Everyone and their mother...is thinking about Roe v. Wade this week. And what its expected reversal might mean for their reproductive rights. And the health of moms (and moms-to-be) across the country.
On the second Sunday of May, Americans celebrate moms and mom figures. But this year, motherhood, and the choice to enter it, is landing differently. That’s because earlier this week, the country found out that the right to an abortion could soon end. Some celebrated. Others swore to resist a return to the pre-Roe era. Including a week-long Mother’s Day strike, which calls on those most impacted by the decision to stop interacting with the economy.
It’s the 1 in 4 women who will have an abortion. And the average person who has one looks something like this: She’s in her 20s. She has some college education. And is already a mom. (Yes, you read that right.) While abortion and family have been pitted against each other in politics, in reality they go hand in hand. That’s because abortions are a medical tool which keep moms and moms-to-be safe.
The US already has the highest maternal death rate of any developed country. Overturning Roe could make that worse. Nearly half of OB-GYNs in the US may soon be working in the 26 states expected to ban abortion. But if they’re not trained, or if they’re out of practice, or if they’re afraid to use abortion medicine or procedures (think: because they could be sued, or even charged with homicide), curable situations could turn life-threatening or deadly. Think, in the case of:
Miscarriages: About 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and women’s bodies don’t always pass fetal tissue completely on their own. At that point, most American women are offered a pill or surgical procedure — essentially, an abortion. In places where abortion is heavily restricted or not performed, those options may not be available for weeks (if at all), resulting in serious health risks and trauma.
Ectopic pregnancies: These pregnancies are not viable since they occur outside the uterus and can be fatal for the mother. At the moment, no US state has banned or criminalized the procedures and drugs that treat ectopic pregnancies. But some state legislators (see: Missouri) have pushed for that, while others (see: Ohio) have invented fantasy procedures not known to science as a workaround.
Multiple pregnancy: The more fetuses a woman carries, the higher the risk for everyone involved. This can commonly happen during IVF. So doctors may recommend procedures that remove some fetuses (think: ones that are unviable or have severe health issues) so others — and the mother — can survive. Those reductions are already illegal under Texas’s recent abortion ban, and more states may follow.
Domestic violence: The leading cause of death for pregnant and postpartum women in the US is homicide, according to one study. We’ll say it again: homicide. And data suggests her partner is often responsible. For years, research has shown that partner violence gets worse during pregnancy. And for women in abusive relationships, being denied abortion may make it harder to leave — despite the very real dangers.
Women may want an abortion for a variety of reasons. And the right to get one is currently protected as long as Roe stands. But at the end of the day, the issue transcends politics. Abortion is a big part of modern medicine — used to help many women stay alive.
Editor's note: The info here applies to all people who might need abortions, but we sometimes use the words “mom,” “women,” and “motherhood” in this story.
The weekend means more time to do the things you love. For many of us, that’s reading. But we can’t Skimm it all for you. So instead, we’re giving you a look at the reads we’ve saved, texted, and emailed to our friends…
He Spurred a Revolution in Psychiatry. Then He ‘Disappeared’…how one doctor changed the course of LGBTQ+ history.
When Moms Out-Earn Their Husbands, They Gain More Housework…even at home, it’s work, work, work, work, work, work.
Downtime doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. Here’s one idea for making the most of your weekend.
Sure, you could get up and wait in line for brunch. Or you could skip the crowds, stay in your pajamas, and whip up a restaurant-worthy spread from the comfort of your home. For a sweet tooth, try challah French toast or blueberry buttermilk pancakes. For something savory, try a tater tot egg bake or a frittata. (Of course, you could always have both.) And if the kitchen feels intimidating, check out these low-stress recipes or prep the night before with these all-in-one kitchen tools. So you can keep it easy like Sunday morning.
Russia’s Victory Day (May 9) commemorates defeating Nazi Germany in 1945. It usually goes unnoticed by the West, but this year, other countries will be watching closely. That’s because some Western officials have warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin might use the occasion to escalate hostilities in Ukraine. Think: declaring war outright (so far, Russia hasn’t), mass mobilization of troops, or increasing attacks in areas like Mariupol to gain full control. The Kremlin has dismissed the speculation as “nonsense.” While others point out: ‘We’ve heard that one before…’
Skimm’d by Rashaan Ayesh, Rasheeda Campbell, Xian Chiang-Waren, Melissa Goldberg, and Clem Robineau
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The financial impact can’t be ignored.
May 5 | The Federal Reserve just hiked up interest rates.
With SCOTUS seemingly ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, we spoke to an OB-GYN about why people get abortions. Some of the reasons might surprise you.