A Jacksonville doctor told News4JAX she is concerned minority women could face challenges if states further restrict or ban abortions.
“We already have social determinants of health,” Dr. Carol-Jenkins-Neil, FSCJ Professor RN/BSN said. “We have severe health disparities, unfortunately, in in some healthcare settings, the treatment is not the same.”
We don’t know what will happen to a decades-old decision to legalize abortion, Roe v. Wade, and a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion, appears that it could be overturned.
If it is, each state would decide on the legality of abortions. Just last month -- Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law banning abortions after 15 weeks. That law goes into effect July 1.
According to a 2019 study, 34% of black women in Florida had legal abortions. 30% were Hispanic. 31% were white.
Dr. Jenkins-Neil questions circumstances around forcing all races of women to have babies. “A lot of them may not have the same resources -- such as health insurance, transportation to get all of the care, the prenatal care, everything you need.”
While education is important, she says it’s not always available. Places like First Coast Women’s Services say that’s where they come in.
“As the different laws have changed, there have been a greater need for pregnancy resource centers,” Jennifer Pace, Development Director at First Coast Women’s Services, said. “Because if you’re afraid you don’t know where to turn. And so it’s important for us to be there for the community, no matter what, what no matter what the outcome of any laws are.”
The center has a diversity task force to reach all communities. It does expect an increase in demand for its services – based on this decision.
A ruling on Roe v. Wade is expected in June or July.