Abortion in the U.S.: Are dinosaurs on the loose?

Abortion in the U.S.: Are dinosaurs on the loose?
Fecha de publicación: 
6 July 2022
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Even though it seems that those responsible for enacting laws and prohibitions in the US were abducted into the past and hence the recent abortion ban, some citizens in that country have decided to protest and put the calendars in their place.

It happens that after the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice to eliminate this right of women on June 24, in place since 1973, legal battles and protests of a very diverse nature have arisen.

As a result, at the time of writing these lines, four states had already managed to block the implementation of that inhumane veto: Louisiana, Texas, Utah and Kentucky.

In eleven states people have gone to court in order to repeal the decision of the highest judicial instance, but it is a fact that abortion is no longer possible, or this alternative cannot be easily accessed, in nearly twelve of the 50 states. and the figure is likely to increase in the future.

By leaving the Supreme Court ruling the power to each state of the union to decide whether abortion is legal or not within its demarcation, the country has been divided by an imaginary and archaic border: the states in favor of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy and those who are against.

President Biden saw it coming when he claimed that the Supreme Court's decision was "a tragic mistake."

In a world where artificial intelligence seems to have achieved the creation of machines with apparent lives of their own, Mars is being explored and biotechnology has made it possible, in much of the world, to win the battle against an unprecedented and deadly pandemic, it seems like absolute nonsense to discuss what sanity has settled nearly a century ago.

But it is just as insane as the debate that is waged there today about carrying firearms – weapons that have killed hundreds of innocents – and then it is worth asking with concern and alarm: what happens to common sense in that powerful nation?

One would almost doubt if with so much travel to the past, the dinosaurs have returned to the northern empire and are devouring their sanity.

But the situation is too serious to even allow the hint of a smile because, right now, in about 13 states of the Union, over 36 million women of reproductive age will be deprived of the right to an abortion, with all the negative effects that it entails.

Considering the possibility that, finally, 26 of the 50 states will prohibit or strongly restrict abortion, according to expert estimates, 41% of North American women of childbearing age would be directly affected by this new ban, which will imply the closure of clinics where abortion is performed.

With this, those who decide the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy would have to travel an average of 450 km to access this service, compared to the average of 56 km that women currently have to travel, according to Catalina Martínez Coral, senior regional director of the Center for Reproductive Rights for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Once again, the chain will be broken at the weakest link, which are, in this particular case, most of women living in rural areas as well as those who are part of minorities -migrants, blacks...- with low economic resources and little or no government support. They will be the ones required to resort to clandestine abortions or to continue with the pregnancy resulting from rape.

Noam Chomsky said it: “USA. It is a very strange country.” Thus he commented in an interview and abounded in the "deaths of despair" (suicide, drug overdose, etc.) that took place precisely in the richest country in the world and where despair was supposed to have many palliatives.

But, as paradoxical as it may seem, that is the only country in the developed world where life expectancy has decreased and the mortality rate has been increasing since the 1990s. This was confirmed by economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton, who found that a whole segment of the American population, middle-aged white men and women, were dying more often from drug, alcohol, or suicide.

At the same time, surveys confirmed that precisely this group suffered a significant increase in mental health problems, chronic pain, depression and inability to go to work. Both researchers coined the term cited by Chomsky.

Now, how many more digits could be added to these “deaths of despair,” as a result of the fact that in that “very strange” country, the right to abortion can be hindered or forbidden if women do not want or just cannot carry their pregnancy to term?

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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