The facts are terrifyingly clear. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe means Black women and their families will suffer the most. As a recent study from Duke University found, a total nationwide abortion ban would increase pregnancy-related deaths for women overall by an estimated 21% — and pregnancy-related deaths among Black women by 33%.
Let’s look at the facts. Black women already face significant health and economic disparities. Today the maternal mortality rate is three times as high for Black women as for white women. Black women are more likely to experience maternal health complications, like preeclampsia, than white women. And more than 1 in 5 Black women lives in poverty, compared to around 1 in 10 white women.And while just 13% of American women are Black, 38% of those receiving abortions are Black.Moreover, Black Americans are more likely to live in Southern states, where the most restrictive abortion laws will now come into force. In Mississippi, which already bans most abortions after 15 weeks, 74% of women seeking abortions are Black. Meanwhile, in Alabama, which would make it a felony for doctors to perform abortions at any stage of pregnancy, Black women account for 62% of those who receive abortions.And it is poorly resourced Black women who will most likely face financial barriers to abortion. While more affluent women may have the resources to travel out of state to obtain a safe, legal abortion, that’s less likely to be an option for poorer Black women. Indeed, before Roe, the death rate from illegal abortion was 12 times greater for women of color than for white women. That is the world to which we are returning.A Black woman in Louisiana or Arkansas, for example, will quite likely have to travel hundreds of miles to Kansas or Illinois to obtain an abortion. That journey means lost wages from taking time off work. It means additional childcare expenses. And it means that it will be harder to put food on the table that month. Consider that nearly 70% of Black women are their families’ breadwinners, compared to just 36% of white women.In short, for many Black women, the post-Roe cost of getting an abortion will simply be too high. The paradox is that most women who choose to have an abortion do so for economic reasons. And when they can’t obtain one, the financial consequences can be severe. Women who are denied an abortion are more likely to live in poverty six months after giving birth, more likely to still be in poverty four years later, and less likely to be employed full time after the same period.
If you use condoms perfectly every single time you have sex, they're 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. But people aren't perfect, so in real life, condoms are about 85% effective.