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
On the frontline: 12 hours in a besieged abortion clinic
Rachel is a doctor who provides abortions. She commutes 10 hours each way to work in an area of Alabama that would otherwise not provide the procedure at all
by Vegas Tenold and Glenna Gordon in Montgomery, Alabama
Wed 24 Jul 2019
Rachel hunches down in the seat of a Chevrolet rental, adjusting her disguise in the mirror. She pulls down a fedora to partly cover her face, but isn’t convinced it offers enough cover. She puts on a pair of oversize sunglasses.
While the combination conceals her face, it is also not an inconspicuous sight in the pre-dawn Friday hours in a run-down neighborhood in Montgomery, Alabama.
Abortion Clinics Don't Want Demonstrators Around, Even If They're Pro-Choice
Inside the fight taking place at U.S. clinics.
by Rebecca Grant
Jul 9 2019
As an abortion rights advocate in a state trying to ban abortion, Helmi Henkin isn't usually in the position of turning away support.
Henkin chairs of the clinic escort program for West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa, one of the three abortion clinics left in Alabama, and formerly lead communications for The Yellowhammer Fund, the only statewide abortion fund. In May, an anti-abortion protester tried to run over a WAWC escort in the parking lot with an SUV. One week later, Governor Kay Ivey signed an extreme abortion ban into law and, since then, Alabama has been in the national spotlight as a harbinger of what’s to come. Henkin has found that since the law’s signing, pro-choice advocates across the country feel an urgency to do something about it. Some send money, while others want to protect abortion clinics in a more physical way.
Pussy Riot performing in Alabama to protest 'ridiculous' abortion ban
July 7, 2019
By Maggy DONALDSON
The Russian collective Pussy Riot will perform in Alabama on Thursday, a sold-out concert to raise money for women's rights groups in light of state's recent passage of a near-total ban on abortion.
Proceeds from the Birmingham benefit will go to Planned Parenthood and the Yellowhammer Fund, a group that gives assistance to women seeking abortions at one of the southern U.S. state's three clinics
The Alabama woman indicted after a miscarriage will not be prosecuted
A jury initially indicted Marshae Jones on manslaughter charges after a shooting caused her to miscarry, sparking a national outcry.
By P.R. Lockhart
Jul 3, 2019
One week after her story drew national attention, Marshae Jones, the Alabama woman who faced criminal charges after a shooting caused her to miscarry, will not be prosecuted, the Alabama district attorney announced Wednesday.
“After viewing the facts of this case and the applicable state law I have determined that it is not in the best interest of justice to pursue prosecution of Ms. Jones on the manslaughter charge for which she was indicted by the grand jury,” Jefferson County District Attorney Lynneice Washington said at a press conference. “Therefore, I am dismissing this case and no further legal action will be taken against Ms. Jones in this matter.”