Black Women Will Bear the Brunt of Roe v. Wade, Reports Say

by Xara Aziz
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Remnants of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade last June will have lingering effects for generations to come – especially for Black women, says health advocate, president and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, Linda Goler Blount.

The disruptive move by the nation’s top court meant eradicating constitutional protection for abortion and permitting states to arrange their own laws regarding the procedure.

For Black women, this is especially true, said Blount, who believes the ruling would mean millions of Black girls would grow into a society with the access and resources needed to make decisions on their bodies would be limited.  

“The state is telling them that they’re not valuable, that they can’t be trusted to make the best health care decisions for themselves, that they’re not worthy of being able to make these choices,” Blount told The Texas Tribune.

In Texas, in particular, the state passed a “trigger law” in 2021, making it illegal for women to get abortions with very few exceptions. The law “disproportionately affect women of color, particularly Black women, who already face higher risks of health complications or death related to pregnancy or childbirth. Taking away the right to abortion care will likely lead to an even higher risk of health complications and mortality, higher teen pregnancy rates and increased financial burdens,” reads the report.

The repealing of Roe v. Wade comes on the heels of studies revealing that Black women are over three times more likely to die in pregnancy and postpartum than White women, according to the Population Reference Bureau.

Furthermore, reports show Black women are typically more fearful about where to give birth partly due to startling data revealing they are four times more likely to die during childbirth and 80% more likely to return to the emergency room months after giving birth. They are also 40% more likely to undergo undiagnosed postpartum illness than their White counterparts.

“For so long, Black women have been excluded from the resources needed to have safe and healthy pregnancies,” said Dr. Zea Malawa, director of Expecting Justice. “This funding will provide pregnant people with economic stability during this critical phase in their lives while allowing public health institutions to test a novel and promising public health intervention.”

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