Federal judges in 3 U.S. states block orders limiting abortion access over COVID-19
Caroline Kelly, CNN
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Federal judges in Alabama, Ohio and Texas have blocked orders banning nonessential medical procedures from limiting abortion access during the coronavirus outbreak, a win for abortion rights activists as the fight over abortion rights intersects with the worsening pandemic.
"Because Alabama law imposes time limits on when women can obtain abortions, the March 27 order is likely to fully prevent some women from exercising their right to obtain an abortion," federal Judge Myron Thompson, from the Middle District of Alabama, wrote Monday. He temporarily halted the order, issued by the state's Health Department earlier this month, until April 13.
States Are Using the Cover of COVID-19 to Restrict Abortion and Healthcare for Women
With constituents distracted by the deadly pandemic, Republican state legislatures across the country are ramping up efforts to limit access to abortion
By Alex Morris
March 30, 2020
On March 18th, as the reality of the coronavirus crisis was becoming painfully apparent to Americans, the Idaho legislature was turning its attention to healthcare concerns of another kind: making sure that women were denied access to abortion at some nebulous future date. Across the country, state legislatures had gone into recess, heeding the social distancing advice of medical professionals. Not Idaho. For at least an hour on the floor of the House, there was vigorous debate over Senate Bill 1385, a so-called “trigger law” that would immediately criminalize abortion in the state if Roe v. Wade were overturned or a constitutional amendment gave states the right to criminalize it themselves. Under the law, performing an abortion would be a felony, except in instances of officially-reported rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother. “Everyone needs to face the consequences of their own personal choices,” Representative Megan Blanksma said in her closing debate, just before the bill passed 49-18 and made its way to Governor Brad Little’s desk to be signed, which it was last Tuesday.
The Abortion Doctor and His Accuser
What does it mean to take women’s claims of sexual assault seriously?
By Katha Pollitt
March 2, 2029
Until March 25, 2019, Dr. Willie Parker was a highly respected and much-loved abortion provider in Alabama, the celebrated author of a best-selling book, Life’s Work, in which he defended abortion from a Christian perspective, and a frequent, charismatic speaker and honoree at pro-choice conferences and events. An imposing middle-aged black man who grew up poor in Alabama, he was the movement’s rock star. That all changed overnight, when Candice Russell, a 35-year-old Latina volunteer in Dallas, posted an article on Medium, “To All the Women Whose Names I Don’t Know, About the Pain We Share, the Secrets We Keep, and the Silence That Shouldn’t Have Been Asked For.”
The #MeToo Case That Divided the Abortion-Rights Movement
When an activist accused one of the most respected physicians in the movement of sexually assaulting her, everyone quickly took sides.
Story by Maggie Bullock
March 2020 Issue, Atlantic Magazine
(Posted Feb 21, 2020)
On a 92-degree morning in September, three clinic escorts gathered in the meager shade of a tree outside the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives. They arrive here at 8:30 a.m. on the dot, regular as clock-punchers, on the three days a week the Huntsville clinic is open to perform abortions. The women and girls arrive dressed for comfort in sweatpants and shower slides, carrying pillows from home or holding the hand of a partner or friend. The escorts, meanwhile, wear brightly colored vests and wield giant umbrellas to block the incoming patients from the sight, if not the sound, of the other group that comes here like clockwork: the protesters.
Sometimes there are as many as a dozen. This day there were four: one woman, three men, all white. Four doesn’t sound like that many until you’re downwind of them maniacally hollering: Mommy, don’t kill me! You’re lynching your black baby! They rip their arms and legs off! They suffer! They torture them!
The Abortion Bans
Fault Lines examines early abortion bans passed in the US, how women are resisting, and whether the laws will stand.
(25 minute video)
13 Nov 2019
In 2019, nine US states passed laws effectively banning abortion in the earliest stages of pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant.
Fault Lines travelled to Alabama and Georgia, two states that passed the most extreme bans, to meet architects of the bills and legislators, clinics and patients on the front lines, and reproductive justice advocates fighting the bans in court.
U.S. federal judge blocks Alabama’s near total-ban on abortion
By KIM CHANDLER The Associated Press
Posted October 29, 2019
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked Alabama‘s near-total abortion ban from taking effect next month, saying the law, part wave of new abortion restrictions by conservative states, is clearly unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued an expected preliminary injunction temporarily blocking Alabama from enforcing the law that would make performing an abortion a felony in almost all cases. The ruling came after abortion providers sued to block the law from taking effect Nov. 15. The injunction will remain in place until Thompson decides the full case.
After Abortion Ban Attempt in Alabama, a Flood of Confusion and Phone Calls
August 27, 2019
by Catherine Trautwein
Pro-choice demonstrators protest outside the state capitol during the March For Reproductive Freedom in Montgomery, Alabama May 19, 2019. (Seth Herald/AFP)
Almost daily, the Reproductive Health Services clinic in Montgomery, Alabama, receives several versions of the same call: “Are y’all still doing abortions? Have they outlawed it in Alabama? Where can I go?”
The confusion is understandable. In May, Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, which aimed to outlaw abortions in all cases except when the mother’s life was at risk. The passage of the strictest anti-abortion measure in the country made national news.
The safe house shielding patients as abortion wars rage outside
The Power House gives women a place of sanctuary as they wait for their procedures at Montgomery’s only abortion clinic next door
by Khushbu Shah in Montgomery, Alabama
Thu 15 Aug 2019
The group of women gathered on the porch of a single story house next door to Montgomery’s only abortion clinic had all been strangers until minutes ago. Now one splayed comfortably across a wicker couch, a few chain-smoked and all gripped cell phones as a humid Alabama summer morning dampened the air.
They were all at an abortion safe house – called the Power House – which was brightly lit and whose doors had been unlocked before the sun rose.
'We should be terrified': What Michigan women should know if abortion becomes illegal
If the Supreme Court overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, Michigan and other states could see a patchwork of abortion laws in the nation.
Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press
Aug. 8, 2019
Renee Chelian remembers keeping her head bowed and counting the pairs of shoes of the women sitting around her.
Chelian was 15 and too frightened to take in her surroundings or look at the faces of the many women who sat with her, waiting for an abortion at the Detroit warehouse where the floor was covered in grease stains, and folding chairs and card tables served as the only furniture.
Why this law could be a bigger threat to Roe v. Wade than near-total abortion bans
An Arkansas law is less sweeping than bans on abortion in places like Alabama. It could be more dangerous for Roe v. Wade.
By Anna North
Jul 24, 2019
Near-total bans on abortion in Alabama and elsewhere around the country have gotten a lot of coverage in recent months.
But an Arkansas law requiring physician certification could have nearly the same effect without banning the procedure outright — and it might have a better shot at surviving a court challenge