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Nightmare Scenarios

How the Roe decision leaving women’s lives up to the individual states will affect women.

Scenario 1:

States will prohibit the free movement of women of childbearing age to prevent them from traveling to states that might provide them with abortions.


Tracey is a 29 year old sales rep living in Ohio. Her state has a heartbeat law and is instituting a Texas style aid and abetting law so that anyone who helps a woman access any abortion is subject to a civil lawsuit.

She is commuting with several other company employees from Ohio to Pittsburgh. There is an abortion clinic in Pittsburgh and the current governor has vowed to protect access to abortion with everything he’s got (thank you, Tom Wolf). In the minivan, there are two men who are junior to Tracey in her department. There is one other woman.

At the border, the van is pulled over. Ohio state police? Anti-choice vigilantes? Who knows. Tracey and the other woman are asked to get out of the car and are administered pregnancy tests. Tracey tests positive although she didn’t know she was pregnant.

The other woman is allowed to get back in the car speechless, furious and humiliated and notices that Brad in the backseat is smirking. The driver of the car is given notice that he will be sued. Tracey misses her sales meeting because she is immediately driven to a crisis pregnancy center.

Question: Who will get the biggest sales bonus this year? Will the men in the group decide to go to meetings and social events without their female colleagues?

Scenario 2:

The state has passed a fetal protection bill that holds women and anyone she is affiliated with criminally responsible for any harm that comes to an embryo or fetus.


Alice is a principal investigator at a biotech that researches cancer and produces biologic therapeutics. Alice works in a lab where she may be exposed to teratogenic compounds. Alice has been studying a particular pathway and needs a few more months in the lab to perform experiments, analyze data and write a paper for Nature where she will be the first author. She’s 95% certain that her discovery will lead to a major breakthrough that will save thousands of cancer patients a year. This will put her on the path to major awards in her lifetime.

However, Alice is of childbearing age. Because she may not realize she is pregnant, she may be harming her embryo if she works around these potentially harmful compounds. In an abundance of caution, the company removes Alice from the lab and prevents her from entering it again even if she isn’t pregnant. She will need to give instructions to her subordinates to carry out the research from an office in another part of the building away from any labs.

Question(s): Who gets credit for the work? Why is this company paying for an employee who can’t actually do the job anymore when Joe Hotshot-Labrat has been doing all the work and has been passing the patentable work as his own?

List your scenario. There are going to be a bajillion of them.

Roe: It happened. Brace for impact.