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.
On the frontline: 12 hours in a besieged abortion clinic
Rachel is a doctor who provides abortions. She commutes 10 hours each way to work in an area of Alabama that would otherwise not provide the procedure at all
by Vegas Tenold and Glenna Gordon in Montgomery, Alabama
Wed 24 Jul 2019
Rachel hunches down in the seat of a Chevrolet rental, adjusting her disguise in the mirror. She pulls down a fedora to partly cover her face, but isn’t convinced it offers enough cover. She puts on a pair of oversize sunglasses.
While the combination conceals her face, it is also not an inconspicuous sight in the pre-dawn Friday hours in a run-down neighborhood in Montgomery, Alabama.
The Future Abortionists of America
Abortions are simple procedures, yet fewer than 0.2% of U.S. doctors perform them. Meet the new guard trying to improve access for all.
Sep 4, 2018
A sign in the lobby of the Philadelphia hotel read:
THERE ARE NO EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR TODAY
Please enjoy your day!
Meanwhile, in the ballroom upstairs, a significant portion of America’s current and future abortion providers were eating breakfast. The fake-out sign was one of multiple security measures, but the atmosphere at the Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) national conference still hummed with energy. Over the course of a day and a half, 450-plus medical students tried to absorb as much information as possible about providing abortions, information that — depending on where they go to school — can be extremely difficult to get. The vast majority of attendees were women in their early twenties. When the organization’s executive director Lois Backus announced that one of the two men’s rooms would defect for the weekend, an involuntary cheer passed through the audience, followed by laughter.