Roe v. Wade decision can disproportionately impact Black, Latinx women, data shows

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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CDC data shows the outcome of the Roe v. Wade ruling will impact Black and Latinx women the most, putting them in a greater risk of death and poverty.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Reproductive justice organizations across the country are concerned that the Supreme Court's decision to limit abortion access won't end abortion, but increase the number of dangers and illegal abortion performed. The ripple effect: Black and Latinx people will be at a greater risk of death and poverty.

"We're very deeply concerned and fearful for people in our communities, specifically, low income people, folks of color that we know, tend to live in the most marginalized communities," said Laura Jimenez, executive director of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice.

People in the most marginalized communities are more likely to access an abortion.

According to 2019 CDC numbers, Black people are four times more likely to get an abortion than white people. The numbers also show Hispanic/Latinx people are nearly twice as likely to get an abortion.

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Jimenez is concerned that as California positions itself to become a sanctuary state for abortion, an influx of abortion seekers from out of state could strain resources.

"When I hear that there's going to be such a potential large increase of folks coming into California, I really think about provider shortages and wait times for people who live in California and people who are coming from out of state," said Jimenez

Traveling to California or other states that allow the procedure may not be an option for many Black, and Latinx pregnant people, says Marcela Howell of the National Black women's Reproductive Justice Agenda, because it's just too expensive.

"If they can't get enough money to travel, to get childcare for the children, they already have to take off work if they're low-income and working an hourly job, they lose a day of work. What that will do is it will make those barriers even bigger," said Howell.

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Reproductive justice organizations like Howells are now concerned this could lead to more pregnancies being carried to term, jeopardizing the parent's health which could be most detrimental to Black people.

2020 CDC numbers show Black women died of maternal causes nearly three times the rate of white women.

"Black women and other women of color and birthing people already face barriers to accessing basic health care services, never mind reproductive health care services. So the Supreme Court decision today puts our reproductive health rights and safety in even greater dangers," said Howell.

Reproductive Justice leaders are also concerned about the secondary effects limiting abortions will have on people with unwanted and unexpected pregnancies, things like job opportunities and pursuing higher education.

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