By Diana Hsieh
In the Washington Post, Linda Hirshmann argues "If Roe Goes, Our State Will Be Worse Than You Think":
In the 1980s, when abortion was severely limited in then-West Germany, border guards sometimes required German women returning from foreign trips to undergo vaginal examinations to make sure that they hadn't illegally terminated a pregnancy while they were abroad. According to news stories and other accounts, the guards would stop young women and ask them about drugs, then look for evidence of abortion, such as sanitary pads or nightgowns, in their cars, and eventually force them to undergo a medical examination -- as West German law empowered them to do.While I regard the analysis as stretched at points, it's worth reading in full.
Sounds like a nightmare of a police state, doesn't it? Like something that could never happen in this day and age -- and certainly not in the United States? But depending upon the outcome of this presidential election, it could happen here. This is how.
Here's my view of the danger: Overturning Roe would create a kind of state-by-state patchwork of laws on abortion. The laws on the books in 23 states would immediately ban abortion; some states would repeal those bans in time, while other states would pass new bans.
So what would happen to access to abortion?
Women with means could terminate an unwanted pregnancy, if determined to do so. They could easily travel to another state. Even if abortion were banned completely in America, they could probably still obtain one in Canada. However, police controls on women seeking abortion would be more likely in that case, as they could be fairly easily integrated into the US's intrusive regime of border searches.
However, women in more desperate circumstances due to poverty, youth, poor education, and inexperience would have few options. Many such women would be unable to procure an abortion in time. They would find themselves saddled with children beyond their physical, emotional, and financial capacity to support well. Due to the burdens of caring for a child, many would be unable to create the better life for themselves of which they'd dreamed. They would be stuck in poverty, overwhelmed by the demands of daily life. That would be tragic -- and the people who seek to create that nightmare do not deserve the title of "pro-life."