Politics

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says Reproductive 'Choice' Is Often Empty For Poor Women

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

During a frank discussion at an event for Duke Law on July 29, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shared her thoughts on reproductive rights, especially for poor women who may not have access to medical clinics that provide services such as abortion, The Huffington Post reported.

“There’s a sorry situation in the United States, which is essentially that poor women don’t have choice. Women of means do. They will, always,” Ginsburg said. 

“Let’s assume Roe v. Wade were overruled and we were going back to each state for itself, well, any woman who could travel from her home state to a state that provides access to abortion, and those states never go back to old ways … So if you can afford a plane ticket, a train ticket or even a bus ticket you can control your own destiny but if you’re locked into your native state then maybe you can’t. 

“That we have one law for women of means and another for poor women is not a satisfactory situation.”

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Public funding for abortion is banned except in cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger. For the 1 in 6 women who get health insurance through federal programs like Medicare, there’s no way for them to use that coverage to pay for an abortion, Fusion reported. 

Ginsburg’s remarks are especially notable given that Mississippi and Texas have both taken steps to severely restrict abortion access, sometimes affecting the women who can least afford a child.

Mississippi has only one clinic remaining and soon Texas could have as few as nine abortion providers remaining, leading some women to use potentially unsafe methods to terminate pregnancies, as was the case before the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 ruling on Roe v. Wade.

Sources: The Huffington Post (2), Fusion Image via Wikimedia Commons