JANUARY 11, 2023 BY JEFF DIAMANT AND BESHEER MOHAMED, Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center has conducted many surveys about abortion over the years, providing a lens into Americans’ views on whether the procedure should be legal, among a host of other questions. In a Center survey conducted after the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision to end the constitutional right to abortion, 62% of U.S. adults said the practice should be legal in all or most cases, while 36% said it should be illegal in all or most cases. Another survey showed that relatively few Americans take an absolutist view on the issue.
Here is a look at data on the number of legal abortions that take place in the United States each year – and other related measures – from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Guttmacher Institute, which have tracked these patterns for several decades. The latest data from both organizations is from 2020 and therefore does not reflect the period after the Supreme Court’s recent decision.
As a family medicine doctor with a focus on reproductive health, including abortion care, I have been fighting against this outcome for years, and I’ve already seen a steadily increasing stream of patients who have needed to fly for compassionate abortion care. I’m lucky to live and work in New York, where Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed several laws further codifying and protecting abortion access. Connecticut was the first to pass similar protections, and states like California and Massachusetts are working on legislation. But this is a stark contrast to what Americans in other parts of the country are facing, even though access to high-quality, evidence-based health care should not be based on where you live.
So let’s explore what’s coming next, thanks to the fall of Roe: worsening health care disparities, higher maternal mortality rates, criminalization of pregnant people and their doctors, lack of medical care for people experiencing pregnancy complications, attacks on routine medical care for people who can become pregnant, and broad assaults on human rights currently in place for marginalized groups.
It's not just that US Supreme Court majorities upheld Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban and overturned Roe v. Wade. The opinion also skewed the crux of the conversation going forward -- with just three words.
"Unborn human being" is the term Associate Justice Samuel Alito adopted from the Mississippi statute, thereby replacing the key phrase in the landmark 1973 Roe ruling that spelled out a constitutional right to abortion: "potential life."
The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade – the decision that had guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion for nearly 50 years – has shifted the legal battle over abortion to the states, with some prohibiting the procedure and others moving to safeguard it.
As the nation’s post-Roe chapter begins, here are key facts about Americans’ views on abortion, based on two Pew Research Center polls: one conducted from June 25-July 4, just after this year’s high court ruling, and one conducted in March, before an earlier leaked draft of the opinion became public.
The threat to abortion access has underscored the economic hardships and maternal health crisis that Black and brown women face.
by Nicquel Terry Ellis, CNN Wed May 18, 2022
The first time Kenya Martin got an abortion, she was a 19-year-old college student who felt she wasn't old enough or mature enough to raise a child.
The second time, Martin was a 26-year-old single mom making $12 an hour as a bank teller, could barely afford childcare or health insurance and was in a custody battle with her daughter's father. Martin would later have four more abortions, each time knowing she did not want another child.
(JTA) — In 1966, I was a student at Boston University’s School of Social Work when I received a phone call from a college friend. She explained in hushed tones that she needed an abortion and thought I could help her.
At that time, I didn’t know anyone who had terminated a pregnancy; all I knew was that abortion was illegal. I quietly asked some classmates if they knew how to end a pregnancy safely. One of them had an answer.
In the face of a draconian abortion ban in effect for more than three months, the mission has only grown stronger for a progressive congregation
Mary Tuma in Austin Mon 20 Dec 2021
In the late 60s, the burgeoning movement to legalize US abortion state by state found an unlikely yet loyal ally – a contingent of women at the First Unitarian Universalist church in Dallas, Texas.
In lieu of knitting sessions and bake sales, the church’s Women’s Alliance advocated for abortion rights and even had a hand in legally supporting Roe v Wade, the pivotal US supreme court case that protects abortion care in the US as a constitutional right.
Returning abortion to the states doesn’t put power into the hands of voters in much of the country.
By David Litt, The Atlantic DECEMBER 7, 2021
“The Constitution is neither pro-choice nor pro-life.” So said Justice Brett Kavanaugh, not once, not twice, but three times during last week’s oral argument in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. It’s the judicial equivalent of a poll-tested line, an attempt to message the overturning of Roe v. Wade as fundamentally pro-democratic, something for voters to decide. A woman’s right to end a pregnancy “should be left to the people, to the states, or to Congress,” Kavanaugh argued.
Kavanaugh’s talking points reflect a political reality: Americans like the idea of self-government. When asked, three-quarters believe that their elected officials should represent the majority’s views. By claiming to be “scrupulously neutral,” another phrase Kavanaugh repeated in oral argument, conservatives are implying that overturning Roe is a small-d democratic position to take.
On the day the Supreme Court hears arguments in a Mississippi abortion ban case, Sheila Katz plans to be at a nearby church.
It is where the Jewish organization she leads is helping to host a morning interfaith service in support of abortion rights. That gathering, and a planned rally outside the court, are among the ways the National Council of Jewish Women and like-minded faith groups are challenging the erosion of abortion access in the U.S.
Decision comes despite appeals from Vatican for more collegial approach on issue
The Associated Press Posted: Jun 18, 2021
U.S. Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved the drafting of a "teaching document" that many of them hope will rebuke Catholic politicians, including President Joe Biden, who continue to receive Communion despite their support for abortion rights.
The decision, vehemently opposed by a minority of bishops, came despite appeals from the Vatican for a more cautious and collegial approach to the divisive issue. And it raises questions about how closely the bishops will be able to co-operate with the Biden administration on issues such as immigration and racial injustice.