Amanda Gene Stevenson
A Texas Law bans almost all abortions, and other states have indicated they likely will follow suit. But research shows that people who want to have an abortion but can’t have it can suffer a lot negative consequences for their health and well-being.
How a researcher who measures the impact of contraception and abortion policies on people’s livesI usually have to wait years for data to arrive. But sometimes anticipating the consequences of policies before they happen can offer ways to avoid the worst consequences.
In my future peer-reviewed article, currently available as a preprintI have found that if all abortions across the country are stopped in the U.S., pregnancy-related mortality will increase significantly because bringing a pregnancy to term can be more fatal than abortion.
Pregnancy is more risky than abortion
The ban on abortion does not prevent people from trying to terminate a pregnancy. But this will not lead to a return to such dangerous abortions killing hundreds of women a year prior to the Supreme Court ruling, Rowe v. Wade legalized abortion in the United States
Recent achievements in medical abortion, which relies on prescription drugs rather than procedure, made safer abortions out of clinics possible. They create the ground for organizations like Plan C to safely help pregnant women self-administer abortions with the help of pills if they want or need.
Staying pregnant, on the other hand, carries a higher risk of death for the pregnant woman than abortion. Abortion is incredibly safe for pregnant women in the US, p 0.44 deaths per 100,000 procedures from 2013 to 2017. In contrast, In 2019, there were 20.1 deaths per 100,000 live births. In the US, pregnancy-related deaths occur for many reasonsincluding cardiovascular disease, infection, and bleeding caused or aggravated by pregnancy or childbirth.
A future with an abortion ban is possible
Politics like A ban on abortion that applies to the United States can affect pregnancy-related mortality in several ways. У my researchI estimated some of the additional deaths that would have been caused by a nationwide ban on all abortions.
To do this, I used published in the US pregnancy and abortion mortality rates to predict how many deaths will occur if all pregnancies that currently end in abortion are continued by miscarriage or term. My conservative estimate is that the annual number of pregnancy-related deaths will be overall increase by 21%.or 140 additional deaths, in the second year after the ban.
Among black non-Hispanic women, this percentage will increase by 33%, resulting in 78 additional deaths and worsening US life expectancy. The black crisis of maternal health. Pregnancy-related mortality among black non-Hispanic women is approximately three times higher than for non-Hispanic white women and Hispanic or Hispanic women, probably because structural racism, bias in the provision of medical services and disparities in access to health care, among other reasons.
In fact, these figures may be higher. They don’t take that into account people who do abortions are on average less benefits than people who give birth and a higher risk of death associated with pregnancy. They also do not include the risk of using less safe abortion methods.
This possible future should not come true
Forecasts are always based on assumptions about how the future will develop – these are warnings, not forecasts. My estimates describe how the number of deaths will increase if everyone who is currently having an abortion instead raises their pregnancy to term.
But the federal government, other states and NGOs can make abortion bans in states less deadly.
The assumptions behind my predictions show us how to prevent what I am warning about. For example, an effective solution maternal health crisis can make pregnancy safer and reduce pregnancy-related deaths. Helping people access to safe medical abortion and travel through government lines getting to an abortion clinic would reduce pregnancy-related mortality. And not banning abortions in the first place would reduce pregnancy-related mortality.
Amanda Gene Stevenson is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She wrote this piece for Conversationwhere he first appeared.