Center for Research on Women and Gender

Statement from CRWG on the Effect of the Overturning of

Roe v. Wade on Reproductive Equity

September 2022

On June 24, 2022, Roe v. Wade was overturned, stripping the constitutional right to an abortion away from millions of Americans. In doing so, the Supreme Court removed the right to bodily autonomy and an individual’s agency to decide if and when to bear a child. The result is increased suffering and a greater risk of adverse health consequences, including the likelihood of increased maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, particularly for low-income women and women of color. The Center for Research on Women and Gender unequivocally denounces the Supreme Court’s decision as intentionally harmful and catastrophic to the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans.

In the United States, having an abortion is much safer than pregnancy and giving birth, where maternal mortality has been on the rise for the past 50 years.1–3 Abortion is safe and effective, with the risk of death from an abortion a small fraction of that for childbirth.4(p2) In the United States, and in Illinois, the rate of maternal mortality for Black women is three times higher than for non-Hispanic White women.1,5,6 Safe, legal, accessible abortions are an important component of a health system that improves women’s and pregnant individual’s overall health and well-being.

Because of our commitment to racial, social and economic justice as a strategy for improving women’s and maternal health, the Center for Research on Women and Gender remains dedicated to ensuring abortions remain accessible and safe now and in the future throughout the state of Illinois. As such, we call on the state of Illinois to increase the capacity of abortion providers in Illinois to serve people in our state and across the U.S. who are seeking abortions in our state. We call on the state of Illinois to make our state the safest place to be for pregnant people to access the health care they need and to enact protections for abortion providers serving people from within and out of state. Finally, we call on the residents of Illinois to join us in advocating for continued legislation that ensures that abortion remains legal and accessible in the state of Illinois.


  1. Hoyert, D. DL. Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics; 2022.
  2. North A. Why adoption isn’t a replacement for abortion rights. Published 2021.
  3. Raymond EG, Grimes The Comparative Safety of Legal Induced Abortion and Childbirth in the United States. Obstet Gynecol. 2012;119(6):1271-1272. doi:10.1097/AOG.0b013e318258c833
  4. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Chapter 2. The Safety and Quality of Current Abortion Methods. In: The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States. National Academies Press; 2018:45-94.
  5. Foundation N. The Uneven Burden of Maternal Mortality in the U.S. Published August 2, 2022.,times%20that%20of%20White%20women.
  6. Illinois Department of Public Illinois Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Report 2016-2017. Illinois Department of Public Health; 2021.