Summners: Roe v. Wade reversal will increase deaths unnecessarily

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INDIANAPOLIS – An authenticated leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion signals the landmark case of Roe v. Wade could soon be overturned. Overturning this precedent would be one of the greatest attacks on the individual rights of not only women but all Americans, according to State Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis).

The decision as drafted would effectively end federal guarantees to safe abortions for the first time in 50 years leaving the states to decide women’s health care policy. In March, Indiana Republicans sent a letter to Gov. Eric Holcomb requesting a special session if Roe v. Wade is overturned in order to impose stricter restrictions on Indiana women seeking an abortion.

“Restricting access to abortion does not stop abortions from happening, it stops safe abortions from happening,” Summers said.

Unsafe abortions – meaning an abortion performed by someone without adequate medical training – cause roughly 11% of all maternal deaths worldwide.

“Radical, unpopular and hyper-partisan policies guarantee more women will die as the result of unsafe procedures,” Summers continued. “Indiana has the third worst maternal mortality rate in the nation. We should be focused on making sure pregnant women have more access to health care, not trying to pass legislation that will lead to more pregnant women dying unnecessarily.”

A study estimates a nationwide ban on abortion would lead to a 21% increase in the number of pregnancy-related deaths overall, as well as a 33% increase among Black women. Black women are three to four times more likely to die during or shortly after childbirth than white women. Roughly 53 out of every 100,000 Black women die every year from pregnancy complications in Indiana.

“Abortion, very simply, is health care,” Summers said. “Any provision to restrict or end access to reproductive health care is a pro-death policy. I will remain vigilant and ready to act in defense of a woman’s right to choose.”

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