By: Clare Busch
July 17, 2020
On June 29, the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions to also have the ability to admit and treat patients at a local hospital. The same day, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a new mandatory 24-hour waiting period between consulting with a physician and having an abortion. Other state legislatures are back at work enacting new barriers on accessing abortion.
While abortion clinics prepare to navigate additional legal restrictions on patients’ reproductive rights, workers are also navigating how to safeguard patients’ health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the country, anti-abortion activists have flouted CDC guidelines by not wearing masks when they protest clinics and exploit new distancing protocols to increase patient harassment.
Supreme Court hands down major decision reaffirming
The case, June Medical Services v. Russo, has major
By Alexandra Svokos, ABC News Daily
29 June 2020
The Supreme Court announced a major ruling on abortion, deciding that the
Louisiana law is unconstitutional and should not stand.
The opinion was written by Justice Stephen Breyer, joined by Justices Ruth
Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts
also filed an opinion concurring for the majority.
The Supreme Court Might Be About to Make It Nearly Impossible to Stop Anti-Abortion Laws
This case is the biggest abortion test of the Trump-era court.
by Carter Sherman
May 30 2020
The Supreme Court is expecting to rule in the coming weeks on the biggest abortion case of the Trump era.
Technically, the case asks whether Louisiana doctors must possess admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, a requirement that would force all but one clinic in the state to close. But Louisiana has also raised the stakes very, very high for the rest of the nation: If the Supreme Court sides with Louisiana, abortion providers may completely lose the right to sue on their patients’ behalf.
Inside the Plan to End Legal Abortion
May 22, 2020
Whiteface is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it blip in Texas’s oil patch 50 minutes west of Lubbock that only a few hundred people call home, so tiny that describing it as a small town would be a stretch. But on a rainy evening in mid-March, several dozen of its residents along with people from neighboring towns crammed into a worn-down community center on the town’s main strip for a meeting of Whiteface’s elected officials, an unusually large audience for their regular council meeting.
“I know y’all aren’t here to listen to our business,” joked one of the council members. And it was true. That night, the council would be voting on an anti-abortion ordinance that, if passed, would make Whiteface the latest so-called “sanctuary city for the unborn” in the state. With its approval, Whiteface would join a dozen other Texas towns that in recent months had declared abortion to be murder and announced that abortions (and in some towns, even emergency contraception like Plan B) were “unlawful” within the town’s limits; some of the ordinances, too, designated a list of the state’s leading abortion providers and advocacy groups as “criminal entities.” The crowd in the sparsely decorated community center, crammed into rows of red and yellow plastic chairs, had amassed to show their support for the ordinance, and to urge the Whiteface council to officially designate the town a self-proclaimed “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
States use coronavirus to ban abortions, leaving women desperate: ‘You can’t pause a pregnancy’
Eight US states have worked to try and halt abortions entirely during the pandemic as clinics report a rise in demand
Thu 30 Apr 2020
A woman in Texas was isolating with her family. She was frightened and carried a secret: she was eight weeks pregnant.
Even under normal circumstances, obtaining an abortion in Texas is described as “mostly impossible”. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, politicians in Texas and seven other states have worked to try to halt abortions entirely. They have undertaken costly lawsuits to restrict abortion in the name of health and safety, even as doctors lined up against them.
Abortion providers say they're experiencing a "post-Roe" world. Others say it's worse.
By Kate Smith, CBS News
April 28, 2020
Sarah got a glimpse earlier this month of what a world without legal abortion might look like.
Out of work and unexpectedly pregnant, Sarah, 20, had her appointment cancelled when Texas halted most abortion services as a way to preserve medical resources to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Desperate, she searched for a doctor who might offer the procedure under the table, or a pharmacist who might illegally fill a prescription for abortion-inducing pills. She had no car or money, so making the 15-hour drive to New Mexico, the site of the closest provider, was out of reach. But for Sarah, keeping the pregnancy wasn't an option.
The coronavirus is wiping out a crucial lifeline for abortion services in the US, and many patients may lose access entirely
Apr 16, 2020
Dr. Anuj Khattar was supposed to fly to Oklahoma City on Sunday, March 29 for his monthly stint working at Trust Women, a reproductive health clinic. Khattar, a family medicine practitioner, lives in Seattle and travels a few days each month to provide abortion care.
Washington was one of the first states hit hard by the coronavirus, and Khattar wrestled over whether it was safe to travel under the circumstances. Ultimately, he decided going was the right thing to do.
So far, U.S. courts rule for abortion rights during coronavirus pandemic
Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung, Reuters
April 14, 2020
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK — Texas women regained some access to abortion on Tuesday after a court blocked a state effort to limit it due to the coronavirus, showing how even conservative-leaning courts are pushing back on Republican-led efforts to change social policy in the pandemic.
The move by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Monday night was one in a flurry of rulings by federal courts that have acted to secure the right to at least some abortions as Republican-led states have sought to curb the procedure as part of their emergency response. More than 25,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The State’s Ban Isn’t Stopping Texans From Getting Abortions
The order from Governor Greg Abbott, closing abortion clinics through April 21, has sent many out of state to seek the procedure—in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Arielle Avila
Apr 13, 2020
Update: On Thursday evening, federal judge Lee Yeakel blocked parts of the state's temporary abortion ban, allowing clinics to legally offer certain abortion procedures. On Friday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the ban, with limited exceptions.
More than one hundred patients at Whole Woman’s Health facilities in Texas were turned away on March 31 for appointments that some had scheduled the day before. The morning of the 31st, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that an executive order banning abortion during the coronavirus outbreak could remain in place, reversing a federal judge’s block of it, meaning that many who hours before thought they could go through with their appointments now could not. According to Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO and president of the organization, patients were begging, often in desperation, to see the clinicians. But with the order back in place, there was nothing doctors could do except provide funds for some patients to fly to get their abortions out of state, increasing their risk of being exposed to the coronavirus or unwittingly exposing others.
‘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.