Notre Dame faculty member publishes op-ed, "Access to Health Care Means Access to Abortion: How the UK and US Compare". For access to this article, click this link.

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Warning: This article contains content some readers may find distressing.

If you are a person in the UK who wishes to terminate a pregnancy the process is relatively straightforward: within two weeks you can usually obtain an abortion at a National Health Service hospital or licensed clinic free of charge. If you are a person in the US who wishes to terminate a pregnancy, your ability to access abortion health care will depend on two key variables: the state in which you live, and your access to financial resources or health insurance.

In the US, health care is not considered a human right and abortion health care is not a guaranteed right. Health care is regulated by each state, and states have the ability to limit access to abortion health care. The 1973 Roe v Wade US Supreme Court decision made clear that each state can regulate abortion but cannot create complete bans prior to viability. Since that decision, various US states have made it increasingly difficult to access abortion health care by passing laws that force pregnant people to delay essential abortion care. Included among these many laws are: waiting periods, state-mandated counselling that often includes false medical information (e.g. that there are possible links between abortion and breast cancer), physician and hospital requirements, limits to public funding and insurance coverage, telemedicine restrictions and medication restrictions.

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