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.
Anti-Choice Politicians Are Using the Coronavirus Crisis to Deny Abortion Rights
And they’re succeeding in ways they never could, absent the global public-health nightmare
By David S. Cohen & Carole Joffe
Mar 25, 2020
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, while the rest of the nation is focusing on staying healthy and social distancing, anti-abortion politicians and movement leaders have been doing the only thing they know — pursuing an agenda to shut down abortion clinics. Capitalizing on the mantra to never let a crisis go to waste, they are succeeding in ways they never could, absent the global public-health nightmare.
The chief vehicle they have been using is shutting down what they deem nonessential health care. By now, most people are familiar with orders from mayors or governors that only essential businesses can remain open. Most places that have put these orders in place have also specified that medical facilities can no longer perform elective or nonessential procedures.
Anti-Choice State Lawmakers Want to Criminalize Abortion Through Nullification
States have largely relied on nullification to uphold white supremacist and patriarchal systems.
Mar 9, 2020
Since the start of the new year, anti-choice state legislators have introduced bills to abolish abortion in their states by invalidating—or nullifying—federal law. If the decades since Roe v. Wade were about chiseling away at abortion access, these bills are now going for the jugular.
Meanwhile, some Republican lawmakers are attempting to criminalize abortion in their states—domestic terrorist Washington Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) and Idaho Rep. Heather Scott (R-Blanchard), who has defended white nationalists, are trying for the second time—by combining fetal personhood with the Confederate-era theory of nullification.
The Real Challenges of Exercising the Right to an Abortion—and What You Can Do About It
by Carole Joffe and David S. Cohen
For almost half a century, every American woman has had the constitutional right to an abortion.
But—as U.C. San Francisco sociologist Carole Joffe and Drexel law professor David S. Cohen show in their new book, Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America—the reality of exercising one’s reproductive rights is riddled with hurdles designed by anti-abortion activists and politicians.
No, abortion providers aren’t craven opportunists. They care for their patients.
A Louisiana case before the Supreme Court could quietly stifle Roe v. Wade litigation.
By David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe
Feb. 26, 2020
In its first Trump-era abortion case, the Supreme Court will be considering a sneaky issue next week that could, without much fanfare, drastically curtail abortion rights litigation — and, ultimately, access to abortion. This issue has nothing to do with the constitutionality of abortion and everything to do with what the court thinks about abortion providers: Are they caring medical professionals, or are they craven opportunists?
In June Medical v. Russo, Louisiana is arguing that abortion providers don’t have the best interests of their patients in mind and therefore shouldn’t have standing to bring lawsuits on their behalf. That’s simply not true.
Anti-Choice Activists Fighting a Losing Battle Against Medication Abortion
Medication abortion is a gamechanger for pregnant people, particularly when other forms of abortion are difficult to access or even unavailable.
Oct 1, 2019
Carole Joffe & David S. Cohen
With the recent news that almost 40 percent of the abortions in this country in 2017 were by pill rather than surgical procedure, now is a great time to appreciate the seemingly unstoppable revolution this medical advance has brought about.
Abortion providers all over the country have witnessed this revolution firsthand. As the director of a network of clinics in a large Western state told us, “We’re doing medication abortions with nurse practitioners all over the state, and it’s particularly important in the mountains.” She explained that before medication abortion, in a particularly remote area, “if the doc was there on Tuesday and you came in on Wednesday, you had to wait another week or two.” This pushed some patients too late in pregnancy to have an abortion. But now, patients in the region “can come in on the day the nurse practitioner is there, which is almost every day, and be taken care of.”
Supporters of abortion rights should be energized, not demoralized
By David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe
April 29, 2019
For supporters of abortion rights, these are anxious times. President Trump has filled the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, with judges thought to be hostile to legal abortion. And this year, state legislatures have passed a seemingly endless stream of anti-abortion laws. Yet abortion rights supporters shouldn’t feel defeated. In fact, even in the age of Trump, there are many reasons for celebration, as the abortion rights movement is working just as hard — and succeeding at times — to increase abortion access and protect reproductive rights. These promising developments should galvanize supporters and offer important lessons about how to preserve and even expand access to abortion.
At least 20 abortion cases are in the pipeline to the Supreme Court. Any one could gut Roe v. Wade.
Today’s emotional rhetoric has parallels to another politically volatile period in the early 1990s.
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
February 15, 2019
The Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 vote this month to block a restrictive Louisiana abortion law from taking effect provided some measure of consolation to reproductive rights advocates who feared the court’s new conservative majority would act immediately to restrict access to the procedure.
But that relief is likely to be short lived. In the pipeline are at least 20 lawsuits, in various stages of judicial review, that have the potential to be decided in ways that could significantly change the rights laid out in the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, and refined almost two decades later in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The 1992 decision said a state may place restrictions on abortion as long as it does not create an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to abortion.
With Kavanaugh on Court, Abortion Rights Groups Sharpen Their Focus on the States
By Emily Cochrane
Oct. 19, 2018
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Abortion rights groups, bracing for an assault on federal legal protections under a Supreme Court moved to the right by Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, are pouring millions into a state-level fight to preserve services — an echo of the localized strategy used successfully by their opponents for years.
The new initiatives, by groups like Planned Parenthood and Naral Pro-Choice America, have two primary goals: to challenge severely restrictive measures advanced by emboldened state legislatures, and to bolster clinics in places friendlier to abortion rights that may become a fallback if access elsewhere is restricted.
Senators, Don’t Pretend You Don’t Know Where Kavanaugh Stands On Roe
David S. Cohen, Guest Writer
July 17, 2018
When it comes time for Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings and ultimate vote, one of the major issues that will be on people’s minds is what he thinks of Roe v. Wade. Past nominees have dodged the question ― Clarence Thomas famously said that he hadn’t given it any thought during or since law school ― or answered with the meaningless tautology that the case is indeed precedent from the Supreme Court and is the “law of the land.” A notable exception is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who answered the question eloquently and in depth.
When Judge Kavanaugh is asked about Roe, he shouldn’t be able to dodge the question, because we have an unusually clear record of how he feels. I’m not referring to the case from 2017, when Kavanaugh was in dissent, arguing that the government could prevent an unaccompanied immigrant minor in federal custody from having an abortion. His opinion in that case was distressing, and an indication of a serious lack of concern for a minor’s well-being, but there’s much more direct evidence than that. There’s even video.