Study on contraceptives after Roe V. Wade overruling

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It’s been over a year and a half now since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, severely limiting abortion access for women in many parts of the country. A new study has come out about contraceptive use in the U.S. and the ripple effect on contraceptives that Roe v. Wade’s overruling has made.

Bré Thomas, CEO at Affirm, joined us to discuss.

“It is absolutely a public health issue,” Thomas said, referring to the implementation of the abortion ban. “It’s an access to care issue, it’s a healthcare delivery issue.”

The 1864 law, which prohibits all cases of abortions except when it poses danger to the life of the expectant mothers, was blocked after Roe v. Wade was enacted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973.

Because the 1864 ruling was never actually retracted, and Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that the 1864 ruling would go back into effect.

“In 1864, we practiced medicine a lot differently. Who delivered babies was very different, who was involved in the health of women and women’s healthcare was very different,” said Thomas.

The law carries a punishment of two to five years in prison for physicians convicted of carrying out abortions.

“What we know from that law is that healthcare providers and anybody that aids and abet a woman in receiving an abortion can be criminalized. So, what we have right now is a real culture of fear and it’s really impacting care for women,” Thomas said.

Thomas also says that despite the law having an exception for women whose lives are in danger from their pregnancies- looking at other states with similar bans, “that has not been delivered in a very fair or consistent way.”

“There’s lots of medical situations in which an abortion might be necessary, might be protocol. There’s been lots of confusion in other states with similar laws,” said Thomas.

Thomas says that similar bans across the country have shown a negative impact in holding physicians in OB/GYNS and women’s healthcare fields- and that rural areas and underserved communities are going to be the most affected.

“We’re talking about a variety of women’s healthcare services: we’re talking about things like pap smears, gynecological conditions, pregnancy, having safe delivery of babies. We’re talking about a wide variety of services that are impacted, not just abortion, when we discourage specialty physicians, nurses, pharmacists, etcetera from practicing in the state of Arizona,” said Thomas.

Bré Thomas, CEO, Affirm

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