This week we are sitting on pins and needles waiting for the Supreme Court's ruling on health reform. Some have compared the decision to Roe v Wade in terms of its impact on access to medical care for the poor. For some, the comparison may seem odd, but given the choice of presidential candidates and the record of decisions by the current justices, we may be sitting on pins and needles concerning a ruling on access to a safe and legal means to terminate a pregnancy in the near future.
The faultlines of the abortion debate are deep and wide so it isn't often that the who, what, why data of the issue are trotted out for discussion, as is the case with Richard Florida's article in The Atlantic Cities. Richard Florida, co-founder of The Atlantic Cities, is not a public health practitioner or advocate; however, his magazine's tag line is 'Place Matters', making a geographic examination of abortion across the nation "kinda sorta" a fit? In any case, the article titled, The Geography of Abortion, maps data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Guttmacher Institute. From examination of the data Florida concludes the following:
"While the issue of abortion is typically posed in political or moral terms, its geography reflects the stark reality of class in America. Abortion and reproductive health services are more readily available in more affluent, more educated, more knowledge-based states, while women in poorer states with more traditional blue-collar economies face fewer, if any, choices for reproductive health services and must contend with far greater restrictions on their reproductive rights".
The article is a useful data presentation of a complex and politically charged issue for a non-public health audience.