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Tipsheet

Pro-Abortion Advocate Says ‘Disaster Looms’ if Roe Is Overturned

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

On Thursday, Financial Times published an op-ed by Robin Marty, an operational director at West Alabama Women’s Center, an abortion clinic in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, that claimed “disaster looms” for patients if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

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In the piece, Marty argued that if the Supreme Court overturns Roe in their upcoming decision in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, states will be able to enact their own pro-life laws and hinder abortion accesss. An estimated 62 million abortions have occured since Roe in 1973.

Marty also noted that a nearby state, Texas, has an abortion law on the books that outlaws the procedure after fetal heartbeat detection. The law was challenged at the Supreme Court and remained in effect. Marty included that Texas’ law has crowded clinics in other states, which I’ve covered for Townhall.

"If the US Supreme Court announces in June, as many believe it will, that all states can make the same decision to eliminate abortion entirely, there is simply no number of clinics in 'safe' states and no amount of money that can be provided that could get even a fraction of the people who will want to terminate pregnancies to a place where they can legally access care. 

If states are allowed to make their own abortion laws, there will not be a single abortion clinic between New Mexico and Florida, or from the southern end of Illinois down to the Gulf of Mexico. This huge chunk of the US has the highest rates of maternal mortality, unplanned pregnancies and people living in poverty. Now its inhabitants will be abandoned to fight for the financial and logistical resources to travel halfway across the country to terminate a pregnancy in a clinic, or risk jail or poor health outcomes by managing their care alone.

We are already in crisis in the South. Every day at our clinic we see patients who come in pregnant because they were uninsured and couldn’t afford birth control, or who had their own doctors refuse them the type of contraception they wanted. These same doctors who claim pregnancy is a gift when they are justifying abortion bans use it as a punishment behind closed doors. In Alabama, you are twice as likely to die in childbirth compared with the rest of the country. 

It is simply not correct to state that without Roe vs Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that women have a constitutional right to end their pregnancies, abortion access will be left as a patchwork across the US. A patchwork implies some sort of connectivity, and in the Deep South we will have none. There is no abortion ‘oasis’ for us to cling on to. There are no ‘neighboring states’ to take us in. The Texas ban on abortion already has us displacing our own patients. There will be no place left for anyone to go."

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Several states in recent months have worked toward becoming an abortion “oasis,” as Marty put in her article. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), signed a law last month that prohibits pursuing legal action against women seeking an abortion and those who aid them. He said during the bill signing that abortion is a choice women have “enjoyed” for years.

This month, Colorado lawmakers created legislation and Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed into law a “fundamental right” to abortion in the state. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) previously said he wants to boost his state’s “abortion infrastructure” to accommodate more out-of-state patients. Maryland lawmakers this month overrode GOP Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto on legislation that would expand abortion access in the state. State funding will now go towards training non-physicians to perform abortions.

On the contrary, several pro-life lawmakers have created legislation to protect the unborn, including Florida, Idaho, Texas, South Dakota and Arizona. Florida’s law mirrors Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that is currently being challenged at the Supreme Court. Idaho’s law closely resembles Texas’ six week abortion ban.

In Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey’s singing letter, he stated “In Arizona, we know there is immeasurable value in every life — including preborn life,” and that “ it is each state’s responsibility to protect them [unborn lives.]”

In a report published this month, Axios noted that if Roe is overturned, 13 states have “trigger laws” in place that would ban abortion immediately. On the other hand, 18 states have a “codified” right to abortion. The remaining states could enact their own laws regarding abortion.

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