Pregnancy and Childbirth Endanger Women’s Lives and Health: “Pregnancy Is Not a Benign Condition”

During oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson, Justice Amy Coney Barrett suggested now that all 50 states have “safe haven” laws that allow mothers to relinquish parental rights after birth, the burdens of parenthood discussed in Roe and Casey are irrelevant, and the decisions are obsolete. Putting aside the callous assumption that giving up a baby is not burdensome, the argument ignores the physical and psychological effects of pregnancy, labor and childbirth.

“Legal abortion has reduced deaths of women from unsafe abortion to almost zero and has had important positive effects on other aspects of maternal and child health,” said Dr. Warren M. Hern, director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic. “It has been one of the greatest public health successes in the history of medicine.”