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Why Roe Matters, Part XLI

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Sarah Wildman notes that New York state Senate passed a bill that would allow the sale of Plan B over-the-counter; given that the Senate is the GOP-controlled house, this is indeed good news. Wildman makes another important point:

This is fantastic news for New York. But like many reproductive personal-health issues, this is one in which the country will once again be divided between (largely coastal) states that allow women progressive options, and states dominated by retrogressive lawmakers. It creates an essentially two-tiered system where (mostly) blue-state women will be allowed to control their health and reproduction but women in the so-called flyover states will be constrained by their income levels and the capricious conservatism of their legislature.

Yes. I am always annoyed by progressives–particularly affluent people in blue states–who blow off the importance of Roe. It’s certainly true that for them (or their wives/partners/daughters/friends) overturning Roe wouldn’t make any difference, but many women are not so advantageously situated. Yes, access to abortion still varies greatly by geography–but it would be significantly worse without Roe. The difference between having two abortion clinics in a state and none makes a large difference for a lot of women, even if this is far from an optimal number. If you still want to argue that Roe is wrong as a matter of law, fine, but let’s not kid ourselves that overturning it would be positive for reproductive rights–even if the affected women mostly live at a significant geographic remove.

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