In early May, a leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision showed the nation’s highest court was poised to overturn the federal abortion protections offered by the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case – leading to a flurry of states and businesses to preemptively offer to help individuals pay for abortion care should the court do so. 

Jenny Higgins, UW-Madison Professor of Gender and Women's Studies, discussed what the Supreme Court's ruling means for women in Wisconsin.

Higgins pointed out she's speaking as a social scientist and a researcher and not on behalf of the university.

She said she expects a number of harmful consequences both in the short and long-term for Wisconsinites and their families.

In the short-term, Professor Higgins pointed out increases in maternal morbidity and mortality are anticipated. She said that will especially affect low income and rural communities, also Black and brown communities that she noted already experience inequities. 

"The reason is that carrying pregnancies to term and giving birth is much much less safe than having first trimester or second trimester abortions," Higgins explained.

She added research shows people denied abortion care are more likely to stay in intimate partner relationships that are violent. 

"We also know that people denied abortion care are more likely to be living in poverty in the years following that abortion denial as well as less likely to be able to achieve educational and professional goals," Higgins said.

You can watch the entire interview above.