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    Keep Abortion Safe

    Abortion is safe when it is legal and accessible

    Abortion is health care. Despite what some anti-abortion politicians would have you believe, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures for women in the United States. Fewer than 0.05% of women obtaining abortions experience a complication of any kind. [1]

    Quick History

    In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized women’s constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade. The Court found a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman's decision to have an abortion. [2]

    In 1992, the Court's plurality opinion reaffirmed the central holding of Roe v. Wade in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. [3]

    In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified what an undue burden means in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. The Court held that scientific evidence has to be considered when evaluating the constitutionality of abortion restrictions. [4]

    Objects Used in Unsafe Abortions When There Isn't Legal and Accessible Abortion






    Crochet Needle

    Brass Knuckles

    Coat Hanger

    What Do These Burdens Look Like?

    Restrictions on abortion often feature the targeting of patients or the targeting of abortion providers. Patients are often targeted through limited access, invasive and medically unnecessary tests and consultations, and violence and intimidation. Providers are often targeted through increasingly restrictive regulation, commonly known as TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers), attacks on funding, and violence and intimidation. States have been increasingly creative and cruel in imposing restrictions on women and physicians, and have put some of the following burdens in place:

    • Mandatory waiting periods for women, between an initial consultation and being able to obtain an abortion (some waiting periods are 72 hours) [5]
    • Mandatory ultrasounds and forcing women to listen to a fetal heartbeat before making their decision—famously, North Carolina, in an attempt to soften this restriction, said women legally have the right to cover their ears and eyes while undergoing a mandatory ultrasound [6]
    • Forcing physicians who provide abortions to communicate lies and misleading information to women about their options and risks associated with having an abortion [7]
    • Strict parental notification or consent requirements for minors [8]
    • Male partner notification or consent requirements, even in instances of rape and incest [9]
    • Limits on public and private funding for abortions [10]
    • Mandatory counseling designed to dissuade a woman from obtaining an abortion [10]
    • Unnecessary and overly burdensome standards designed to close down clinics to cut off access to abortion services [11]

    How Bad Is It?

    It has gotten much harder for women to access their constitutional right to abortion affordably, in a timely manner, and with support and dignity. States have become increasingly hostile to abortion rights, enacting 338 new restrictions in the last 7 years, which account for nearly 30% of the 1,142 abortion restrictions enacted by states since 1973. [12]

    Beyond states attempting to erode this fundamental right, women often face intimidation outside of clinics. When women are making their way to the entrance of clinics, they’re often greeted by protesters shouting and cursing at them, wielding broken doll parts, and displaying gruesome images of dead fetuses.

    What Happens When Abortion Isn’t Legal and Accessible?

    Since abortion was legalized nationwide by Roe v. Wade in 1973, there has been a sustained and well-financed attack by anti-abortion activists to limit and eliminate a women's right to choose. Through political bodies, anti-abortion politicians have created laws, regulations, and restrictions to limit access and endanger lives. Through rhetoric, abortion and women seeking abortions have been vilified, threatened, and attacked. Through actions, clinics have been vandalized, bombed, and targeted in shootings. Anti-abortion legislation and extremist intimidation have a disproportionate impact on women of color, young women, and low-income women.

    When women don't have access to safe and legal abortion, they find other ways—dangerous, brutal ways—to self-induce abortions. Abortion is health care and it’s safe when women have access to their doctors and the information they need to make an informed decision.

    What Can I Do?

    Two ways to support abortion directly from this website are 1) sharing the Objects video and bringing awareness to your friends and family about the need for safe and legal abortion and 2) to support safe and legal abortion. We will keep petition signers informed about future actions to support abortion and choice.