She tried to get an abortion during the
pandemic. Her state wouldn’t allow it
(Interactive) Photographs by Glenna Gordon
Story by Kyle Almond and Benazir Wehelie, CNN
June 29, 2020
In the early days of the coronavirus
pandemic, many states put a temporary ban on elective surgeries and medical
procedures deemed nonessential. For several states, that included abortion.
It didn’t take long for abortion providers to
challenge the new restrictions. In some states, several judges blocked the
bans. Others were eventually lifted by the states themselves. But for weeks,
many women were left in limbo.
The Fight to Protect Abortion Access Amid the Pandemic
June 15 2020
It wasn’t much past 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning in late April, and anti-choice protesters outside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, were already cantankerous: There were three men with bullhorns, including one on top of a ladder; a 1,200-watt speaker pointing toward the clinic’s front door; and another protester blowing a shofar. “Welcome to the circus,” said Kim Gibson, a clinic escort who works to keep the mayhem away from patients.
Even as the coronavirus pandemic has gripped the nation (new cases are still on the rise in Mississippi), protesters disregarded Jackson’s stay-at-home order and have consistently failed to wear masks or keep appropriate social distance — not only from one another, but also from patients, whose cars they readily approach in an effort to “counsel” them and hand out anti-abortion propaganda.
I Traveled To Texas During The Pandemic To Provide Abortion Care. Here’s What I Saw.
Closing clinics, banning telehealth and enforcing waiting periods is dangerous and burdensome at any time, but especially during this pandemic.
Glenna Martin, M.D., M.P.H.
May 25, 2020
As I flew out of Texas in February, I never imagined the tragedy and upheaval that would take place before I was able to return eight weeks later.
I travel monthly from Seattle to Texas to help provide abortion care. But at the end of March — as the coronavirus pandemic was ramping up —Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order halting such care, deeming it nonessential — an order reinforced by the state’s attorney general.
Inside the Plan to End Legal Abortion
May 22, 2020
Whiteface is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it blip in Texas’s oil patch 50 minutes west of Lubbock that only a few hundred people call home, so tiny that describing it as a small town would be a stretch. But on a rainy evening in mid-March, several dozen of its residents along with people from neighboring towns crammed into a worn-down community center on the town’s main strip for a meeting of Whiteface’s elected officials, an unusually large audience for their regular council meeting.
“I know y’all aren’t here to listen to our business,” joked one of the council members. And it was true. That night, the council would be voting on an anti-abortion ordinance that, if passed, would make Whiteface the latest so-called “sanctuary city for the unborn” in the state. With its approval, Whiteface would join a dozen other Texas towns that in recent months had declared abortion to be murder and announced that abortions (and in some towns, even emergency contraception like Plan B) were “unlawful” within the town’s limits; some of the ordinances, too, designated a list of the state’s leading abortion providers and advocacy groups as “criminal entities.” The crowd in the sparsely decorated community center, crammed into rows of red and yellow plastic chairs, had amassed to show their support for the ordinance, and to urge the Whiteface council to officially designate the town a self-proclaimed “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
'I see a danger in returning to a pre-Roe world:' Abortion advocates view coronavirus-era restrictions as a dark sign of what could come
May 15, 2020
In non-pandemic times, obtaining an abortion already presented serious legal and logistical challenges for millions of women. For patients who live in certain states, getting care means enduring state-imposed waiting periods, submitting to unnecessary ultrasounds, or rushing to receive care before an arbitrary legal deadline. For patients who already have children, care must be arranged. Those without a car need a ride, especially if the nearest clinic is hours away. Some need flights to more accommodating states. And many, many need funds.
But women seeking abortions since the coronavirus outbreak began faced a new challenge — states' attempts to temporarily limit or ban abortion outright by deeming them "non-essential" procedures, under the pretext of preserving medical supplies for COVID-19 treatment. These restrictions collided with the travel and social distancing restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the virus, leading to an even more precarious situation for abortion care than the one already in place.
COVID-19 Should Not Be Used as an Excuse to Implement Abortion Bans
April 30, 2020
by Surya Swaroop
As the United States is struggling to adapt to the unprecedented influx of patients with symptoms of COVID-19, there is a strong concern that the number of medical supplies available will not be able to keep up with the demand. While this is a pressing matter that the federal government needs to address, some Republican politicians are using this issue to further their political agendas. They have deemed abortions a nonessential medical service, citing the need to conserve medical supplies as the reason abortions should be banned during this time.
The logic of this argument is flawed on every level and indicates how little these politicians regard women’s reproductive health issues.
Coronavirus pandemic stirs fight over abortion rights in US
Republican leaders in eight US states are trying to ban abortions in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Janice Hopkins Tanne reports
BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1733
Published 30 April 2020
Janice Hopkins Tanne, journalist
Texas has allowed medical and surgical abortions to go ahead after a long running court fight during which abortion was repeatedly forbidden and permitted, to the frustration and dismay of doctors and patients.
On 22 March, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, signed an executive order banning non-essential medical procedures. Abortions were considered non-essential. The state attorney general, Ken Paxton, said criminal penalties and fines would be imposed on medical professionals for providing abortions and claimed that elective medical procedures used medical supplies needed by doctors and nurses dealing with covid-19.
States use coronavirus to ban abortions, leaving women desperate: ‘You can’t pause a pregnancy’
Eight US states have worked to try and halt abortions entirely during the pandemic as clinics report a rise in demand
Thu 30 Apr 2020
A woman in Texas was isolating with her family. She was frightened and carried a secret: she was eight weeks pregnant.
Even under normal circumstances, obtaining an abortion in Texas is described as “mostly impossible”. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, politicians in Texas and seven other states have worked to try to halt abortions entirely. They have undertaken costly lawsuits to restrict abortion in the name of health and safety, even as doctors lined up against them.
The fight over Texas’ abortion ban during the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but what did it all mean?
Abortion rights advocates are rushing to help women as another federal legal fight looms over them.
By María Méndez
Apr 28, 2020
AUSTIN -- A lawsuit over whether Texas can halt abortions under coronavirus executive orders ping-ponged back and forth between federal courts, resulting in periods of little to no access, over the last month.
The heated legal fight, which at one point appeared to be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, dwindled last week under a new gubernatorial order that eased restrictions on elective medical procedures, allowing abortions to resume.
'It Wears on Your Soul': COVID Has Created an Abortion Nightmare in Texas
In recent weeks, providers have been forced to cancel hundreds of abortion appointments, then call patients back in, only to send them home once more. Abortion funds are helping manage the fallout.
by Mary Tuma
Apr 27 2020
When Texas officials effectively banned abortion in the state in late March, Kamyon Conner and her staff rushed to figure out how to compassionately tell clients that they could no longer access care. Conner doesn’t run an abortion clinic, she’s the executive director of the Texas Equal Access Fund, an abortion fund that provides financial assistance to women in north, east, and west Texas. Their hotline was already busier than normal even before Texas used the coronavirus pandemic to restrict access to abortion.