DATA DEPENDENT: The U.S. leads the world when it comes to the cost of childbirth. The answer? Universal healthcare.


The Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade and it’s done. That’s where things are at and unless Congress decides to codify the right to abortion it isn’t going to change any time soon. Being forced to have a baby is a serious responsibility and when anti-abortion activists discuss America post-Roe, it’s always in moral terms. That’s fair enough. That’s how they want to frame it.

That said, it cannot be stressed enough that the prohibition against abortion is more than a moral issue. It is a socio-economic issue. It’s a financial issue, especially in the United States of America. To put it bluntly, it costs money — a whole lot of it — to have a baby from a healthcare perspective. If the anti-abortion contingent is going to insist and impose its will on women who do not agree with them, it is their responsibility to ensure that the financial burden that is forced on the women are taken care of in full.

IN FULL.

Why? Because the women who are most likely to bear the brunt of the prohibition of abortion are resource poor women, especially women of color. But taking color out of this, childbirth is a major expense that can push a household from treading water to terminally drowning. Before the Supreme Court’s decision, incurring that expense was a choice. Now, that choice no longer exists. So the answer is clear…

UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE.

Why? Because women are more likely to be uninsured than their male counterparts for complex reasons.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “Women are less likely than men to be uninsured, as a higher share of adult women are enrolled in Medicaid. On average, women have lower incomes and have been more likely to qualify for Medicaid than men under one of Medicaid’s eligibility categories; pregnant, parent of children under 18, disabled, or over 65. In 2020, 13% of men 19-64 were uninsured compared to approximately 11% of women ages 19 to 64 (10.3 million women). In spite of significant job losses, uninsured rates among women held steady during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Interestingly, the anti-abortion stance of many politicians is a bit of a head-scratcher since the majority of uninsured women actually live in the States most likely to implement restrictions or bans on access to abortions. Compare the maps. It’s really not a good situation.

Map Credit: https://abcnews.go.com/US/interactive-map-shows-abortion-bans-effect-doctors-face/story?id=85881916
Map Credit: https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/fact-sheet/womens-health-insurance-coverage/#:~:text=Uninsured%20Women,-Women%20are%20less&text=In%202020%2C%2013%25%20of%20men,of%20the%20COVID%2D19%20pandemic.

Crazy, isn’t it?

It goes without saying that if abortion bans are implemented and women are forced to carry a child to term, therefore incurring significant costs that extend far beyond just healthcare costs, the most logical thing to do is to create a universal healthcare system to cushion the blow. Every bit of help will do.

WORDS: Marc Landas.

IMAGE CREDIT: Marc Nozell.


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