“‘I’m really f—ing angry. And that is an uncomfortable place to be, because of the historical women tropes that so often have been used to … silence and diminish women and our voices.’ ”
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton spoke with NBC’s Kristen Welker at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Thursday, to offer her reflections on the SCOTUS Dobbs decision that overturned Roe vs. Wade one year ago Saturday. Clinton’s passionate response highlighted the anger many women feel in the face of political decisions that affect their reproductive rights.
Clinton, who has become a global health advocate while serving as the vice chair of both the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Health Access Initiative, stressed the devastating effects that limited reproductive healthcare can have for women. She added that “we know women have died” without access to safe, legal abortions.
Although the Roe v. Wade decision had granted women the constitutional right to abortion for almost 50 years, the landmark 1973 court case was overturned last year by the Supreme Court. Since then, some 14 states have made many or most abortions illegal; with Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Idaho among the states with total bans in effect. The implications of these decisions have left many women feeling frustrated and silenced.
Reimagined Article: The Impact of Abortion Restrictions on Women’s Health
According to data from WeCount, an abortion-data project sponsored by the Society of Family Planning, which supports abortion rights, the U.S. saw a decrease of about 3% in the number of abortions performed within the formal medical system in the first nine months after Roe v. Wade was overturned. The Wall Street Journal reported that this amounts to around 26,000 fewer abortions in just a few short months. However, this decline in abortion access has led to serious consequences for women’s health.
A report from the Commonwealth Fund, an independent research organization that focuses on health policy, found that states with abortion restrictions have higher maternal and infant-mortality rates than states where abortion is more easily accessible. In fact, the maternal death rates were 62% higher in states that banned or limited abortions. The same report found that fetal deaths or infant deaths in the first week of life occurred at a 15% higher rate, on average, than in states with abortion access.
“We have moved forward again to a time in which we are making women more vulnerable,” said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a recent speech. The clip of her remarks has been shared widely on social media, sparking conversation around the impact of abortion restrictions on women’s health.
It is clear that limiting access to safe and legal abortion has serious consequences for women’s health, particularly for those who live in states with restrictive laws. It is important that we work to protect reproductive rights and ensure that all women have access to the healthcare they need.