Allowing states to ban abortions will hurt women and US health outcomes – New York Daily News

Restoring the determination of the legality of abortions in the states will undoubtedly harm economically disadvantaged women and further complicate health inequalities.

The data show that there are preventable health disparities due to economic, environmental or social adverse effects that adversely affect a specific population. Black women, for example, are more likely than white women to die in childbirth due to a number of economic and medical differences, but this difference is smaller in states that have expanded Medicaid.

Banning abortions in strong red states will further perpetuate a two-tier system in which women have different rights and health benefits depending on where they live. In the blue states, low-income women will have access to health care through Medicaid, including abortion if needed. And in some red states, low-income women will not have access to health care or abortion.

This will harm everyone – leading to poorer health outcomes and more poverty. The countries that are likely to ban abortions are the same countries that are less likely to provide families with health care, educational opportunities or financial support that could help people get out of poverty. As a result, children born into families who would prefer an abortion are more likely to live in poverty than equivalent families in the blue states.

People with funds will be able to travel to the blue states to have an abortion if necessary. But women without resources will be left to have unwanted children or children with chromosomal abnormalities and in some cases will be forced to put their own health at risk.

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Women in the United States will have fewer rights than women in the deeply Catholic countries of Argentina and Ireland. In the 1950s and 1960s, poor unmarried mothers in Ireland were often sent to Catholic monasteries, where their babies were essentially sold to wealthy Americans. This is the world the United States is returning to by banning abortion. The idea that only adoption can solve the problem, as suggested by Judge Amy Connie Barrett, is naive. Women should not be forced to place their bodies during the nine months of pregnancy and childbirth – which can be life-threatening – in the service of others who may want the child.

If the goal is to reduce the number of optional abortions, we have more effective ways to do so than to ban all abortions. The data show that providing free birth control to women significantly reduces unplanned pregnancies and reduces the abortion rate by 62% -78%.

The United States has the highest rate of uninsured people and the lowest maternal mortality rate among large industrialized countries. Carrying a pregnancy and giving birth to a baby is not a health-neutral event for the mother. By banning abortions and forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies, the government says the life of the unborn – who may or may not survive the pregnancy – is more important than the living, breathing person who wears it.

Some abortions will always be needed. Birth control is not 100% effective and there can always be unexpected medical problems that require a woman to have the freedom to choose what she wants to do. Abortion is a vital part of overall health care, which reduces health disparities and improves health outcomes.

Increasingly, health outcomes are determined by policies set at the state level. Policies regarding the expansion of Medicaid, smoking, the environment and occupational problems are linked to health outcomes. Leaving abortions to be decided by the states will further increase health disparities and leave poor women in the red even worse.

Step back and see the hypocrisy. The so-called “small government, pro-life” party wants to regulate what books children read, what bathrooms people use and what medical procedures women can have. Instead of “protecting the unborn,” they force them to live where their rights and interests are protected only until they are born.

Kane is director of health policy at the Institute for Progressive Policy.

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