The post-Roe rise in births in the U.S. will be concentrated in some of the worst states for infant and maternal health. Plans to improve these outcomes are staggeringly thin.
By Melissa Jeltsen
DECEMBER 16, 2022
A typical pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that created a constitutional right to abortion, was reversed less than six months ago. This means the U.S. is currently at a unique inflection point in the history of reproductive rights: early enough to see the immediate effects of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—closed clinics, a rapidly shifting map of abortion access—but too soon to measure the rise in babies born to mothers who did not wish to have them. Many of these babies will be born in states that already have the worst maternal- and child-health outcomes in the nation. Although the existence of these children is the goal of the anti-abortion movement, America is unprepared to adequately care for them and the people who give birth to them.