An expired draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion suggests that the nation’s highest court is ready to overturn Rowe vs. Wade, the landmark decision guaranteeing the right to abortion. Opinion came first reported by Politico. If it is officially released later this year, nearly half of the United States is likely to pass laws or enforce existing ones, significantly limiting access to the procedure. One of the most comprehensive studies to date shows that those who are denied an abortion – and thus forced to go through an unwanted pregnancy – have lasting effects on their health, well-being and finances.

An opinion from the Supreme Court in this regard was expected, but the news shocked researchers studying reproductive rights. “The shock of the decision is shocking,” said Diana Green Foster, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.

Foster led the well-known ones Deviation study, a large and comprehensive investigation comparing women who have had abortions with women who have just crossed the legal limit of pregnancy and have been denied. The study found that women who denied the procedure were more likely to experience adverse health effects – including poorer mental health – than women who received it. The former are also more likely to face poorer financial performance, including bad credit, debt and bankruptcy. (The study does not include pregnant women who do not identify as women.)

Scientific American talks to Foster about the findings of the Turnaway study and how to overturn the Supreme Court’s opinion deer it is likely to affect people seeking abortion in this country.

[An edited transcript of the interview follows.]

What is your reaction to the expired draft opinion, which it suggests deer will it be canceled?

This is the decision I was expecting, because the opinions of abortion judges are quite well known. But the fact that it has expired is shocking, unprecedented. And the heartlessness of the decision is also somewhat shocking – you know, the idea that the Constitution does not protect people’s decisions about something as fundamental as birth, when it has such a huge impact on their health and their ability to support themselves and their children.

And the idea that [Roe v. Wade] it may have been a wrong decision – and how to know that there is division in our country – these are not the principles of our Constitution. It is not about the division of our country; it is about people’s well-being. So, these are just the wrong motives.

Can you describe the Turnaway study and what were its main findings?

The return study tracks people seeking abortion – some who have had the desired abortion and others who have gone too far and been refused. He examines “What is the impact of access to abortion on people’s health and well-being?” And what we see are very high health burdens, greater health risks for people who are pregnant to term. This is in line with the medical literature. We see greater complications from childbirth than from abortion, and in fact two women in the study died after giving birth.

In what other ways has denial of abortion affected women and families?

We see economic hardship for people who had a child before they were ready, and we measure it by self-assessment of living in poverty – their income relative to household size – and we can see it when we look at their credit reports. We can see that people who have had abortions had the same credit rating before pregnancy and after a group gave birth … you can see in their credit files, you can see in their public financial records that the group is refused abortions suffered greater bankruptcies, expulsions and debts than other people who received the desired abortion.

In fact, we see more economic difficulties for children as well. People often say that the reason for having an abortion is to take care of the children they already have. And [among those who are denied an abortion] we see that these existing children are more likely to live in poverty, less likely to reach stages of development than children whose mothers have been able to have an abortion.

People often think that those who seek abortion do not want to have children at all. Is it true?

Many people who have an abortion want to have children later, in better circumstances. And when they do – when they go to have an abortion and then continue to have a baby – we see that these babies are doing better than the children born because their mother was denied an abortion, in terms of the mother’s emotional connection to the child. the economic well-being of children, the chance for them to live in a house with enough money to pay for food and health.

Are people affected by abortion restrictions disproportionately people with lower socio-economic status?


Do you think the Supreme Court has neglected the science and research of abortion?

I don’t know that. I know that when the case was heard, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts said explicitly: “[Put the] data asideSo this is not a good sign for him to decide on anything other than ideological grounds – in fact, not to look at the evidence of how this affects families and decide to do so only on political or religious grounds.

Have some friendly reports on the present case of the Supreme Court, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationquotes your research?

We have a message on amicus from social scientists. And there are two others who strongly cite my work – one from public health researchers and one from economists. And on the other hand, there’s a whole brief on amicus, which is … just an attempt to remove the Turnaway study, but their criticisms are almost absurd.

They don’t understand this, you know, people with unwanted pregnancies, how often it is and the circumstances.

Some studies looking at the effects of abortion compare people who have a child they want with those who seek an abortion. Is this a false comparison?

People who wanted their child had better results. They are not different people; these are people at different points – the same people in different circumstances. If you give someone a desired abortion, they may later be the type of person who may have a child in circumstances where do want. Not that they are different people who have children; that is, people should be able to have children when they are ready.

There is a document that actually compares the results for people who have been forced to postpone their pregnancies to people who have had an abortion and managed to have children later. Not all of these subsequent pregnancies were planned in advance. Most of them were not. But the man decided to endure this pregnancy for a long time and the economic results were better for this child, as well as the emotional results were better.

In your study, did women who were denied legal abortion still try to get them?

In our study, they did not do most of it. They have either traveled long distances and had abortions elsewhere, or they have had a baby. But most of them had the baby because there were very few places to have abortions.

Based on your research, what impact will this Supreme Court decision have on pregnant women seeking abortion?

For people who can’t have an abortion because the Supreme Court simply allows states to ban abortions, we will see poorer physical health, greater economic hardship, lower achievement of ambitious plans, children raised in more insecure economic circumstances and people’s lives turned upside down.

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