As a physician, I have seen firsthand the widespread and expansive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our entire health-care system. This crisis has exposed and exacerbated existing inequities in our systems and structures of care.
Delivery of abortion care is no exception. Abortion is one of the safest health-care procedures in the United States. It also is one of the most common, with nearly 1 in 4 women having an abortion by age 45. Although the rapidly decreasing access to abortion will have a profound impact on many people, some communities will bear the brunt of these inequities. Communities of color and those with low incomes have greater rates of abortion and, as a result, will be disproportionately affected.
These same communities have been heavily affected by COVID-19 infection and death. This is not coincidental. Centuries of institutional inequity, structural racism, and de facto segregation of care have laid the groundwork for our current circumstances.