s, and the birth control pill become available to the public in the 1960’s.
Pfizer Biotechnology Corp. (PFE) may benefit from this reversal. More women may start birth control younger and stay on it longer knowing other options may not be available in their home states. Pfizer developed Depo-Provera an injectable contraception needed every 90 days. Pfizer also developed other birth control pills: Lybrel and Loestrin.
While taking pills seems easy enough to do, remembering their effectiveness is dependent on the consistency on which they are taken. If even one pill isn’t taken it can make them less efficient at preventing pregnancy. A shot taken once every three months at a local clinic or doctors office is more trusted to ensure effectiveness of the prevention of unwanted pregnancies.
Women and Parents of Young Women and Girls Have More Obstacles
A young woman living in Sioux Falls, S.D., now must travel out of state for an abortion. Luckily, the state of Minnesota has protected women’s right to a safe and legal abortion and the state is only 30 minutes from Sioux Falls. The closest city is Luverne, Minn. It is expected that states that have protected women’s rights will see heavier traffic from out of state travelers needing medical intervention for an unwanted pregnancy.
Young women living in other states like Texas don’t have the accessibility to drive 30 minutes to a state that still protects women’s right to choose. Geographically women would still have to travel to New Mexico, Kansas or Colorado. A woman or young girl living in Houston may need to travel 9.5 hours to Carlsbad, N.M., for a safe abortion.
The number of unwanted pregnancies may skyrocket without accessible and safe abortions. Many women unable to afford the travel may seek unsafe abortions by other means, leading to more medical emergencies or deaths of women.
Family doctors can provide guidance and advice for the best form of protection from pregnancy. If someone does not have a family doctor, a person can also walk into any Planned Parenthood Clinic to receive medical advice and protection for free.
Planned Parenthood is still available to assist in preventable pregnancies and can provide birth control without a parent’s consent for those younger than 18 or 16 in some states. The clinics can inform patients of all of their available options. If there is a not a clinic nearby, they will help locate an accessible clinic. When in doubt, people can call the 211 helpline for information.