By Jacqueline Howard, CNN
Wed December 14, 2022
The rates of mothers and newborn babies dying during pregnancy, at birth or postpartum are much higher in states that currently ban or restrict abortions than in states preserving access, according to a new report.
The researchers analyzed data on deaths and other health outcomes using the most recent data available – from 2020 and earlier – and compared rates based on states’ current abortion access policies, as of November, after the Supreme Court decision this summer that overturned Roe v. Wade.
We’re supposed to be able to give patients choices on how to handle high-risk pregnancy complications. A new paper shows what happens when we can’t.
BY CHAVI EVE KARKOWSKY
NOV 28, 2022
Usually, articles in medical journals are about science; they bring data to their readers, who can use them to provide evidence-based care to their patients.
But sometimes, evidence is an expression of grief or even rage. A recent journal article, “Maternal Morbidity and Fetal Outcomes Among Pregnant Women at 22 Weeks’ Gestation or Less with Complications in 2 Texas Hospitals After Legislation on Abortion,” contains such evidence.
Nov. 5, 2022
By Jessica Valenti
Despite Republican assurances that their draconian abortion bans wouldn’t hurt women, a flood of heart-wrenching accounts from across the country prove otherwise. Yet even with that outpouring of stories, plus polls showing broad opposition to the bans and an increase in women registering to vote, it’s still unclear if the issue will be the deciding factor for voters in the midterm elections on Tuesday.
It should be.
Pregnancy carries risks, including death. Without abortion access, more women will die.
Elyssa Spitzer, Tracy Weitz, Maggie Jo Buchanan
Nov 2, 2022
Four months after Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, the dire health consequences of banning abortion care have become even more apparent. Eighteen states, home to more than 25 million women of reproductive age, have banned some or all access to abortion care, with only spare exceptions that are nearly impossible to implement. Already, thousands of people are finding it impossible to obtain a needed abortion.
Horrifying stories from the states that have banned abortion demonstrate the medical crisis that now grips nearly half the country. A woman in Wisconsin experiencing a miscarriage was turned away from the hospital and sent home to bleed without medical supervision. In Arizona, a 14-year-old, caught in the crosshairs of abortion restrictions, was denied medically indicated medication she had taken for years. A woman in Texas had to drive 18 hours to receive care for an ectopic pregnancy. And doctors across the country have been put in the untenable position of navigating their medical training and professional ethical obligations amid a lack of clarity about what is allowable under the law.
The Supreme Court’s decision to end federal protections for abortion access didn’t just rewind the clock 50 years, it opened a Pandora’s box of confusing, potentially life-threatening legal complications. VF talks with five women on the front lines.
BY ABIGAIL TRACY AND ERIN VANDERHOOF
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DIANA MARKOSIAN AND DRU DONOVAN
OCTOBER 12, 2022
Tattooed on Caitlin Bernard’s left foot is the image of a coat hanger and the words “Trust Women.” The 38-year-old Indiana-based ob-gyn got it years ago; it was intended as a reminder of life before Roe v. Wade. Bernard has long paired her medical career with advocacy. She was a plaintiff in an unsuccessful 2019 American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit to reverse Indiana’s near-total ban on second-trimester abortions. Post-Roe, Indiana became the first state to pass an abortion ban. Now, Bernard is girding for another legal fight—this time against Republican Indiana attorney general Todd Rokita, who she says maligned her practice as Bernard became a lightning rod in one of the most publicized cases after the Dobbs decision stripped federal abortion protections and turned the country into a patchwork of disparate laws.
By Sara Jerving
17 August 2022
As a medical student and then obstetrician-gynecologist resident at the turn of the millennium, Ethiopian Dr. Muir Kassa’s work was bleak. Across the country, delivery and gynecology rooms were overwhelmed with cases of women that had undergone unsafe abortions.
“Lots of women died at my hands because they attempted unsafe abortions at home, by using some unimaginable ways, like inserting umbrella wires. It becomes very difficult to save her once she already has these complications,” he said.
The PLOS Medicine Editors
Published: July 26, 2022
In late June, the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling was overturned by the United States Supreme Court, a decision, decried by human rights experts at the United Nations , that leaves many women and girls without the right to obtain abortion care that was established nearly 50 years ago. The consequences of limited or nonextant access to safe abortion services in the US remain to be seen; however, information gleaned from abortion-related policies worldwide provides insight into the likely health effects of this abrupt reversal in abortion policy. The US Supreme Court’s decision should serve to amplify the global call for strategies to mitigate the inevitable repercussions for women’s health.
Be careful of what you read about miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies right now.
KIERA BUTLER AND MADDIE OATMAN
July 21, 2022
Late last month, shortly after the US Supreme Court stripped away federal protection for abortion rights, Dr. Christina Francis, an OB/GYN based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, took to Instagram with an urgent message: She wanted her followers to know that even in states where abortion will soon be illegal, doctors still would be able to terminate pregnancies to save the life of the mother. “Treating ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages or other life-threatening conditions in pregnancy is not the same thing as an abortion,” she said in a video she took of herself from inside a car. “This is very important to clear up because I know that many women are feeling fearful that they might not be able to receive life-saving care if they need it.” Commenters thanked Dr. Francis for her clarification. “The amount of people that don’t know the difference is disturbing,” said one. “So many people spreading false information. Thank you for sharing and educating!”
Since November 1996 women legally have the right to access abortion in South Africa up to the 20th week of pregnancy.
By Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe
20 Jun 2022
In South Africa, a woman of any age can get an abortion by simply requesting with no reasons given if she is less than 13 weeks pregnant.
If she is between 13 and 20 weeks pregnant, she can get the abortion if:
- Her own physical or mental health is at
- The baby will have severe mental or
- She is pregnant because of incest
- She is pregnant because of rape
- She is of the personal opinion that her
economic or social situation is sufficient reason for the termination of
- If she is more than 20 weeks pregnant,
she can get the abortion only if she or the foetus’ life is in danger or
there are likely to be serious birth defects.
Restricting access to and prohibiting abortion in the U.S. will only increase maternal mortality in the nation that already ranks shockingly low in maternal health
By Adebayo Adesomo, Scientific American
May 30, 2022
In my medical practice, where I treat people with high-risk pregnancies, I recently treated a young woman with pulmonary hypertension. Unfortunately, this diagnosis was made late into her second trimester, well after most states allow pregnancy termination. We had to have the difficult conversation that, despite all modern medical advances, as many as one in three women with this condition will die during pregnancy. Based on that information, who should decide what level of pregnancy risk is acceptable for her? Should she? Should her government? Her case illustrates some of what’s at stake, should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.