Abortion Providers Are Acting as Travel Agents. That’s Wrong.
The spread of COVID-19 will only further complicate the efforts to get abortion patients to clinics safely and efficiently.
Mar 25, 2020
David S. Cohen & Carole Joffe
We will not find out for a few months how the recently argued U.S. Supreme Court case, June Medical v. Russo, will be decided. But lurking behind the Court’s first abortion case since President Donald Trump appointed two anti-abortion justices is an underappreciated aspect of abortion care in the United States: the extent to which abortion providers serve as de facto travel agents for patients.
If the Supreme Court rules against abortion rights in this case, an already challenging situation will become much worse. But even before the Court rules, the COVID-19 crisis is already complicating abortion care and putting more pressure on providers to troubleshoot travel issues.
Meet the Abortion Clinic Escorts Shielding Patients From Harassment
Rose Himber Howse
Jan 22, 2020
It’s my first day as an escort at A Woman’s Choice, the lone abortion clinic in Greensboro, North Carolina. At 7 in the morning, it feels like I’ve stumbled onto a block party. At least 50 people are gathered in the parking lot, a space designed for 20 cars, and a guitarist with an amp is strumming and crooning.
Blocking the view of the actual clinic is the Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center’s mobile unit: a pink and white van that serves as the mother ship for six anti-abortion activists also wearing pink. The layout is a nightmare for patients who have to navigate a series of turnoffs that lead them past the van and through the parking lot where these protesters set up camp each morning.
Abortion in the south: The 'escorts' who ward off protesters at Mississippi's lone clinic
‘Clinic escorts’ create a buffer between protesters and women arriving at the clinic as its role becomes ever more important
by Khushbu Shah in Jackson, Mississippi
Tue 13 Aug 2019
Kim Gibson wore a pastel rainbow-striped vest with the words “clinic escort” in bold, black letters as she glanced over at the arriving white van. She was irritated by the sudden appearance in Jackson of more Christian anti-abortion protesters in front of Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic.
She watched as the vehicle pulled up, letting out two sisters. They dropped picket signs onto the Jackson sidewalk before their mother drove off to park. When she walked back with her teenage son, Gibson yelled: “Shame what you do to these children. Shame, shame, shame.”
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.
Abortion Clinics Are Annoyed by Protesters. Pro-Choice Protesters.
By defying the clinics’ wishes, the protesters have formed their own radical wing of the pro-choice movement.
On a recent Wednesday, protesters gathered outside the Planned Parenthood in Madison, Wisconsin, for more than an hour, chanting, giving speeches, and occasionally raising their fists in the air. In their hands, they held a hot-pink and white banner reading, “We ❤️Abortion.”
They were members of Madison Abortion Defense, a group whose mission includes countering anti-abortion demonstrators outside clinics. The group is one of at least five similar organizations that have united to form the Movement for Abortion Defense coalition, dedicated to “opposing right-wing, anti-choice protests in the streets” and “reclaiming space and confronting antis at our clinics.”
This Is What Women Have to Go Through to Get an Abortion in North Carolina
As Told To Macaela Mackenzie
November 21, 2018
Calla Hales oversees four abortion clinics in North Carolina and Georgia. For the past 40 Saturdays, she's been facing the front lines of an anti-abortion protest that drew thousands of pro-life activists. This is her story as told to Glamour's Macaela MacKenzie.
My typical Saturday commute to work feels a little like driving straight into a festival. There are tour buses, music blasting over loudspeakers, hundreds of people congregated in brightly colored shirts. Except this isn’t a festival or a fun town parade—I run four abortion clinics in North Carolina and Georgia, and this is the anti-abortion protest we face every week.
The Struggle to Save Abortion Care
First Published August 1, 2018
Abstract: Resisting both physical attacks and widespread policy proscriptions, mission-driven abortion care providers continue working to help their patients.
“Some will rob you with a six gun, some with a fountain pen.” This line from an old Woody Guthrie song is an apt description of the vulnerability of abortion providers in the United States. Clinics have long been subject to physical attacks: eleven individuals have been murdered by anti-abortion extremists, thousands more have been terrorized at their homes and offices, and numerous clinics have been vandalized, even destroyed by fire-bombings. More recently, a harsh new regulatory regime—Guthrie’s “pen”—comprising onerous restrictions passed by state legislatures and hostile inspections by health departments threaten the ability of providers to keep their facilities open and to sustain their vision of “woman-centered” care. As a longtime abortion clinic administrator told me, “Regulatory interference is the new frontier of the anti-abortion movement.”
Inside a US abortion clinic
Valeria Perasso, Social Affairs correspondent, WS Languages
14 May 2018
Ten women walk along a busy, fluorescent-lit corridor. Undressed from the waist down, they wear big white sheets, knotted over their hips, as they make their way to the "relaxation room", a windowless space, equipped with large sofas and a TV. There they wait, mostly in silence, for their turn to have an abortion.
This is Hope Medical Group for Women, a small abortion clinic in the US city of Shreveport serving an ever-expanding 200-mile radius through rural Louisiana and all the way to Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi.
One women’s health center in Charlotte is seeing a sharp increase in anti-abortion protesters.
Jenavieve Hatch, Associate Women’s Editor, The Huffington Post
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina ― Just four weeks since Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, a number of states have become increasingly more hostile to abortion rights. Texas will soon mandate the burial or cremation of aborted or miscarried fetuses, and the state’s politicians have also introduced legislation that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, even in the case of severe fetal abnormalities. An Indiana politician announced in November that he plans to propose a total abortion ban in the state next month. Pennsylvania Republicans tried to pass legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks.
A Trump/Pence administration is looking bad for women. The president-elect once said that women ought to be “punished” for having abortions, and the incoming vice president has advocated for the same fetal tissue burial or cremation procedure as the one that Texas will enact on Dec. 19.
But the women and men on the ground who are protecting reproductive health care access have not been deterred ― even in the face of tremendous obstacles.
On Saturday, employees and volunteers at A Preferred Women’s Health Center Charlotte demonstrated the unwavering strength of the pro-choice movement.
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Source: Huffington Post