Since women’s and couple’s reproductive freedom was overturned as a Constitutional right by the Supreme Court and handed back to the states, the repercussions of their decision is becoming more clear on a daily basis.

Their decision has impacted not only reproductive rights but it is also affecting medical treatments that go well beyond women’s reproductive issues and the ability to get a safe and legal abortion. Twenty states have enacted outright bans on abortion – no matter what the situation. And in ten more states, reproductive rights are in jeopardy.

The consequences of the Court’s action and the subsequent actions of State legislatures is staggering. The following is a partial list of some of the consequences made by mostly non-medical professionals operating with zero fact based information. Much of the information that you will see was taken from

  • When pregnant people lose access to abortion care, research shows they’re more likely to experience financial strain as well as physical and mental health issues, which disproportionately affects people in marginalized groups and those with low socioeconomic status.
  • For those seeking an abortion in areas with the most restrictions, an analysis from May 2022 estimates that millions will have to travel to a “destination state,” 16 of which have protections in place, to receive abortion care. In Texas, people would have to drive 243 miles to the nearest abortion clinic.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) states that “Making health for all a reality, and moving towards the progressive realization of human rights, requires that all individuals have access to quality health care, including comprehensive abortion care services.”
  • Restrictions on contraceptive care are in the crosshairs. Certain forms of contraception such as Plan B medication and the fitting of IUD or intrauterine devices – have seen an uptick in refusal to prescribe or fill the prescription regardless of the diagnosed reason for the medication or device.
  • Fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF), including the freezing and discarding of embryos are in jeopardy, ironically denying families the ability to have a baby.
  • Higher maternal mortality rates are all but certain to skyrocket. An estimated 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and miscarriage care (medications or procedures) is similar to abortion care. For example, if treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is delayed or if a pregnant person with sepsis is unable to get an abortion, the miscarriage may go untreated and cause further complications or even death.

Complications for Other Health Conditions

The physical complications to an outright ban on abortions go far beyond the question of giving birth or not giving birth. Women with pre-existing, life threatening medical conditions are being denied access to the proper care that they need to survive.

  • People with underlying medical conditions that preclude pregnancy continuation: (i.e., those with underlying cardiac malformations, poor cardiac function, pulmonary hypertension, or renal insufficiency) In some cases, pregnancy continuation could mean severe comorbid conditions that result in death.
  • People carrying fetuses with lethal congenital malformations: These individuals may undergo an operative delivery of an infant that will die upon or shortly after birth.
  • People with underlying mental health disorders: Mental health conditions like anxiety or depression could be exacerbated and, in extreme cases, result in an increased risk of suicide, infanticide, or child abuse or neglect.
  • Certain medications used for other diseases such as Methotrexate – a drug used to treat cancers and autoimmune disorders in men and women – may be refused to be dispensed because they can also be used to trigger early term abortions.

Prohibit Proper Training for Healthcare Professionals

According to an April 2022 study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, nearly 45% of obstetrics and gynecology residency programs in the United States are certain or likely to lack access to in-state abortion training.

Since abortion care is similar to miscarriage care, this means fewer medical professionals will be trained to perform a miscarriage procedure due to pregnancy complications.

Effects on Mental Health

Much has been made of the effects that abortion has on the mental health of those who undergo the procedure. Research from 2017 JAMA article has shown that being denied an abortion is associated with negative psychological outcomes.

Lori Lawrenz, PsyD, a licensed psychologist at the Hawaii Center for Sexual and Relationship Health in Honolulu and Healthline Medical Advisory Board member, explained that the psychological repercussions of being denied an abortion could manifest in a number of different ways. These may include:

  • increased anxiety
  • lower self-esteem
  • depression
  • anger and rage
  • panic attacks
  • paranoia
  • post-traumatic stress
  • guilt
  • shame
  • sexual dysfunction
  • psychosis, hallucinations, and delusions (in rare cases)
  • distractibility (due to intrusive thoughts)
  • stigmatized grief (i.e., a person feels undeserving of their grief and others do not understand or allow this person to grieve their loss)
  • spiritual issues (i.e., people may feel like they’re being “punished” by God or may isolate themselves from their faith community)

Effects on survivors of sexual violence and incest

Victims of sexual violence like rape and incest could be forced to carry a child to term in some states.

Melody Gross, the founder of Courageous SHIFT, a domestic violence coaching company in Charlotte, North Carolina, explained that with little to no abortion access, those experiencing reproductive coercion and abuse are forced to take risks that can be detrimental to their safety and health.

Effects on marginalized groups

The Supreme Court’s ruling creates yet another barrier for individuals of low socioeconomic status and marginalized groups to overcome, an issue that is both classist and racist.

“Either we are told not to have kids but are not given proper family planning and reproductive health, or we are told to take care of our kids but are not provided the resources (money, housing, mental health services, etc.) to do so,” Gross said.

“Marginalized groups are in a lose-lose situation. Poor people and other marginalized groups are disproportionately impacted by everything the dominant culture takes for granted,” Gross added.

The Decision That Can Galvanize Action

In the majority opinion of the Supreme Court’s logic, striking down Roe was appropriate because the right to abortion was not imbedded in the Constitution. They kicked that right of bodily autonomy to the individual states.

In effect they dared the electorate to pass laws to codify a woman’s or person’s right to bodily autonomy. The argument of right to “privacy” was not enough. And evidently the right to “life” did not pertain to the right of the woman needing health care.

It is time to take action to protect the right to make medical decisions pertaining to an individual’s medical needs – female or male!

Demand that your legislators act in your best interest utilizing science based fact. This is really not about the right to abortion as it is about the right of self determination as codified in Article one of the Constitution.

by Pat Muller