The U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged a leaked draft opinion on Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 court decision that granted federal protection of abortion rights. Ford School professor Paula Lantz, who studies the role of public policy in improving population health and reducing social disparities in health, commented on the potential health effects of a ban on abortion, and the need to accurately account for them.
"Since abortion has been a legal and private health care service for almost 50 years, the data systems and resources needed to accurately measure and track the health injuries and deaths that will occur from illegal abortions are nonexistent," she said.
"As I wrote in a 2019 opinion piece regarding restrictive state abortion laws: 'It is in society's best interest for experts reach consensus on the best methods for producing nonbiased, valid estimates of the death and severe morbidity toll from restrictive abortion policies. This is critically important because we know that when abortion and other reproductive health services are severely restricted, women do suffer and die. The numbers represent real people, are important regardless of ideology and deserve to be known, believed and respected.'"