That the Dobbs decision by the Supreme Court has threatened women’s right to choose is already well known. We are now learning that there are additional consequences from this rollback of women’s freedoms.
After the initial ruling many Republican-led states triggered or swiftly created more extreme constraints on women’s reproductive care. Treatment of miscarriage has become a legal issue for hospitals in these states, pushing women’s health to secondary consideration.
We are now seeing evidence of wider impact and consequence. Women who learn they have cancer after conceiving are finding treatment more difficult because of abortion laws. For some cancers the unfortunate consequence of treatment is that the pregnancy will fail. Pre-Dobbs the common solution would be to terminate the pregnancy with a simple safe abortion and then proceed with the cancer treatment with hopes that the treatment leads to cancer remission and the ability of a woman to conceive in the future. Now, doctors fear prosecution by aggressive law enforcement of abortion laws. This has led some to opt to delay patient’s cancer treatment until the cancer has become life threatening and only then starting cancer treatment, which can be much, much less successful. Failure of the pregnancy still occurs anyway.
A second impact that will affect communities for years is that new doctors graduating with an Ob/Gyn specialty are opting not to practice in states with extreme abortion restrictions. Who wants to try to practice medicine in a state where normal treatments can get you arrested? The result in states like Texas, Indiana, Louisiana and many others will be that women will have fewer medical resources available to them as new doctors open practice elsewhere.
On September 14th, Republicans in the Senate introduced a bill to have a national ban on abortion. A ban that would override Illinois law. Senator Graham said if the GOP takes back the House and wins the Senate. he can assure us we will have a vote on a national abortion ban.
For now, Illinois law protects women’s freedoms. Keeping a Democratic legislature and governor will keep it that way. But, Senator Graham and his fellow Republicans want to remove those freedoms nationally.
When we add this all up it reinforces how important it is that this November that we send Lisa Haderlein (IL 16) and Eric Sorensen (IL 17) to Congress. Their Republican opponents both hold extreme views on women’s reproductive freedoms, views they both have said they want to implement as national law. If you are not registered to vote, get registered and plan to vote. If you are registered, make sure you have a plan to vote: early voting starts September 29. You can also request a vote-by-mail ballot now and it will arrive for you shortly after September 29. Your vote is needed to protect women’s medical freedoms, nationally and here in Illinois.