In the year since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Americans have been forced to reckon with the utter disaster that’s been created in the 20 U.S. states that have banned or restricted abortion access.
And things are only getting worse, Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, reveals on this week’s episode of The New Abnormal.
“The stories we’re hearing from states with bans and restrictions are getting increasingly dystopian, straight out of, you know, horror movies and shows like The Handmaid’s Tale,” Timmaraju says. “It’s crazy when stuff in fiction is happening in real life…it’s so much worse than any of us could have even imagined.”
Yet despite polls showing that abortion access has become more popular than ever in the United States, the opposition to women’s health care continues.
“The states that were the quickest to enact abortion bans are the same states with the worst rates of maternal mortality,” Timmaraju explains.
Indiana–which has the third-highest maternal mortality rate among all reporting states–became the first state to pass an abortion ban after Roe v. Wade fell in late June 2022. Other states, including Missouri and Alabama, banned abortion through existing trigger laws that were set to take effect once a decision striking Roe came down.
Alabama’s most recent state-specific maternal mortality rate was 36.4 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2018—again, one of the highest in the country.
She adds that along with maternal mortality rates, the states also lack paid family leave and “have no childcare infrastructure that are generally terrible in terms of environmental protections and clean water and air. So these are not conditions in which anyone wants to choose to raise a family or has the conditions to have a family that would thrive.”
Plus! Senior staff reporter at Vice and author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power Anna Merlan joins the podcast to talk about the disgusting scenes that took place on Twitter over the past week.
Merlan is the author of a story at the center of a battle between Dr. Peter Hotez and Joe Rogan, which Hotez tweeted after an appearance by RFK Jr. on Rogan’s podcast spouting vaccine misinformation. Rogan dubbed Merlan’s story “dogshit.”
“We are uniquely positioned to engage in conspiratorial thinking because our levels of trust in our institutions are rightly pretty low,” she said.