NEW REPORT: Abortion Bans Will Result in More Women Dying

November 2, 2022

Georgia Tops List for Expected Rise in Maternal Deaths Under Further Abortion Restrictions

As anti-choice extremists like Gov. Brian Kemp sign laws to ban access to abortion across the country, a new report is highlighting data showing that the bans and further restrictions will lead to a rise in maternal deaths.

Georgia tops the list of expected increases in the maternal mortality rate at 29% — meaning the number of women dying in Georgia due to pregnancy and childbirth-related complications could increase by nearly one-third if further restrictions on access to abortion are signed into law. Georgia’s maternal mortality rate is already the highest in the country.

On Sunday, during Sunday’s gubernatorial debate, Kemp refused to rule out further restrictions on access to abortion, not saying whether he would sign harsher restrictions into law if re-elected.

Yesterday, Kemp campaigned with Mike Pence, a strong proponent of a nationwide ban on abortion, who said last month that one of the first things Republicans would do if they regain control of Congress is work to ban abortion in every state.

Key Report Takeaways:

  • Researchers have found that if abortion is banned throughout the United States, the overall number of maternal deaths would rise by 24%. This number is even worse for Black women, whose deaths would rise by 39%.
  • The states with the highest expected increases in maternal deaths are Florida (29%), Georgia (29%), and Michigan (25%).
  • States such as New Mexico—which borders states hostile to abortion and currently serves as a haven for care as a result—are projected to see a 25 percent increase to their maternal deaths under a total nationwide ban.
  • A nationwide abortion ban, for which some policymakers have voiced support, could lead these dire projections to become reality.

More on Kemp’s abortion ban and refusal to rule out harsher restrictions:

Jailing Doctors: During the debate, Kemp also confirmed doctors would face prosecution under his abortion ban. A recent report from HuffPost dug into how Kemp’s abortion ban could also open pregnant women up to prosecution – even those who had a natural miscarriage. Because abortion is “medically indistinguishable” from a miscarriage, Kemp’s restrictive law “empowers officials to scrutinize, surveil and criminalize not only women seeking abortion care, but also women with wanted pregnancies.”

Further Restrictions: Kemp has already signed an extreme six-week ban on abortion, which makes it illegal before many women even know they’re pregnant, and has repeatedly stated his staunch opposition to any exceptions for rape or incest in an abortion ban.

The governor has also refused to “specifically respond to how medical emergencies would be deciphered” under his ban on abortion and as the HuffPost report notes, Kemp has said “little to nothing” about the law, particularly on its enforcement, “despite its central place in his 2019 campaign.”


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