Will SCOTUS Allow Pregnant Women to Die? Survivors Share ‘Dobbs’-Related Near-Death Experiences with the Court

On April 24, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases, Idaho v. United States  and Moyle v. United States, about whether states can prohibit doctors from treating women with life-threatening pregnancies until a patient’s condition deteriorates to the point where they are about to die.

Reproductive rights and legal advocates are collecting stories from over 100 women who almost died—and at least one who did—after being denied emergency abortion care.

The Best and Worst States for Family Care Policies

In 2021, the Century Foundation published its first care policy report card, “Care Matters,” which graded each state on a number of supportive family policies and worker rights and protections, such as paid sick and paid family leave, pregnant worker fairness, and the domestic worker bill of rights. The 2021 report card revealed the tremendous gaps in state care policies and a fragmented and insufficient system of care workers and families in most states.

This year’s update, co-authored with Caring Across Generations, takes another look at how states are doing.

The Anti-Abortion Movement Is Coming for Fertility Treatments

The availability of in-vitro fertilization in Alabama may now be in question after the state’s Supreme Court ruled that embryos kept in clinic freezers are considered persons under the law, and protected by the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. It’s a shocking and jarring decision that radically extends the bounds of legal personhood, tosses any claims to originalism aside, and seems primed to make a variety of fertility treatments either extremely costly for patients, or extremely legally risky for clinicians.

IVF is, unfortunately, not safe from the anti-abortion movement. Many of the movement’s leaders have indicated that they would like to outlaw it, and while right now they have bigger fish to fry, abortion opponents have never stopped at simply (“simply”) banning abortion. They want full control over reproduction, and over women specifically. And Alabama just put us all one step closer to their ultimate goal.

My Thanks to Dobbs

The Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs has done a much better job than I ever did to raise public consciousness about the connections between abortion, pregnancy and pregnancy loss. For more than 30 years, I have tried to communicate the fact that abortion and pregnancy are not separate issues and that all people with the capacity for pregnancy—not just those seeking to end a pregnancy—would be harmed by the loss of Roe.

Dobbs however is doing a wonderful job helping people see the connections—from the state of Texas denying Kate Cox the right to end a pregnancy with a fetus that had no chance of survival, to skilled medical professionals fleeing states where they face arrest and financial ruin for providing medical care to pregnant patients.

When Any Birth Outcome Can Be a Criminal One

Anti-abortion and right-wing prosecutors and law enforcement agencies are warping child neglect, abuse and endangerment statutes to criminalize behavior during and after pregnancy.

Dobbs “will further accelerate an existing crisis, putting anyone who is pregnant or has the capacity to become pregnant at even greater risk of arrest, prosecution, and conviction,” according to a new report from Pregnancy Justice.