40 years after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of women's rights, there have been plenty of setbacks. Doctors who are legally providing abortions have been murdered in cold blood by people who claim to value and respect life. The offices of these doctors have been bombed. Women who seek these services have been harassed relentlessly. Aside from cleaner conditions and the legal red tape, the passing of Roe vs Wade actually seems to have made the task of seeking an abortion even harder. Before abortion was legal, the biggest concern was the health risk posed by having the procedure done by someone who may or may not be experienced and in less than sterile conditions, at that. Now, of course, women can access abortions (if they have the monetary means to pay for the procedure and possible traveling involved for many women) that are legal and safe, without the fear of legal prosecution. But at what emotional cost?
Many women describe feeling like a criminal while trying to obtain their legal abortion. At most clinics, women are subjected to things like metal detectors and armed security guards. Women have shared stories online of having protesters screaming in their faces as they walk into clinics, or blocking their cars in the clinic driveways. Clinic workers constantly deal with their personal information being distributed publicly. And abortionists themselves have resorted to all sorts of precautions, including wearing bullet proof vests and driving armored vehicles. All of these precautions are necessary for a legal, medical procedure. All of these barriers are broken because of a legal, medical procedure. And what's being done? Hardly anything. And usually nothing preventative.
So how much good has Roe vs. Wade done? Of course women who would have otherwise died in filthy conditions have been able to have a safe abortion. But how healthy is it for a woman to be emotionally tormented when being exposed to these extremists? If the decision is made to make (and keep) abortion legal, the decision should also be made to protect the women who are accessing this legal option.