New York AG Calls For Nationwide Abortion Access During The Coronavirus
April 4, 2020
5-Minute Listen / Transcript
NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Letitia James, attorney general of New York, about her call for nationwide access to abortion during the coronavirus pandemic.
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
We're going to turn now to a subject that has perplexed many people as the country deals with a coronavirus pandemic by closing down most activities. What is an essential business or service and what is not? The answer can vary from place to place. In a handful of states, officials have banned access to abortion clinics during the pandemic in an effort, they say, to preserve needed medical supplies, such as gowns and masks. Texas issued one such ban, triggering a legal challenge that has drawn in officials from other states. New York's attorney general, Letitia James, is organizing other like-minded attorneys general to support the challenge against the Texas measure.
Texas banned me from providing abortions — using coronavirus as an excuse
The desperation we heard from patients was visceral. Some say they’ll go out of state for their procedures.
By Amna Dermish
April 4, 2020
As the coronavirus has destabilized the lives of millions, some government officials saw a political opportunity. In Texas, our governor and attorney general effectively banned almost all abortion procedures, citing the pandemic, and states including Oklahoma, Ohio and Alabama have taken similar actions. We indeed face an unprecedented public health crisis, one that makes my patients’ ability to access reproductive health care especially urgent. But my state officials have suddenly declared that abortion care is not medically necessary. Any doctor who the state claims violated that executive order faces a $1,000 fine or up to 180 days of jail time.
There’s nothing pro-life about exploiting a pandemic to further a political agenda
It’s already apparent a small minority of zealots will do everything they can to use the coronavirus crisis to eradicate the right to an abortion
Sat 4 Apr 2020
Coronavirus is an unprecedented public health crisis. But, for some Republicans, it’s also a political opportunity: anti-abortion activists are ruthlessly using the pandemic as an excuse to crack down on reproductive rights. Six conservative states – Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas – have categorized abortions as non-essential, except in very limited cases, effectively banning access to the procedure during the pandemic.
Federal judges have stopped the bans from going into effect in most of these states. However, on Tuesday an appeals court ruled that Texas could reinstate its abortion ban. On the same day women were told that their reproductive rights were considered dispensable, Texas’s Governor Greg Abbott declared that religious services were “essential” and in-person gatherings could continue during the pandemic. This is despite the fact that there have been multiple cases of coronavirus spreading in places of worship, with people dying as a result.
Column: Republicans think guns are essential during the coronavirus lockdown. Women’s health? Not so much
By Robin Abcarian, Columnist
April 3, 2020
I will give abortion foes this: When it comes to finding new and creative ways of forcing women to give birth to unwanted babies, they are devilishly clever.
In the past few weeks, these relentless crusaders have unleashed a new war on a procedure that is safe, legal and time-sensitive.
‘Constantly Preparing for the Next Crisis’: How Independent Abortion Clinics Are Faring With COVID-19
“Patients think clinics are closed; there is increased panic due to patient’s fear of being turned away.”
Apr 3, 2020
Sarah Anne Lloyd
Independent reproductive health-care clinics are still largely allowed to operate, even in cities and states with COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, but the outbreak is straining an already precarious situation.
“What we’re seeing is the barriers that already exist for access to abortion being compounded by the current crisis in a way that it is limiting people’s resources significantly,” said Roxanne Sutocky, director of community engagement at the Women’s Centers, which operates independent clinics in four states. And people most at risk of losing health-care services, including people of color, will be the among the most vulnerable during this pandemic.
Seeing Abortion Laws From a Teenager’s Point of View
Eliza Hittman explains how she came to make her timely odyssey “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” the unusual movie about abortion rights that makes bureaucracy the villain.
By Reggie Ugwu
April 3, 2020
Before writing her new movie, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” about the odyssey of a 17-year-old girl in present-day Pennsylvania seeking a legal abortion, the director Eliza Hittman embarked on a journey of her own. Hittman makes movies of quietly operatic intensity about vulnerable characters in unremarkable places. To find their narratives, she begins in the field, exploring prospective locations like a sculptor wandering a quarry.
Hittman, who is 40 and lives in Brooklyn, traveled by bus to a blue-collar town in Pennsylvania, where state law forbids minors from receiving an abortion without a parent’s consent. There, she toured so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which counsel against abortion regardless of circumstance, and posed as a woman who feared she might be pregnant and needed advice.
Republicans Are Using the Covid-19 Crisis to Kill Abortion Rights
GOP governors have begun banning abortion during the Covid-19 crisis, creating a precedent that might be too cruel for conservative judges to pass up.
By Elie Mystal
Apr 2, 2020
Conservative judges, at least the kind of devoted anti-choice activists Donald Trump has nominated, would outlaw abortion rights outright, if they could. They’re waiting for the right case, and maybe the right death on the Supreme Court, in order to do just that. But in the meantime, the goal of these judges is to restrict access to abortion services to the point where women cannot practice their constitutional rights to control their own bodies, even as those rights still theoretically exist.
And these judges, and their Republican confederates, are certainly not about to let a good crisis go to waste.
Self-Managed Abortion Is Medically Very Safe. But Is It Legally Safe?
by Carrie N. Baker
Between 1969 and 1973, feminists in Chicago with no formal medical training formed an underground abortion service called Jane that performed nearly 12,000 safe illegal abortions.
Today, as many states increasingly restrict medical professionals’ ability to offer abortion, women are once again finding ways to access safe abortion on their own.
Texas 5th Circuit abortion ruling reveals how GOP using coronavirus to oppress women
Because what better time is there to force pregnant people to give birth than during an unprecedented public health emergency.
April 1, 2020
By Danielle Campoamor
Yesterday, in New York City, one person died every four minutes from the coronavirus that has now killed more Americans than the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As of Wednesday, there have been more than 190,000 confirmed cases in the United States, and health officials estimate as many as 200,000 people could perish. A reported 265 million Americans in 30 states have been ordered to shelter-in-place, school is closed for 30 million children, as many as 47 million Americans could lose their jobs, and the apex of infection is nowhere in sight.
Some in the so-called “pro-life” party of “family values” are using this crisis to limit access to abortion.
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.