In places where abortion is now illegal, a range of pregnancy losses could be subject to state scrutiny.
By Melissa Jeltsen
JULY 1, 2022
Before last week, women attempting to have their pregnancies terminated in states hostile to abortion rights already faced a litany of obstacles: lengthy drives, waiting periods, mandated counseling, throngs of volatile protesters. Now they face a new reality. Although much is still unknown about how abortion bans will be enforced, we have arrived at a time when abortions—and even other pregnancy losses—might be investigated as potential crimes. In many states across post-Roe America, expect to see women treated like criminals.
On Friday, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending abortion as a constitutional right. Nearly half of U.S. states either are in the process of implementing trigger bans—which were set up to outlaw abortions quickly after Roe was overturned—or seem likely to soon severely curtail abortion access. Reproductive-rights experts told me that in the near future, they expect to see more criminal investigations and arrests of women who induce their own abortions, as well as those who lose pregnancies through miscarriage and stillbirth.