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Public Health Consequences of Abortion Criminalization

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Gayatri Malhotra
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Unsplash

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to end a 50-year constitutional protection to abortion, leaving it to individual state legislatures to control reproductive rights, more than two dozen states have enacted restrictions or bans so far, including Arkansas. Experts and pro-choice advocates warn abortion criminalization poses a public health threat.

Jacqueline Froelich is an investigative journalist and has been a news producer for KUAF National Public Radio since 1998. She covers politics, the environment, energy, business, education, history, race and culture. Her radio segments have been nationally syndicated. She is also a station-based national correspondent for NPR in Washington DC., and recipient of eight national and state broadcast awards.
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  • On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision to reverse a 50 year-old federal constitutional right to abortion. The ruling makes way for states, like Arkansas, to ban or drastically limit access to abortion. Reaction from state officials, abortion providers, pro-life and pro-choice advocates was swift.
  • A century before Roe v. Wade federally legalized abortion in America, girls and women in Arkansas seeking to prevent or terminate unwanted pregnancies were often required to resort to extreme measures. Independent historian Melanie K. Welch Ph.D. chronicles the history of contraception and abortion in Arkansas.
  • More than half of all abortions in the U.S. are now terminated by FDA-approved medications — not surgery. Janet Cathey, M.D. an obstetrician/gynecologist provider at Planned Parenthood Great Plains clinic in Little Rock explains the benefits as well as risks.