Jan 18, 2021
A pill to end pregnancy was approved in the United States in 2000, but almost from that date, states began to prevent women from obtaining this medication.
On January 12, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned 6 to 3 a federal judge’s ruling that requiring women to get these pills from a hospital or doctor’s office was dangerous during the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking for the majority, the chief justice wrote that their ruling to make a pregnant woman obtain this medication from a hospital or medical office “did not place an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion.”
So, during a pandemic that is currently killing more than 4,000 people per day, a pregnant woman wanting to obtain a pill to end a pregnancy must put herself at risk by going to a hospital or medical office to obtain it, rather than being able to buy the pill from a pharmacy.
And of course, it is hardly the first time the courts have ruled to make it harder for a woman to obtain an abortion. Almost from the 1973 decision to make abortion legal in the United States, the states have put restrictions on a woman’s right to a legal abortion. For example, 43 states restrict a woman’s right to an abortion under certain conditions; 19 states say an abortion must take place in a hospital, not in a clinic or doctor’s office, at a certain point; 45 states allow health care providers to refuse to pay for an abortion. The list is long.
A majority in the U.S. agree it is a woman’s right to choose an abortion; state and federal politicians and judges ignore that majority to impose laws that more or less make it difficult or impossible for women to have an abortion.