Roe v. Wade Overturn Disproportionately Hurts Black Women

July 15, 2022

Roe v. Wade Overturn Disproportionately Hurts Black Women

July 15, 2022

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Primary Author: Marisa Valentino | Secondary Author: Evans Rochaste NP Psychiatry

The Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will radically change how women access abortion care. The ruling is expected to affect Black women disproportionately.

SCOTUS’ landmark decision removed the constitutional right to abortion allowing state governments to regulate the procedure. As a result, abortion is banned or under serious threat in over half of the states. These highly restrictive policies limit women’s bodily autonomy in their reproductive rights.

“There is no denying the fact that this is a direct attack on all women, and Black women stand to be disproportionately impacted by the court’s egregious assault on basic human rights,” said Janette McCarthy Wallace, general counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Overturning Roe v. Wade will be especially harmful to Black women who undergo abortions at higher rates. Reasons for these higher rates include lack of access to effective contraceptives and greater chances of dangerous pregnancy-related health complications due to racial disparities in healthcare.

Black women accounted for 38% of reported abortions in 2019, the largest portion of any racial group, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). SCOTUS’ ruling poses various healthcare and economic concerns that will have the most adverse effect on Black women in states with the most restrictive abortion laws.

Abortions are a critical part of health care. This is especially true for Black women as they face the highest risk of health complications during pregnancy and childbirth. According to the CDC, Black women are over 3x more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. They also face a higher risk for postpartum issues like pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.

SCOTUS’ decision to overturn Roe v Wade will also negatively affect mental health. According to the American Psychological Association, those denied abortions are susceptible to high anxiety levels, lower self-esteem, and lower life satisfaction than those who can obtain abortions. Black women will be disproportionately affected by anti-abortion legislation and therefore are more likely to suffer these psychological symptoms.

ReKlame Health is more than just a mental health organization. We strive to raise awareness for mental health issues affecting historically underserved communities. We believe all women stand to suffer from the overturning of Roe v Wade, and it’s essential to understand how this ruling is especially harmful to Black women.

Losing the constitutional right to bodily autonomy and being denied an abortion can be incredibly traumatic and triggering. If you are struggling with the Roe v. Wade ruling, know that you are not alone. ReKlame Health is here to support you. We offer a safe space, a culturally diverse clinical team, and trauma-informed affordable care. ReKlame Health can help you get through these difficult times.

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