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Denying Access to Abortion Hurts Women’s Economic and Mental Well-Being

Governor Kristi Noem pretends that her new abortion bans are meant to protect mothers. Like most words from Noem’s mouth, science says that’s horsehockey. Abortion does not harm women; denying them their right to control their pregnancies does:

That’s where the Turnaway Study comes in. It’s a 10-year look at nearly 1,000 women at 30 abortion clinics who got abortions or were “turned away” because they were too far along in their pregnancies. “We were interested in answering the question ‘Does abortion hurt women?'” said Diana Greene Foster, the study’s lead researcher and author of the book The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having — Or Being Denied — An Abortion. Abortion foes for years have claimed that abortion harms women’s mental healthand causes physical problems as well.

Data from the Turnaway Study has resulted in the publication of more than 50 peer-reviewed studies, and the answer to nearly all the questions asked, said Foster, is that the women who got abortions fared better in respect to economics and health, including their mental health, compared with those who did not have abortions.

“We see large immediate differences in the economic well-being where women who were denied abortions are more likely to be poor, less likely to be employed, more likely to say they don’t have enough money for basic living needs,” she said [Julie Rovner, “Americans Are Divided on Abortion. The Supreme Court May Not Wait for Minds to Change,” NPR: Shots, 2022.01.21].

The only life Kristi Noem is protecting with her anti-abortion politics is her own political life. We need a Governor who will speak the truth about abortion bans and the harm they do to women.


  1. buckobear 2022-01-24 10:21

    During the Viet Nam War, there were numerous instances of Buddhist monks protesting by setting themselves on fire in Saigon and other cities. Is it going to take pregnant women doing the same on the steps of our state and national capitols to bring sanity to allowing a woman to have control of her body?

  2. mike from iowa 2022-01-24 11:49

    Magats will pass a law allowing strangers to sue surviving members of pregnant woman’s family for spontaneous abortion and they will collect millions in damages., Its all for the pregnant woman’s good.

  3. Porter Lansing 2022-01-24 11:56

    The Republican Party apparently sees benefit to their philosophy to have an Un-United States.
    A country, if we’ll still be willing to label it that, where every state has its own code of conduct and writes its own penalties for disobedience.
    I’ll be glad I moved to Colorado forty-six years ago.
    Come join me.
    Freedom calls.

  4. O 2022-01-24 12:55

    Porter, your evaluation fits the conditions we see now, but I think you are wrong. I don’t think the GOP/Conservatives/MAGA want different codes of conduct; they want THIER code of conduct period. For now, that means peeling off the code of conduct they do not want, but step two in that process will be to subject EVERYONE to this Neo-piousness. Evangelicals, like the Taliban, are not satisfied until their will is everyone’s will. Look at the long term work that has gone into undemocratic institutions like the Senate (and its filibuster), State legislatures (with gerrymandering), and the US Supreme Court (with its court stacking). All these are not to allow conservatives to live as they wish, but to also impose their will on the majority who do not accept their “ethics.”

  5. Porter Lansing 2022-01-24 13:23

    I see your point about “GOP/Conservatives/MAGA’s” wanting to make all Americans live the way they think is best. And, living in SD you see their imposition firsthand. Living in a Blue state all we see of those attempts at control are little blurbs in the paper, which always end with “bill killed in committee”.
    Maybe the MAGA’s can gather their “blood red” states together and secede from USA? Oh, wait. They tried that and the Civil War “went South” on their lofty ideas for low life ideals.

  6. mike from iowa 2022-01-24 13:27

    Scotus is likely to outlaw affirmative action as they hear 2 cases this week. More dismantling of precedence.

  7. O 2022-01-24 14:24

    More dismantling of precedence . . . precedence that that allowed others to crack into the institutionalized white privilege of this Nation.

  8. Mark Anderson 2022-01-24 14:41

    A way of flying women from say South Dakota to a state where they can have an abortion free stay meals etc, is under way. I know, that’s a Danny Thomas way of doing things but it will have to do for awhile. What the free states need to do now is to begin attracting businesses that believe in freedom of choice for women and punishing those that don’t. We are really on the plus side in this debate, but again it could take awhile. The problem as it is on most of these issues is the intensity of the opposition not their numbers Plus the influx of white surpremists, anti vaxxers, Qs the whole nine yards of weirdos that the Republicans seem to attract.

  9. mike from iowa 2022-01-24 14:51

    Opposition doesn’t need to do much They have stacked the courts in favor of religious. magat ideologues who are ticked they haven’t had a serious chance of causing damage to libs until now. They intend to make the most of their arsenal while their sun shines.

  10. Elizabeth Z 2022-01-24 19:07

    Mark A: “A way of flying women from say South Dakota to a state where they can have an abortion free stay meals etc, is under way”… Sign me up. How do we learn more?

  11. Mark Anderson 2022-01-24 20:57

    Elizabeth, check with your Planned Parenthood. Many of them are helping with this particularly St Louis.

  12. brent r mcmillan 2022-01-25 20:02

    I was told 40 years ago by my (now deceased) family doctor; ”Rich girls don’t get an abortion; they have a D&C to remove a ”suspicious polyp.” He said Mommy and Daddy always paid immediately without complaint.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-01-25 20:44

    It’s shameful that we have to create an Underground Railroad to allow 21st-century women from South Dakota to escape their overlords and exercise their basic bodily autonomy in free states.

    It is perhaps surprising that those same refugees would ride that Underground Railroad back to their oppressive state.

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