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.
Texas abortion ban can go back into effect, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rules
By Kate Smith
March 31, 2020 / CBS News
Texas will again be allowed to implement its temporary ban on abortion, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday afternoon. Per the order, any abortion "not medically necessary to preserve the life or health" of the patient must be halted as part of the state's directive suspending "non-essential" medical procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The ban was briefly lifted on Monday evening when a lower court ruled the suspension of abortion services was unconstitutional and in violation of Supreme Court precedent, including Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Anti-Choice Activists Say Abortion Isn’t ‘Essential,’ but Clinic Protests Are
While the rest of us stay at home, anti-choice protesters will keep performing their "vital service" outside abortion clinics during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mar 31, 2020
Jessica Mason Pieklo
More than 200 million people in the United States have been ordered to stay at home by state and local officials desperate to slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.
Governors and public health officials have asked businesses not deemed “essential” to temporarily close for the same reason.
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.
As Coronavirus Rages On, So Does Anti-Abortion Harassment and Extremism
by Micaela Brinsley, Ms. Magazine
In clinics in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Kentucky, anti-choice protesters have continued to show up at clinics that provide abortion services, refusing to comply with the pressure for people to practice social distancing and shelter-in-place.
Witnesses have reported protesters gathering in front of clinic doors, walking up to patients, and even “shoving unwanted pamphlets and gift sacks into confused patients’ hands” and through car windows—blatantly ignoring public health recommendations for people to stand six feet apart from one other.
Editorial | Whither abortion reform?
Monday | March 23, 2020
IT IS not clear whether Parliament’s Human Resources and Social Development Committee, which hasn’t had a sitting in recent months, has concluded its hearings on reforming the abortion law and, if it has, what it has recommended to legislators. Its chairman, Ronald Thwaites, will shed light on the matter, as well as informing the public how the committee intends to proceed.
Perchance they are not yet done deliberating, it is this newspaper’s hope that the committee will be inspired by last week’s developments on the matter in New Zealand, which finds its way in their report, and embraced by Jamaica’s legislators.
What It's Like to Get an Abortion in Louisiana
"There was a huge table of protesters outside the clinic, trying to hand me flyers and rosaries and yelling at me."
by Claire Lampen
Mar 12 2020
Louisiana is notoriously hostile to reproductive rights, and has now become the first state in the Trump era to escalate a legal battle over abortion restrictions to the Supreme Court. On March 4, opening arguments began in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, a case about whether requiring doctors who provide abortions to secure admitting privileges at local hospitals constitutes an “undue burden” on access.
Abortion opponents in Louisiana and elsewhere see the case as a challenge to Roe v. Wade at the federal level, and if that precedent were overturned, abortion would be illegal in Louisiana, because it has what's known as a "trigger law" on the books. Even with Roe in place, Louisiana could ban abortion at six weeks, if a federal appeals court upholds a similar bill in Mississippi. (Although in that event, it’s likely that Louisiana’s so-called “heartbeat bill” would face its own legal challenge.)
Inside Italian public hospitals, I saw how a US-linked anti-abortion network is ‘humiliating’ women
An Italian federation of anti-abortion activists, linked to the US religious right, is “infiltrating” hospitals to stop abortions. I saw them in action. (In Italiano).
9 March 2020
At 8am on a winter Friday morning, the road to the San Pio hospital in Benevento, a small city in southern Italy, is covered by mist. The hospital’s corridors are quiet, except on the second floor, where abortion-related visits are scheduled to start.
More than forty years after abortions were legalised in Italy, they remain hard for women to access – especially in the south, where most doctors refuse to perform them. In 2017, the entire Benevento province was briefly left with no abortion provider after the only non-refuser at the San Pio hospital retired.
Trump Goes Global With His Absurd Anti-Abortion Agenda
Feb 19, 2020
Rolanda Hollis, a state representative from Alabama, has introduced a bill in her state’s legislature that has gotten a lot of attention. After Alabama banned nearly all abortions last year, Hollis introduced a bill that would require all men over the age of 50, or those who have fathered three children — whichever comes first — to undergo a mandatory vasectomy. She made it clear the bill was meant to “send a message that men should not be legislating what women do with their bodies.” Replying to a question on Twitter, she explained, “The Vasectomy bill is to help with the reproductive system. This is to neutralize the abortion ban bill.
The responsibility is not always on the women. It takes 2 to tangle [sic]. This will help prevent pregnancy as well as abortion of unwanted children.” Hollis added the bill would “help men become more accountable as well as women.”