In the SCOTUS case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state of Mississippi sought to make the case that women have progressed enough economically since the 1970s to make abortion unnecessary. Before Roe v. Wade, “there was little support for women who wanted a full family life and a successful career,” Mississippi’s attorney general, Lynn Fitch, said in a statement summarizing a brief filed to the court. Now, parental leave, flexible work setups, and other policies mean that “women have carved their own way to achieving a better balance for success in their professional and personal lives,” she wrote. The New York Times’ Dealbook considered this argument and concluded that while some progress has been made, the idea that the benefits Mississippi describes are available to most women is still a stretch.
Providers of comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion, go further and liken providing services in states with draconian laws to providing care in a war zone. Patients go to extraordinary lengths to get the procedure—traveling hundreds of miles, sleeping in cars, figuring out childcare, choosing between food and healthcare. Patients are confused and worried already as providers navigate constant battles to keep doors open. Already providers fly in from out of state to deliver care where health care capacity is limited. Even flight delays cause appointment delays—yet patients are deeply appreciative for getting the care they need.
ABC News profiles Dr. Shelly Tien, one of 50 or so doctors who regularly travel to 20 states to perform abortions for patients who would otherwise not have access to the essential procedure. The WSJ talks to abortion providers in Illinois, which are preparing for a surge in patients from surrounding states with trigger laws that could spring into place after if Roe is overturned.
No patient should have to travel hours across a state or across state lines, in addition to other logistical burdens as a result of unnecessary, dangerous, and unconstitutional healthcare restrictions. Since the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the average American could have to travel 125-200 miles to reach an abortion provider, compared to the current average of 25 miles.