Abortions: What if They Were Illegal?

There has been a lot of progress in the fight for abortion rights, but the battle is still ongoing. Abortions were legalized throughout the US in 1973, after the landmark supreme court case Roe v. Wade found that antiabortion laws made abortions more dangerous, without limiting them. While both surgical and medical abortions are legal in the state of New York, other states continue to face obstacles. Because of changing political tides and protests, we’re constantly addressing the need for fundamental reproductive rights. If abortions were to become illegal, then it would be a major step backward for these basic reproductive and human rights.

This post was originally published on September 16th, 2016, and has been updated for accuracy.


1. Abortion Rates Would Not Decrease

The main goal of outlawing abortions is obviously to reduce their frequency, or eliminate them altogether. However, history has shown that outlawing abortions does not have this effect. Women who are pregnant but are not ready to have or do not want a child will still seek out an abortion. Rather than going to sterile medical clinics, though, women would be forced to settle for dangerous procedures performed by people without state-of-the-art medical technology.


2. Abortions Would Be Very Dangerous

There is extensive research supporting the fact that modern abortion procedures are safe. Thanks to modern medicine, abortion procedures are highly unlikely to result in severe side effects. However, this is one of the most common abortion myths.

If abortions were illegalized, then this would no longer be the case. Underground abortion providers and home remedies both create less-than-optimal environments. Without trained doctors, the proper medications, and well-equipped facilities, women wouldn’t receive the care they need. Complications may lead women to be hospitalized.


3. Poverty Would Increase

Women elect to have abortion procedures for a range of reasons, and these can vary on an individual basis. One common reason is, simply put, the financial obligations of having and raising a child. Some women may be currently facing financial difficulties, and unable to support a child. Others may be wary of facing financial difficulties after the child’s birth. If abortions were illegal, women in this situation may require increased funding from social services and welfare. The time responsibilities of raising a child may also limit a woman’s ability to find a viable job.


4. People Would Be Punished Unnecessarily

In a society with illegalized abortion, the punishment for having the procedure regardless may be severe. Nonetheless, kind-hearted doctors would make sacrifices in order to help women who need this care. This would subject both women seeking abortions and doctors who come to their aid to punishment, if caught. Keeping abortion legal would prevent women and doctors from suffering these unjust punishments.


These points are based entirely in truth and history. Reverting back to a society in which abortion is more regulated or outright prohibited would deny women the fundamental right to dedicated medical treatment.

At Stony Brook Women’s Health, we’re committed to helping women by providing safe and convenient access to abortions. We perform surgical abortions and administer medication for medical abortions. And, our team is always available to help you make the right decision based on your personal preferences. Contact us to schedule an appointment or discuss these options.