You’d have to live under a rock not to know about the current ruckus around abortion and the Supreme Court and the almost certain overturn of Roe v. Wade.
It’s one of the most polarizing things going on in our polarized country right now. And while the forum portion of TheSkiDiva is a no-politics, no-religion zone — and rightly so, in the interest of peace and camaraderie; after all, it is a SKI forum — the blog post you’re reading now is different. When something comes up that I feel passionate about, I feel that I have to speak out.
This is one of those moments, and it most definitely has to do with National Women’s Health Week. Sure, I could go on about the need to get breast exams, eat healthy, and get the right amount of exercise. All of these are important. But right now, we are standing on the precipice of a ruling that could impact the lives of millions of women. And not in a positive way.
The overturn of Roe v. Wade is a huge step backwards. It rewinds the clock fifty years to a time when a woman’s body wasn’t seen as entirely her own; when she wasn’t viewed as capable of making her own decisions about her health, both mental and physical. So if we became pregnant because of rape or incest, or if pregnancy would detrimentally affect our health or well being, or if in fact it could even kill us, we’d be out of luck.
For the past week I’ve been reading horrific stories online about women whose lives have been literally saved by access to safe, effective abortions. Crises like those faced by these women aren’t going to go away, and if abortion becomes illegal, these stories will have very different endings. A recent study estimated that banning abortion in the US would lead to a 21% increase in the number of pregnancy-related deaths overall — and an increase of up to 33% among Black women— simply because staying pregnant is more dangerous than having an abortion. Increased deaths due to unsafe or attempted abortions would be in addition to these estimates.
So yes, National Women’s Health Week is the perfect time to speak out about this. I hope you will, too.