June 24th, 2022 was a day that significantly impacted the backdrop of abortion legality in the United States for the foreseeable future. Chances are, you’re familiar with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last year. This historic event meant abortion would no longer be considered a constitutional right for the first time since 1973. The authority to enact laws and policies concerning abortion would be given to the states.
Approximately eight months later, there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding what this means for regular Americans. That isn’t surprising. The majority of persons able to conceive and carry a pregnancy today weren’t around before 1973. Also, regulations by state continue to shift. If you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed by changing abortion laws, you’re in good company! This is confusing new territory for all Americans to navigate- specifically women, health care professionals, and those close to them.
Perhaps you’re coping with an unexpected pregnancy today, and you’re scared. Scared of losing access to care. Scared of facing consequences based on your pregnancy decision. Not to mention all the worrying aspects of an unexpected pregnancy that aren’t related to the legal landscape! Avenue Women’s Center is here to help. We’re a first-step pregnancy center dedicated to helping persons from all walks of life navigate the many challenges of an unexpected pregnancy. We believe in educating and supporting women, equipping them to stand up to fear and make confident, well-informed choices.
Learn more! Avenue Women’s Center offers free early pregnancy services at six limited medical clinics in Chicagoland, Illinois. We provide virtual consultations too! We’re here to serve no matter where you’re from.
Abortion Law: A Baseline Understanding
Abortion laws have become extremely complex now that guidelines are determined by state government rather than federal. It isn’t necessarily a simple matter of asking, “Is abortion legal in my state, or not?” Guttmacher Institute lists some of the considerations involved with abortion legislation:
- Physician and hospital obligations– Who performs an abortion, how many physicians are involved, where abortions are performed, and what’s required of all these players.
- Gestational age limits– At what point in the development of the pregnancy is abortion no longer allowed? At the time this blog is being written, 43 states currently ban abortion after a specific point in time, with some exceptions.
- Funding– How are the costs of abortion covered? Are state funds used to pay for abortions of people enrolled in Medicaid? Public funding may depend on additional factors like whether the patient’s life is at risk, or whether a person’s situation involves rape or incest. Some states even restrict private insurance coverage of abortion.
- Refusal– Are healthcare providers permitted to refuse to be involved with an abortion?
- Parental Engagement– Do the parents of a minor have to be notified? Do they have to give consent for their child to have an abortion?
- And other factors! Different states have different laws concerning all these considerations plus more.
All that to say, it’s critical to understand your own state’s regulations from the start if abortion is a pregnancy option you’re considering.
How Can an Early Pregnancy Center Help?
Our expert team at Avenue Women’s Center can’t change the way the law is written. Like other clinics, we don’t provide legal advice. What we can do is help persons access reliable information to make an informed pregnancy decision and receive the support they need. Our free, confidential services include lab-quality pregnancy tests, limited medical ultrasounds, options consultations, and more!
There are several important pieces of information to consider before moving forward with any pregnancy decision. An ultrasound scan can tell you how far along you are, your chances of miscarriage, and where your pregnancy is located. Whether abortion is a feasible or necessary option for you in the first place may depend on that easy-to-access information. Your wisest approach is to understand your pregnancy and how it uniquely impacts your health, then evaluate your next steps from this informed point of view.
It can be hard to find clarity in a world where legal boundaries are diverse and ever-changing. If you’re feeling afraid, confused, and overwhelmed in the face of your upcoming pregnancy choice, that’s understandable. It’s Avenue’s goal to help you build a firm foundation of reliable facts and caring support in the middle of these challenging circumstances. No matter what you’re going through today or where your journey leads, we’re in your corner!
Reach out to learn more and schedule an appointment! We provide a variety of ways to get in touch.
- Guttmacher Institute. (2023). An Overview of Abortion Laws. Retrieved from: https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-abortion-laws
- Guttmacher Institute. (2023). Roe v. Wade Overturned: Our Latest Resources. Retrieved from: https://www.guttmacher.org/abortion-rights-supreme-court#:~:text=On%20June%2024%2C%202022%2C%20the,the%20constitutional%20right%20to%20abortion.
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.