It’s June. The Supreme Court will release many opinions soon, and one will likely regard Roe v. Wade (1973). It may soon be a reality that abortion is an issue left up to the states, which will cost many lives. It will prove a religious overreach—in a sector that strives to be secular—and a judicial putsch on the American people. One would be remised not to acknowledge theories regarding why those in power on the right want to rescind women’s rights, e.g. the right to an abortion. Regardless of the nefarious reasons behind this, countless studies have shown that banning abortion only creates more problems.

On maternal mortality—which the U.S. already struggles with when juxtaposed to comparable countries—studies have showed the effects a total abortion ban would have on maternal mortality rates. Researchers at the University of Colorado conducted a study concluding that banning abortion would more than double maternal mortality. An argument that many conservatives will attempt to introduce into the marketplace of ideas regarding this problem is that “at least the babies will live.” However, there are many instances in which this proves categorically false. In the event of an ectopic pregnancy—for which Republicans are not making an exception—both the mother and the baby will die. That is not said to create concessions. Banning abortion doesn’t stop abortions. Women will attempt unsafe abortions and the fetus will still be aborted—with the unnecessary ramification of the loss of the mother’s life, too.

The issue of high mortality relating to abortion bans is not conjecture, which is why it’s clear that abortion bans only lead to adverse outcomes. A study conducted by Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, concludes that banning abortion only creates unnecessary maternal mortality. It details that, out of roughly 42 million yearly abortions worldwide, 20 million are unsafe. Furthermore, at least 68,000 women die and five million experience serious, long-term health consequences. The problem of maternal mortality in the US is already pervasive in juxtaposition to comparable countries, and a ban would worsen it.

Infant mortality is also a relevant parameter, given the current data. For a country with a higher infant mortality rate per capita than comparable countries, one might consider looking to fix that issue instead of putting energy into banning abortions. However, this is not the case. Studies prove that most of the infant deaths in this country occur in red states; all ten states with the highest infant mortality per capita are red states. Moreover, the inverse is true regarding the ten states with the lowest infant mortality per capita. Much of this is directly due to policies that are passed in each of these states. And if delegates of these states actually cared about life, they would invest in systems and programs aimed at upholding lives. 

If so-called ‘pro-life’ politicians cared about upholding the lives of U.S. citizens, they would endorse and enact policies that help average citizens. They would work to make education, healthcare, and child care more accessible. They would work to make the foster care system a place where children can grow up and live with dignity. And so on. But in the leaked draft opinion, Justice Barrett insinuated that the need to get an abortion is nullified by the fact that people can drop off their unwanted babies to be placed in foster care; this thinking is flawed. The foster care system is set up in a way that sends people who have aged out of it straight into poverty. Nationwide, 424,000 kids are in the foster care system. Roughly 20,000 age out yearly, and half have no earnings four years after aging out. Moreover, the average annual income for those who have aged out is $7,500. Unsurprisingly, the foster care system provides 50% of the average cost of raising a child in the US. This underinvestment does precisely what the economic system in the US has been set up to over the past few decades: curtail upward mobility.

In my opinion, the issue of overturning Roe v. Wade is not just a religious issue to the right; it’s a way to perpetuate unjust crony capitalism. An endless stream of unwanted children entering the foster care system only leads to more people aging out. And more people aging out means that they will go on to work in minimum wage and low-paying jobs, which will keep churning the wheel of American capitalism. This positive feedback loop—wherein the proletariat is unable to enter the elite arena of politics—is what the GOP needs to remain in power, too.

The wheel of American capitalism can only turn if there is labor to take advantage of. So overturning Roe v. Wade is essential for conservatives to keep that wheel turning because, after all, the U.S. is seeing deaths exceed births at the highest rate in a very long time. Half of all states and three fourths of all counties in the U.S. experienced this between June 2020 and June 2021 due to COVID-19. With this in mind, it is imperative to consider that more births mean another generation of laborers to make corporations richer. Yes, this is ultimately conjecture—but it would make sense for a part of the motivation for overturning Roe v. Wade to be related to perpetuating our corporate capitalist economy. 

Regardless of this theory that anti-choice stances are rooted in far-right capitalist ideology, it most strikingly uses religion as an excuse to disregard the autonomy of women to do what they please with their own bodies. The U.S. is not—and was not designed to be—a theocracy. The freedom of individual beliefs is essential, and if certain people choose not to get an abortion due to their values, they should be allowed to do so. However, this doesn’t give anyone who believes that abortion is immoral the right to reprimand those who do get them. It’s a decades-old right-wing scheme to govern society under a Christian moral order. Ultimately, abortion is a personal choice—and should remain as such.