One year since the ripping away of 49 years of a “constitutional right” to abortion, namely Roe vs Wade, facts are emerging about the consequences. 

State of abortion, one year after Dobbs decision. Report by MSNBC.

The issue is not a religious one—Roe vs. Wade never declared that anyone had to have an abortion. Therefore, it never interfered with peoples’ conscience. It did allow that persons are the ones—not government—to make decisions about what to do with their own body.

Here are some consequences now apparent from the Dobbs decision: A 29 year old Texan woman was forced to carry her pregnancy to term even though her baby was diagnosed with a lethal condition. A 10 year old child in Ohio who was raped and told she must bring the fetus to term, had to leave the state for an abortion, and the provider was sued. 

Black, Hispanic and Native American women were among the groups disproportionally affected by the decision.

A Yellow Pages ad for an abortion clinic in Iowa. Photo by Crcjfly. Wikimedia Commons.

68% of OB-GYNs surveyed by Kaiser Permanente say the Dobbs decision has made the management of maternal health emergencies worse, and 64% said it has had negative effects on maternal mortality as well.

Dealing with emergencies is more dangerous. Women were denied vital care of ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages due to physicians’ worries about violating confusing new laws especially in states like Tennessee and Texas.

US maternal mortality rates, already the highest of any developed country, went up.  

Low-income women—disproportionately young, black and brown—are most severely impacted by the decision. Unequal access to quality family planning services, economic disadvantage and distrust of the medical system all play a role, as well as discrimination when they do receive medical care.

Family of Joe L. Montoya, in the housing project of a coal mining company. Photo by Russell Lee. Wikimedia Commons.

Poorer maternal bonding at an early age results in families of those where abortion is denied. “There will be a great number of younger and larger families living in poverty” observed one expert. States that ban abortion most often lack social services supporting children and families and have not expanded Medicaid. Nor do they offer paid family leave.

The impact “is likely to be long-term, sweeping, and dire….more women will die, more families will live in poverty and society will bear larger consequence in the decades to come” said one expert.

“This is structural violence,” says Boston University health law professor Julia Raifman. “The US already has higher child poverty than many countries. This will exacerbate that.”*

In whose world is this “right to life”?  to be continued.


See Matthew Fox, “Moving Beyond the Abortion Fixation: Some Theological Context,” in Conscience: The Magazine of Religious & Reproductive Freedom,, vol xli—no.2, 2020, pp. 24-28. Full article:

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE

Banner Image: Storm clouds gather around the US Supreme Court building. Photo by Phalgunnelaturu. Wikimedia Commons. 

Queries for Contemplation

Race, poverty, wealth, class as well as religion, politics and judicial decision-making all play a role in the abortion debacle now gripping America. How do you see a way forward?

Recommended Reading

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

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6 thoughts on “Dobbs: One Year After”

  1. Avatar

    Excerpt – ” “There will be a great number of … larger families living in poverty” observed one expert.” ——
    One does not need to be an expert to understand that abortion as a form of birth control just widens the debate. Individuals and individual rights are paramount but we do not live isolated lives outside of community itself and the community has a ‘split voice’ on this issue.

    And when will the cloistered and celibate, all-men ‘Cardinals’ in Rome stop with their ridiculous ban against birth control? From Wikipedia – “The Catholic position on contraception was formally explained and expressed by Pope Paul VI’s Humanae vitae in 1968. Artificial contraception is considered intrinsically evil, but methods of natural family planning may be used, as they do not usurp the natural way of conception.”
    “Pope Paul VI relied on the Minority Papal Commission Report which stated ‘One can find no period of history, no document of the church, no theological school, scarcely one Catholic theologian, who ever denied that contraception was always seriously evil.’

    Maybe this can be placed on the upcoming synod’s agenda. Has it struck the Cardinals that they are gathering ‘insular information’ from all around the globe’ from fewer and fewer faithful? Oh but ‘we will allow women to speak and some vote’. Ok, well welcome to the 19th century. — BB.

  2. Avatar

    All the social inequities and social injustices, including racism and misogyny, in the US and around the world are still manifestations of the prevalence historically and contemporally of toxic, destructive, ignorant, spiritually unbalanced beliefs/values/actions of patriarchy, systemic and insidious in our modern societies and institutions. This destructiveness toward human beings and countless suffering around the world, past and present, includes the destruction of our sacred planet Mother Earth and Her environment and living creatures, including endangering our own human species.
    Humanity and planet earth are indeed going through a spiritual crisis and transition/transformation. The spiritual evolution of humanity still depends on our individual lives taking responsibility with one another of being more open consciously and compassionately to our co-Creator~Source’s Loving~Wisdom Spirit Always Present in our hearts and souls to guide, heal, and transform Us personally and societally on our daily and eternal spiritual journeys with one another with-in Loving Diverse Oneness of All our sacred physical and non-physical evolving/creative Cosmos….

  3. Avatar
    Cheryl M Burton

    Many of these people who want their free rights to abortion will participate in denying some other group (the labeled mentally ill for example), of their free will (human, civil, and constitutional), rights. Some of them will even vote that the labeled mentally ill should not be allowed to procreate and they should all be sterilized forcibly etc…….. Over one hundred years ago one of the Federal Court Judges said that if you make even one group or classification of people feel excluded, and insecure for their life then all groups will continue to have trouble imposed on themselves in return. So that the old song from that era will continue to apply: “The rich get richer and the poor get BABIES!”

  4. Avatar

    As it happens, black women of all economic levels get poorer health care, especially in ob/gyn offices and facilities. We must keep fighting against the rush into despotism, which has health care, especially for women, but also for any other targeted group, under iron control. There is a movement in the state of Florida to amend the constitution specifically to protect the right to abortion, even though there is already the right to privacy enshrined in that document, which has been used to include the right to abortion; lawsuits are in the courts to void the ridiculous ban from 6 weeks and return to the scientifically determined 24 weeks. Other states hopefully will do something similar. We must somehow encourage and inspire more women to get involved in the political process. And, there have always been traditional methods with the use of herbs and other natural substances to provide relief to a pregnant girl or woman. We need to use every possible means to protect the rights to health, which includes the right to choose an abortion. These laws violate more than the individual’s rights, they also violate all HIPA regulations, privacy, and the Hippocratic oath itself, in my opinion.

  5. Avatar

    What I see within the political, judicial, educational and health institutions within the US, is religious fanatics forcing their beliefs upon others. Some with their self-interpretations of religious laws… which they deem to be the Will of God… are bent on making God and others into their own man made image; and they misuse and abuse their positions of power and authority to do so.

    Recently, Mike Pence expressed his religious views that influence his political agenda, regarding the issue of abortion. Several times he used the word compassion in communicating his stance; which literally disgusted me.

    Is it compassionate to let a mother and yet to be fully formed fetus die, due to an ectopic pregnancy, when the merciful act would be an abortion to save at least one life? Is it compassionate to force a 10 year old girl whom was raped resutling in an unwanted pregnancy, whose own body has not developed fully enough to birth a child safely an act of merciful compassion? Is it compassionate to force a woman to carry a miscarried dead child in her womb, until full term, which is a danger to her life, when an abortion would be safer?

    There are many more ligitimate reasons why abortion is the necessary compassionate and merciful option and it is a woman whom should have the right to make her own choice, to use her own will, regarding her own body… not that of any religion, political party, judicial or medical institution.

  6. Pingback: Week of 6/26-7/1/2023: Combating for Justice and a Solstice Pilgrimage - Promoting Health & Wellness

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