Our bodily autonomy is a human right and abortion is a basic health precaution

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The leaked first Supreme Court decision confirmed what attorneys have been saying for years: Roe v. Wade will likely be lifted. Abortion is currently legal in all 50 states and will remain legal in Washington after the decision is final. to confront that decision; and a Nationwide ban on abortion already in progress, accurate information on abortion and the crisis of its criminalization is needed, followed by action to support equity and equity in reproductive health. As public health researchers and abortion providers in Washington, we outline the current situation and possible implications in the region, the history of these dangerous laws and policies for Washingtonians.

There is 26 states ban abortion when Roe falls, including Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. During provider in Washington already provide services to travelers from countries with restrictive laws, these bans could lead to a estimated 385% increase with people who seek care here. Governor Jay Inslee be committed Supporting people coming to Washington to seek care, but this could potentially lead to it restricted access B. through longer waiting times without simultaneous investments in the infrastructure of the health system. While Washington’s laws protect abortion, many Washingtonians still face financial and logistical obstacles, including long travel times to access services, a lack of paid sick leave, and an increase in hospital mergers with Catholic hospitals that can further limit access to abortions.

Anti-abortion laws have far-reaching public health, economic and social implications. People who are denied abortions are seeing increases household povertyincreased values ​​of fear and ongoing contact with violent partnersand the experience of their existing children developmental consequences. This decision is also deadly: research claims that roe tipping could lead to a 21% increase in pregnancy-related deaths, which would further exacerbate the US maternal mortality crisis USA, which disproportionately affects blacks.

Dangerous anti-abortion laws disproportionately affect already marginalized and racially neglected people. This is not a bug but a construction of the system. That Original laws of the 19th century that abortion was criminalized intended to ensure demographic stability and dominance of white Anglo-Saxons. The current onslaught of anti-abortion legislation is part of a long history of criminalizing bodily autonomy, especially for Black, Indigenous, Migrant, Disabled, Worker and Trans people. The criminalization of hundreds of people for their pregnancy outcomes, must be disproportionately marginalized individuals stopped. Elected officials, health professionals and medical providers must denounce and not engage in this criminalization.

As the Supreme Court draft stokes panic, there is a powerful coalition of reproductive justice activists, abortion providers and funds preparing for this moment. They need to be supported and built up. For many in Washington, abortion can be done via telemedicine and medication sent to you in the mail. For those who cannot access care due to location or structural injusticesself-administered abortion is common, secure and Effectiveand there is information for access tablets, resourcesand support. abortion fund, like Northwest Abortion Access Fund, Removing financial and logistical barriers to abortion. Washingtonians need to support their ongoing work as well funds in anti-abortion countries.

Local elected officials must also be responsible for ensuring accessible, affordable, and quality abortion care. Seattle City Council should follow suit Portland, austin and NYC and our state legislation should replicate Oregon’s Efforts Providing money to provide resources to people who need abortion treatment. Additionally, abortion services should be added to public colleges statewide, as in California. Finally, we all need to listen to and mobilize around local Black, Indigenous and other advocates of race and reproductive justice to send a loud message to the Democrats and Republicans in power that our physical autonomy is a human right. Abortion is a basic health precaution and we are committed to upholding this right for all pregnant women.

DR Jennifer Balkus, an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, contributed to this op-ed. These opinions reflect the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Washington.

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