New Illinois Abortion Clinic Anticipates Post-Roe World
A regional clinic across the river from Missouri reflects how both sides of the abortion divide are looking toward a landscape in which some states might ban abortions outright.
by Sabrina Tavernise
Oct. 22, 2019
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. — When it opens just across the river from St. Louis this week, the new Planned Parenthood clinic in Illinois will be one of the largest abortion clinics in the Midwest, set up to serve around 11,000 women a year with various health services, double the capacity of the clinic it is replacing.
Its size says as much about the future as the present: With the Supreme Court’s shift to the right, activists on both sides of the abortion divide are adjusting their strategy, anticipating that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that extended federal protections to abortion, might eventually be overturned and that some states would jump at the chance to ban abortions.
The Strategy Behind Where to Build Abortion Clinics
The bifurcation of abortion access in the United States means more clinics should be built on the border of states with onerous anti-choice restrictions, advocates say.
Oct 11, 2019
After 18 months of secret construction, Planned Parenthood will open one of the nation’s largest abortion clinics in southern Illinois this month, expanding access not just in the state but across the midwest.
The new health center in Fairview Heights, Illinois, will replace the city’s smaller Planned Parenthood clinic, which provided family planning and medication abortion services to more than 5,000 patients in 2018. The location of the new facility, just 13 miles from Missouri’s last remaining abortion clinic in St. Louis, was strategically chosen to reach as many patients in the region as possible, said Yamelsie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri.
Anti-Abortion Lawmakers Want the State to Know Everything About Your Abortion
Dozens of states require abortion providers to submit data that's not necessary for public health purposes. Experts say the requirements intimidate patients and providers, and could even be used to criminalize abortion.
by Garnet Henderson
Oct 10 2019
Brent Blue has been practicing medicine in Jackson, Wyoming, for 38 years. At his family medicine and urgent care practice, he also provides abortions. As of July 1, each time he performs an abortion he must submit a report to the state including information about the patient’s age, race, county of residence, and previous pregnancies, including the patient’s number of past abortions, miscarriages, births, and number of children living or dead. It also requires details of the termination, including the type of procedure used, complications, and gestational age of the fetus—including fetal weight and length.
Five theories for the record-low US abortion rate
23 September 2019
Abortion rates have fallen to their lowest level since the pregnancy-terminating procedure was legalised in a 1973 Supreme Court decision, according to a new report. But experts say the reason for the decline can be hard to isolate.
The study released on Wednesday by the Guttmacher Institute - a research organisation that supports abortion access - found a 7% decline from 2014 to 2017.
Almost 40 Percent of Abortions Are Now Done With Pills
Experts say the number would be even higher if the FDA loosened its restrictions on medication abortion.
by Marie Solis
Sep 19 2019
While the overall abortion rate in the U.S. has hit a record low since the procedure was legalized in 1973 under Roe v. Wade, the rate of people choosing medication abortion to end pregnancies is on the rise, according to new findings from Guttmacher Institute.
Medication abortion is a method of abortion that involves taking the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to induce what is effectively a miscarriage. The method became available in the United States in 2000, when the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, and has dramatically increased in use since: Whereas in 2004, medication abortions made up just 14 percent of all abortions in the U.S., by 2015 that number rose to almost 25 percent. Now Guttmacher reports that the share of medication abortions in 2017 was 39 percent of the total, or almost two in five.
U.S. Abortion Rate Continues to Decline, Reaching Historic Low in 2017
Regional and State Disparities in Abortion Access Have Widened
September 18, 2019
News Release, Guttmacher Institute
The U.S. abortion rate dropped to 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in 2017, the lowest rate recorded since abortion was legalized in 1973 and an 8% decline from 2014, according to a new Guttmacher report by Rachel Jones, Elizabeth Witwer and Jenna Jerman. The number of abortions also declined to 862,320 in 2017, 7% fewer than in 2014. Birthrates declined in almost all states during this period, indicating that fewer people became pregnant, not that more individuals chose or were made to give birth rather than have an abortion.
The Guttmacher Institute’s 18th census of all known abortion-providing facilities in the United States identified 808 clinic facilities providing abortions in 2017, a 2% increase from 2014. However, during that time, longstanding regional and state disparities in abortion access grew even more pronounced: The number of clinics increased in the Northeast (by 16%) and the West (by 4%) and actually decreased in the Midwest (by 6%) and the South (by 9%). In 2017, 89% of U.S. counties did not have a clinic that provided abortion services, and 38% of women of reproductive age lived in these counties.
After Abortion Ban Attempt in Alabama, a Flood of Confusion and Phone Calls
August 27, 2019
by Catherine Trautwein
Pro-choice demonstrators protest outside the state capitol during the March For Reproductive Freedom in Montgomery, Alabama May 19, 2019. (Seth Herald/AFP)
Almost daily, the Reproductive Health Services clinic in Montgomery, Alabama, receives several versions of the same call: “Are y’all still doing abortions? Have they outlawed it in Alabama? Where can I go?”
The confusion is understandable. In May, Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, which aimed to outlaw abortions in all cases except when the mother’s life was at risk. The passage of the strictest anti-abortion measure in the country made national news.
'We should be terrified': What Michigan women should know if abortion becomes illegal
If the Supreme Court overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, Michigan and other states could see a patchwork of abortion laws in the nation.
Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press
Aug. 8, 2019
Renee Chelian remembers keeping her head bowed and counting the pairs of shoes of the women sitting around her.
Chelian was 15 and too frightened to take in her surroundings or look at the faces of the many women who sat with her, waiting for an abortion at the Detroit warehouse where the floor was covered in grease stains, and folding chairs and card tables served as the only furniture.
Abortion Rights in Peril — What Clinicians Need to Know
Elizabeth Nash, M.P.P.
August 8, 2019
N Engl J Med 2019; 381:497-499
This year, 2019, has become a critical time for abortion rights, with an unprecedented surge of abortion bans sweeping across the United States. Through June 1, some 26 abortion bans have been enacted in 12 states, and many more have been introduced by state legislators.
Yet state efforts to undermine abortion rights and access have been under way since the 1973 decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton affirmed the constitutional right to abortion. During that time, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed the right to abortion while also modifying the legal framework that shapes access to care.
Missouri and the Fight for Abortion Rights: How Past Became Prologue
Missouri’s historic battle for abortion rights presaged in important ways where we are today, and what will be required of reproductive rights advocates in the future.
Aug 1, 2019
The time, the late 1960s; the place, St. Louis, Missouri. Judy Widdicombe, a twenty-something self-described supermom, was raising two boys with her husband, working as a labor and delivery nurse in a Catholic hospital, and volunteering one night a week as a counselor on a suicide prevention hotline.
“In those days, there was no official place a woman with an unwanted pregnancy could go for help,” she told me when I interviewed her for my book, The Choices We Made: 25 Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion.