Nearly 7 Million Black Women of Childbearing Age Have Little or No Access to Abortion: Research

More than 50 percent of Black girls and women of childbearing age live in states with little to no access to abortion, according to a new report.

The analysis from National Partnership for Women & Families and In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda found that nearly 7 million Black women ages 15 to 49 live in the 26 states that have banned or are likely to ban abortion.

The number of states banning or restricting abortion care has increased since the 2022 Supreme Court case that overturned Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed the right to abortion.

Fourteen states have banned the procedure, while other states have placed restrictions on the procedure.

These restrictions, the study authors say, “cause significant harm millions of people across the country,” including “disrupting their economic future.”

The study found that 2.7 million Black women in the 26 states are “economically insecure,” and 1.4 million of them work in services. These situations make it less likely for pregnant women to access resources such as paid sick days, flexible scheduling, and the financial ability to travel to states that allow abortion.

More than 58 percent of women in these states are also already mothers, but In Our Own Voice polls found that since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, 46 percent of Black women in these states said they are considering not having additional children . . Thirty-four percent said they were concerned about arrest related to pregnancy, miscarriage or abortion care.

Forty-three percent also reported thinking about the risk of maternal death for themselves or a partner.

Black women have one of the highest maternal mortality rates, although most maternal deaths are preventable.

The report says abortion bans worsen maternal mortality among minority women because hospitals have closed their maternity wards, creating widespread maternity care deserts.

In some cases, providers are leaving states with abortion bans, exacerbating the shortage of providers. Those who remain may be forced to compromise care, including for women experiencing pregnancy complications or emergencies.

Of the 26 states that have banned or are likely to ban abortion, 17 also have above-average maternal mortality rates, the report found.

Eight percent of black women of childbearing age live in Georgia, which has a six-week abortion ban and one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country.

About 9 percent of black women of childbearing age live in Texas, where abortion is banned and where black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related problems than any other minority group.

Eight percent of black women of childbearing age live in Florida, where almost all abortions are banned after six weeks of pregnancy. Black women in Florida are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

The organizations are now urging lawmakers to… Black policy agenda for reproductive justice to guide the creation of policies “that strengthen access to and coverage of abortion, to dignified and safe pregnancy and birth, to equitable health care, and to the social, economic, political, and cultural support necessary to support Black people and families let it thrive. ”

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