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The post-Roe world will be worse than the pre-Roe world


This is a great piece from Rebecca Traister:

For the really rich, it is true: Traveling to get an abortion and evading prosecution will more or less be a cinch. But the chasm between really rich and everyone else gets deeper every day, and it is simply not true that a suburban white mom of three in Missouri or the teenage daughter of well-off Christian conservatives in Alabama will be in a position to get the abortion she needs when she needs it with ease and without risk to herself, her family, or the people willing to help her. Even crossing to another state to obtain an abortion may entail legal jeopardy as states consider various means to prohibit and criminalize abortion travel.

It’s going to be a shock. Precisely because of racial and class disparities in every area of American life, white middle-class women are used to having certain kinds of systemic support: hospitals where they can feel cared for, responsive physicians. Those supports can no longer be taken for granted. To consider even the most cynical caricature of white middle-class womanhood, the Karens who are used to calling the manager when they have a complaint, the reality is going to be that, in many places, there will no longer be a manager to call. And if there is, he might report you to authorities. The choices that people, even people of means, make about how to end pregnancies are going to require calculations they have rarely had to do before: about their own risks of criminal prosecution and about state-enforced systems that are there not to work on their behalf but to limit and punish their choices.

And don’t be fooled: While scrutiny will be sharpest on poor and Black and brown people, women and people with uteruses of every race are going to be questioned not only about their unintended pregnancies but about the miscarriages of their wanted pregnancies. In states where post-Roe trigger bans begin at conception, various forms of birth control — including IUDs — could be considered abortifacients, and there will be strenuous attempts to make them inaccessible or illegal. For similar reasons, people undergoing IVF treatments may find that their embryos have been granted rights they did not previously have.

“Privileged women will have access to gray marked abortions” was a reasonably accurate summary of the facts on the ground in most jurisdictions pre-Roe. It will not be how things work once Roe is overruled. Contemporary Republicans are much more serious about enforcement — there’s going to be many more arrests of both patients and doctors and while socioeconomically disadvantaged women will be the worst hit the effects will be much broader than that.

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