The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned about what would happen if states restricted access to abortions. In the 2016 Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, Ginsburg wrote in a concurring opinion, “When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners, faute de mieux, at great risk to their health and safety.”
She wrote that because it had happened for many years before Roe v. Wade was decided.
Botched abortion killed my great-grandmother
My great-grandmother was one of the pre-Roe era’s less fortunate. She died after a botched clandestine abortion in the 1930s.
Decades later, in 1967, a female relative arrived at Mexico City International Airport. She came for an abortion. The procedure was illegal in both countries, but she had heard from a female gynecologist that a hospital in Mexico City provided affordable and safe abortions.
My relative was 19 at the time. Before the pregnancy, she had gone to a male gynecologist for birth control. He told her he “absolutely would not give me birth control.” Then, she got pregnant.
She lost a lot of blood in the surgery and needed a transfusion, so she spent the night at the hospital. Because she couldn’t afford to stay longer, she flew back to Colorado the next day. She was alone, with intense pain and still bleeding. It was hell.
In 1973, Roe v. Wade established a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. In 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, that decision was upheld.
Women’s rights are under attack
Women’s rights were progressing, and my relative thought that girls would never again have to travel out of the country for an abortion.
She was wrong.
Now, in 2022, states across the USA are rolling back women’s rights to what feels like the Dark Ages, while the Supreme Court with its conservative majority teeters on reversing Roe.
Source: El Universal