Every woman should be able to make decisions about her own body. Preserving women’s right to choose and access to a full continuum of reproductive care that includes safe and legal abortions is critical to the health, dignity, and economic prosperity of women around the world.On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court declared Texas’s abortion ban to be unconstitutional and upheld the assertion that women in the United States have a fundamental right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. Since 1973, segments of the country have never stopped trying to wrest away the reproductive rights of women.
BENEFITS OF SAFE AND LEGAL ABORTIONS
Preserving women’s right to choose and providing a full continuum of reproductive care has a wide range of cascading benefits, from preserving the health and safety of women and boosting the economy, to breaking the cycle of poverty. . Here are just a few of those benefits:
Decreased Risk of Unsafe Abortions
Anti-choice proponents often gloss over the dangers of outlawing or decreasing access to safe and legal abortions. Prior to the Roe v. Wade decision, many women who became unintentionally pregnant and knew they couldn’t support a child resorted to unsafe procedures to terminate the pregnancy. Ensuring the availability of safe and legal abortions helps to decrease the mortality rates for pregnant women.
Decline in Unintended Pregnancies
According to research, an estimated 44% of pregnancies were unintended between 2010-2014, worldwide. When women are forced to carry an unintended pregnancy to term, despite the fact that they might be too young or incapable of supporting a child, everyone loses. Granting access to safe and legal abortion allows women to provide better outcomes for their children when they decide to start a family, and it can contribute to a decline in unintended pregnancies.
Increased Educational Opportunities for Women
In many parts of the world, pregnancy marks the end of a girl’s education. After becoming pregnant, girls may be forced to drop out of school in order to take care of her family, and she has little hope of returning if financial constraints exist. Even in developed countries, an unintended pregnancy can derail a woman’s career if she has to choose between supporting a child or paying tuition. Abortion access allows young women the option to finish their education or jumpstart their career before starting a family.
Increased Ability for Family Planning
When women are given access to a range of reproductive health options, there’s a higher chance that they will be able to form a plan that works for them, their partner, and their professional goals. Abortion access allows women to practice family planning and control the spacing and number of children they have in a way that is safer for both mothers and children.
Increased Economic Prosperity
When a woman is forced to have a child before she’s ready, there’s an increased risk that her family will become trapped in a cycle of poverty. A pregnancy may derail her education, prevent her from developing marketable skills, and substantially restrict her future earning potential. Her children will also feel the effects if she is unable to provide them with sufficient resources and educational opportunities.
When families are trapped in this cycle of poverty, communities, states, and nations will be impacted by extension. Within the U.S., studies show that states with higher abortion restrictions are also the states where women have lower education and higher poverty levels.
Educational Entertainment Contributes to a More Sustainable Planet
Ensuring women’s right to choose and providing people around the world with access to a full continuum of reproductive care goes a long way toward creating a more sustainable planet with equal rights for all. But access alone is not sufficient. In many cultures, a woman’s reluctance to seek out family planning methods has less to do with access and more to do with deeply ingrained norms, widespread misinformation, or pressure to have a large number of children. At Population Media Center (PMC), we have successfully broken through the noise and overcome norms to reach over 500 million people around the world with life-changing content.