Coronavirus pandemic is fueling efforts to increase access to abortion pills
Marie McCullough - The Philadelphia Inquirer (TNS)
May 29, 2020
The pandemic is helping U.S. abortion-rights advocates achieve a long-standing goal: Make it easier for women to use pills to end pregnancies up to 10 weeks.
Federal and state regulations have restricted access to “medication abortion” ever since the Food and Drug Administration approved it two decades ago. Nonetheless, use of the two-drug regimen has grown steadily, accounting for at least 40% of all abortions, even as the national abortion rate has fallen to historic lows, data show.
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.
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” Reviewed: Eliza Hittman’s Ingenious Portrait of the Bureaucracy of Abortion
By Richard Brody
March 12, 2020
With her third feature, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” the writer and director Eliza Hittman accomplishes something extraordinary: she expands her method and her style into a vision of the world. Her first feature, “It Felt Like Love,” from 2013, centered on a teen-age girl in a Brooklyn community that Hittman knows well, and extended the tendrils of the protagonist’s dramatic experience into the broader life of the neighborhood. In her second feature, “Beach Rats” (2017), she did something similar and carried it further, scratching and scraping the surface of social connections to reveal the passions and prejudices underlying it. Now, in her new feature, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”—a stark and harrowing story of a teen-ager’s quest to get an abortion—Hittman creates an intimate drama that’s also a story of the social fabric and, in particular, its bureaucratic abstractions and administrative minefields.
New film shows harsh realities of abortion restrictions
March 11, 2020
There have been several movies about abortion, but none quite like Never Rarely Sometimes Always. That’s because this compelling dramatic film, written and directed by Eliza Hittman, takes an unflinching look at the harsh realities of what a 17-year-old in rural Pennsylvania has to go through to get an abortion for an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. The teenager at the center of the story is a fictional character named Autumn Gallagher (played by Sidney Flanigan), but the obstacles and emotional journey that Autumn experiences are very real for anyone who’s been through a similar situation.
Focus Features will release Never Rarely Sometimes Always in select U.S. theaters on March 13. It has already won prestigious awards, including the Silver Bear (second-place prize) at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival and the Special Jury Award for Neorealism at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
These 5 States Are the Next Battlegrounds in the Abortion Wars
Abortion rights groups are pouring tens of millions into these states to flip their legislatures in 2020.
by Carter Sherman
Oct 22 2019
When Americans think about the future of abortion, they often think of the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion nationwide in Roe v. Wade. But over the last decade, the real battle over abortion hasn’t been in Washington, D.C. — it’s played out in statehouses across the country, where legislators have passed restriction after restriction on the procedure.
Now, abortion rights activists believe they have a unique chance to wrest back those state legislatures from abortion opponents. And though Election Day 2020 is still more than a year away, they’re already preparing.
I Shouldn’t Be Forced to Give Birth to a Baby Who Won’t Live
Our baby had a fatal birth defect. My federal health insurance plan refused to cover the abortion.
By Sarah E. Levin
July 3, 2019
When I was 20 weeks pregnant, I and my husband learned during a routine ultrasound that our baby had not developed a major portion of her brain and never would. The condition, anencephaly, a type of neural tube defect that also stunts the growth of the skull, is terminal. If carried to term, our baby would be very unlikely to survive for more than a few hours.
One in 1,000 fetuses have this condition. We had no warning signs. No indications. No idea this was coming. This was a baby we had planned for. Just three weeks earlier we had told our 5-year-old daughter that she would soon have a baby sister. We returned home from the hospital that day and had to tell her that her sister was not coming any more. It was the first time she saw me sobbing, unable to speak.
I Had An Illegal Abortion Before Roe v. Wade. This Is Why Women Of My Generation Must Share Our Stories.
The author, now 74, had an illegal abortion at age 23.
Carla Nordstrom, Guest Writer
May 17, 2019
At 74, I am well past the age of worry about an unwanted pregnancy. In many ways, the bad old days before Roe v. Wade have faded from our collective memory. Women of my generation have rarely told our stories of illegal abortions, perhaps because we are embarrassed. But our reticence has prevented others from learning from experiences like mine.
I never expected that we would go back to illegal abortions, but current legislative actions in a number of states have opened up that possibility.
What Happens When an Activist Bullies Anti-abortion Protesters
Health clinics say that staging counterprotests isn’t just counterproductive—“it’s completely inadvisable.”
May 11, 2019
It’s been a rough week for Brian Sims.
The Pennsylvania Democrat has been pelted with criticism and demands for his resignation from his state House seat in the days since he posted a video of himself aggressively confronting an anti-abortion protester outside a Planned Parenthood clinic. “An old white lady telling people what to do with their bodies? Shame on you!” Sims shouts at the woman in a clip he live-streamed on Periscope. “Push back against Planned Parenthood protesters, PLEASE!” Sims wrote in a message accompanying the video.
No, the Real ‘Abortion Divide’ Is Not Between Patients and Protesters
The abortion divide is between people who need and deserve abortion access and the well-funded movement colluding with lawmakers to push it out of reach.
Apr 29, 2019
PBS’ Frontline recently premiered The Abortion Divide, a short documentary that examines the experiences of several women facing unplanned pregnancies in Philadelphia as they decide whether to carry the pregnancy to term or have an abortion.
The filmmakers follow the women who choose abortion into the Philadelphia Women’s Center (PWC), where they interview patients and doctors. They also showcase the protesters who gather outside PWC to try to shame and intimidate people on their way in and out of the building. They also film inside so-called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).
Report: Timlin helped cover up rape, abortion
August 14, 2018
By Brigid Edmunds-Lawrence
Among the reams of damning accusations against Pennsylvania clerics that Attorney General Josh Shapiro highlighted Tuesday, one incident involving a longtime Scranton bishop stood out.
In the 1980s, then-Bishop James C. Timlin helped cover up an allegation that a priest had raped a 17-year-old girl in Luzerne County and procured an abortion for her, according to the report.