This is an excellent point. Particularly given how much more aggressive enforcement efforts will be than they were pre-Roe, while poor women will be disproportionately injured it is a disaster for American women as a while, and the effects will be felt widely:
Yes, abortion bans will disproportionately affect poor women and women of color in a country that already has appallingly high maternal mortality rates, no federal paid family leave and little support for parents who struggle to provide for their children financially. As Rebecca Traister pointed out in New York Magazine, this is nothing new: The Hyde Amendment and state restrictions have already made abortion effectively inaccessible to many women without means or mobility.
But we should not lose sight of the reality that the Supreme Court decision has created a crisis for all American women. Even the richest Americans — the one-percenters and the upper middle class — will not escape the effects.
Attenuating the rights of half of the population will have systemic effects akin to climate change. Just as no amount of investment in Mars-bound space colonization, air-conditioned bunkers and private firefighting services will save the rich from terrible outcomes if the planet becomes uninhabitable, the rich cannot avoid the effects of the overturning of Roe. Residents of blue states won’t be exempt. And men who think the ban won’t affect them are mistaken; it will affect women they know and love, and it will change the political economy in which they live and operate.
The persistent myth that the wealthy will be unaffected is predicated upon the vague notion that they’ll be able to access and purchase abortion pills by mail, travel to places where abortion is legal or get an abortion from a local provider willing to break the law.
But the wealthiest are in for some unpleasant surprises when it comes to abortion. The scenarios where a woman needs an abortion include medical emergencies where any delay in treatment can have severe, even fatal consequences — and in those circumstances abortion pills obtained by mail won’t help. One in 50 pregnancies in the United States are ectopic pregnancies, for example, where a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. The embryo must be removed, and delaying that treatment can result in sepsis, internal bleeding and death. Placental abruptions must be addressed immediately to avoid extensive bleeding, renal failure and even, in some instances, death. Any woman who finds herself in either of these scenarios is not going to be able to pack her bags and go for a long drive. Even for someone with the means, an airlift to a medical facility in another state may not be quick enough to save her. She will need to be treated locally and immediately. Some of the bans going into effect around the country include medical exceptions for these situations, but if there’s any ambiguity about what the law allows, the time it takes a medical professional to consult a lawyer may be the difference between life and death.
Having the resources to travel won’t do you much good if you have an emergency that needs immediate treatment, and that’s just the beginning.