The abortion debate continues to rage within the United States even over 40 years after Roe v. Wade officially ruled that the right to privacy extends to a woman’s right to privately make decisions about her own body. And even though seven in 10 Americans believe in a woman’s right to choose, there’s still a strong faction that believes life begins at conceptions and that no one should have access to abortion services, regardless of their personal beliefs or medical situation.
In addition to life-begins-at-conception rhetoric, pro-life advocates often cite the health and well-being of the mother as a reason to clamp down on reproductive rights (in other words, by arguing that abortions are unsafe and can lead to unanticipated health problems down the road). But according to a recent landmark study, it looks as though it’s time to shelf that particular line of thinking once and for all.
According to a new study from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, abortions conducted in the United States are both “safe and effective,” and complications are rare when the procedure is done within the first 12 weeks.
However, the authors of the study also noted that many states have laws and regulations that “interfere with safe abortions” — under the guise of making them safer.
Calongne also noted that the majority of regulations surrounding abortion entail making women wait to have the procedure (supposedly to make sure she “fully grasps” her decision and won’t have any regrets). However, as the study found, the longer a woman waits, the less safe the procedure becomes. Essentially, laws put in place to “protect women” may actually hurt them.
The report also found that abortion has no long-term negative impact on a woman’s psychological health, which is also often a go-to argument for some pro-life advocates.
The research speaks for itself, and we can only hope that lawmakers use the facts — not the pseudo-facts — when making laws and decisions that impact women.