It's been one year since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Here's what it's meant for millions of women.

Content warning: This story includes descriptions of sexual assault and miscarriage that may be distressing to some readers.  

It's officially been one year since the women of America had their reproductive rights ripped away from them.

On June 25 2022, the US Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling; the 1973 law that recognised a woman's constitutional right to abortion. 

And just like that, the abortion rights of US women were set back by 50 years - guns essentially having more rights than women.

And for women across the world watching on, it was a sobering time too

Watch: a look back at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's speech on Roe V Wade being overturned. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Over the past year, the stories we've heard from women and pregnant people have been confronting.

But we can't look away.

We remember the 10-year-old rape victim who was forced to travel from Ohio to another state for an abortion. At the time she was six weeks pregnant, and was ineligible for an abortion in her own state.

In Arizona, 21-year-old Chloe was denied an abortion after finding out her baby girl "wasn't going to make it".


Sharing her story, Chloe said she was 23 weeks pregnant when she was told her baby was "incompatible with life". 

"My baby is suffering inside of me, having seizures multiple times a day. I feel every single one," she wrote in the post. "I now have no choice [to have an abortion]. My doctor called me today and told me I have to remain pregnant until this baby dies inside of me or dies when she's born."

In Wisconsin, there was a woman who was having an incomplete miscarriage and was refused help by doctors after the state's ban on abortions came into effect. 

According to Washington Post, the woman was left to bleed for 10 days. Doctors refused to remove the fetal tissue from her uterus, leaving her at increasing risk of severe bleeding and infection. A doctor in another state then gave the woman abortion medication to expel the fetal tissue.

A look back at Mamamia Out Loud talking on this issue. Post continues after audio.

Then there was Amanda.

Her waters broke at 18 weeks, leaving her and her husband devastated. They were told their baby was incompatible with life, but as the baby still had a heartbeat, doctors under Texas law were unable to terminate the pregnancy. It wasn't until doctors noticed Amanda had developed sepsis - and was extremely close to death - that they performed the termination. 

And for trans men and some non-binary people, their fight for access to abortion and general healthcare remains fraught. According to a report by the National LGBTQ Task Force, nearly one in five people report they were refused medical care because they were transgender or gender non-conforming.


The stories go on and on.

Abortion has remained one of the most divisive issues in US politics. Democrats tend to support abortion rights while Republicans tend to oppose them.

According to Gallup Polls, more than 80 per cent of Americans support abortion rights, with varying degrees of support depending on the circumstances.

The reality is this – in America, your access to abortion is dependent on where you live and your socioeconomic status. For the privileged and wealthy, their access remains achievable. They can travel to another state and likely access a termination, although the mental burden of having to jump through hoops to access a termination remains. 

But for much of middle and low-income America, and those from marginalised groups, the stakes are far higher.

Image: Getty.


Today in America, abortion bans are heavily clustered in the south, plains and mid-west regions. In the past year, fourteen states lost nearly all abortion care. And some unclear abortion laws in other states have made it harder for people to get the care they need.

A few states have managed to make abortion access easier, including California, likely to try and make it simpler for people from other states to access an abortion if needed. 

But for other parts of America – most of which are Republican-led – have become even more restrictive with their reproductive laws.

Some states like Mississippi have banned abortions at all stages of pregnancy unless they're considered necessary to save a woman's life, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape.

In Alabama, there are no exceptions for rape or incest. Anyone convicted of illegally performing an abortion there could face up to 99 years in prison, although the woman seeking the procedure would not be prosecuted.

And Idaho has made it illegal to help a minor cross state lines to get an abortion without parental consent.

For health professionals that provide abortion care, they say they're constantly faced with threats of violence. 


One Planned Parenthood clinic in Michigan was targeted by an arsonist who had a history of calling abortion "genocide" on social media. Reports of reproductive healthcare providers experiencing stalking and harassment - often in states where abortion laws have some restrictions - have also increased.

In 2023, data shows that more abortion seekers are getting pills online. Now medical abortion pills are under a microscope by conservative politicians. 

Ultimately, conversations and access to abortion will continue to be extremely divided in America. And it's clear it will be a key issue in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

But for now, it's everyday women who are feeling the biggest repercussions.

For so long, America has prided itself on offering its citizens 'the American Dream'. Now knowing all we know, that illusion has been completely shattered. 

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.

If this has raised any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24-hour support line on 1300 072 637.

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