Local abuse, rape victim advocates worry about consequences of Roe reversal

MADISON, Wis. — Dana Pellebon has dedicated her life to helping women in crisis, getting them the helping they need.

“I’m frustrated, I’m angry and I’m afraid,” Pellebon said Monday after last week’s Supreme Court decision to throw out Roe v. Wade, ending abortion access protections for millions of women.

It is her belief that the Supreme Court’s decision is disastrous.

“It is anger that women are being forced to make choices that are now life and death choices. They are forced to decide whether or not to give birth,” explained Pellebon.

As the Co-Executive Director of the Dane County Rape Crisis Center, Pellebon is worried about all of the victims they work with. In particular, women who will now be carrying a child that is unwanted by their partner.

“I’m worried about the violence in their home. I’m worried about the violence to their bodies. Not everyone can support a pregnancy,” said Pellebon.

That is a concern shared among some health professionals, according to UW-Madison expert Jenny Higgins.

“We will see increases in maternal morbidity and mortality due to people being forced to carry to full term. We also know that compared to people who receive desired abortions, people who are denied abortions are more likely to stay in abusive relationships,” Higgins said.

Pellebon is grateful to Madison’s mayor and the Dane County Sheriff and District Attorney, who have all said that they will not arrest or prosecute people who perform an abortion here in Madison. However, she says that still does not address a key problem after the court ruling.

“That doesn’t change the fact that there are not providers here in Dane County that can provide those services to our residents, and that is an important distinction to make,” Pellebon said.