The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Forcing Abortion Providers to Make Impossible Decisions
Mar 24, 2020
The Choices Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, a small clinic in Tennessee, had two doctors providing abortion care until a few days ago. The center, which draws patients from all over the region, sees anywhere between 20 and 40 patients a week, according to its assistant director Katy Leopard: They come from Mississippi, where there is only one clinic providing this kind of care, and from Arkansas, where abortions can be hard to come by, and sometimes from even as far as Kentucky.
In the United States, an estimated 11.3 million women live more than an hour’s drive from an abortion provider, and often doctors will split their time between clinics to provide more geographically comprehensive care. Last year, the Los Angeles Times shadowed a provider who performed 50 abortions in 60 hours when she “commuted” from California to Texas, a feat that now given a roiling pandemic and orders from state governments to “just stay home” seems difficult, if not impossible, to imagine. But clinic workers and reproductive health advocates are trying to manage, considering that even in moments of global crisis, unwanted pregnancies don’t stop.
Abortion Clinics Are Getting Nickel-and-Dimed Out of Business
From legal battles to securing vendors to getting the walls painted, every budget line is a struggle.
By Cynthia Koons and Rebecca Greenfield
February 27, 2020
Amy Hagstrom Miller, owner of Whole Woman’s Health in Austin, has faced many existential threats to her business. When Texas passed a law in 2013 requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, she was forced to close the clinic. She fought the measure all the way to the Supreme Court, and in 2016, she prevailed. By a 5–3 decision, the court ruled in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that the law wasn’t medically justified. There’s an iconic photo of Hagstrom Miller descending the Supreme Court steps afterward, fist raised, smile radiant. Nine months later, she reopened her clinic.
It looked like a happy ending. But a year later the Austin clinic was on the brink again.
How the Supreme Court Could Gut Reproductive Rights Without Ruling on a Single Abortion Restriction
February 10 2020
Julie Bindeman’s first pregnancy went so smoothly, and she and her husband were so enamored with their newborn son, that the couple decided to try for a second child as soon as possible. They conceived easily — just as they had the first time around — but then Bindeman miscarried. That reframed her thinking around pregnancy. “It wasn’t just, you get pregnant and have a baby, which had been my first experience,” she said. “Well, you can get pregnant and not have a baby, and that can happen really early.”
The couple decided to try again. Bindeman was anxious during the first trimester, bracing for another miscarriage. But that didn’t happen, and things seemed to be proceeding well. Then, at the 20-week mark, they received devastating news after a routine ultrasound: The fetus’s brain was not developing properly. If the fetus were to survive to term, it would never develop beyond a 2-month-old — it wouldn’t be able to walk, talk, or feed itself. “Our lives completely turned upside down,” Bindeman said.
The high price of abortion restrictions
By Julie A. Burkhart, opinion contributor
Abortion access is a crucial component of women’s health care. Without the ability to choose if, when, and how to give birth, women face obstacles to economic success, educational achievement, and overall health and well-being.
Restricting access to reproductive health care — including safe and legal abortion — comes at the price of high maternal and infant mortality rates, a price that anti-choice organizations ignore when they push for the ever more punitive abortion restrictions.
Violent rhetoric hinders access to abortion services
By Julie Burkhart, opinion contributor
Imagine your morning. You wake up, have a little coffee and get ready for a doctor’s appointment. You get dressed. In fact, you’re having a great day. Everything is going as you planned. You get in your car and make your way to the doctor’s office. Once you arrive, instead of a peaceful setting, aggressive protestors who are yelling at you greet you.
They are standing at the entrance of the parking lot of the doctor’s office, walking up and down the sidewalk, and before you can even pull into the parking lot, you are harassed, intimidated and shamed for needing health care. These protestors, unfortunately, are a fixture at this health care facility; standing outside, degrading you without any knowledge of who you are or your life circumstances.
Violence against abortion clinics hit a record high last year. Doctors say it's getting worse.
By Kate Smith
Updated on: September 17, 2019
For one of the last abortion doctors in Missouri, harassment, stalking and death threats are a part of regular life. But this year, it's been worse than ever.
Colleen McNicholas, the chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, is one of many providers who told CBS News they've seen an uptick in violence this year, both against themselves and their clinics. They say the increased harassment has coincided with newly enacted state laws restricting legal abortion and polarizing rhetoric surrounding the procedure.
As Trump Fans the Flames of Anti-Abortion Rhetoric, Kansas Offers a Cautionary Tale
August 2 2019
A sheriff’s deputy was waiting in his car along Interstate 35 just outside Kansas City, Kansas, on the afternoon of May 31, 2009, when the powder-blue Ford Taurus rolled by.
The deputy pulled out behind the car and followed it. He took up two lanes and put on his hazards so no one would try to pass as he called for backup. Minutes later, a four-car posse pulled the Taurus over. Inside was 51-year-old Scott Roeder. He got out of the car with his hands raised. There was blood on his pants and one of his shoes.
Restrictive Abortion Laws Have Consequences That Reach Far Beyond State Lines
Abortion providers are preparing for a ripple effect.
July 31, 2019
By Mattie Quinn
When we talk about the wave of proposed abortion restrictions sweeping the nation, we often focus on people in the states where those bans would go into effect. Those in Alabama who wouldn’t be able to access abortion unless their health or lives were in danger. People in Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Ohio who would be barred from getting an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Those in Missouri who would be beholden to a law outlawing abortion after eight weeks gestation. The doctors who could face criminal charges if they were to perform certain types of abortions anyway.
Ten years after abortion doctor's murder, one woman carries the fight for reproductive rights
In 2009, George Tiller was shot dead in Kansas. Today, as America’s discord over abortion reaches fever pitch, Julie Burkhart is keeping the flame alive
Fri 31 May 2019
Julie Burkhart remembers all too vividly the morning of 31 May 2009. It was a Sunday and she was in a meeting in Washington DC when, shortly after 10am, her phone started buzzing incessantly with calls from her home town of Wichita, Kansas.
When she got through to one of her co-workers she thought at first he was making a surreal joke. George Tiller, her mentor with whom she had worked side-by-side for the past eight years at the frontlines of America’s abortion wars, had been accosted at Sunday service in his Wichita church and shot dead.
How abortion has changed since the Roe v. Wade ruling in the U.S.
By David Crary and Carla K. Johnson
The Associated Press
May 26, 2019
A wave of state abortion bans has set off speculation: What would happen if Roe v. Wade, the ruling establishing abortion rights nationwide, were overturned?
Although far from a certainty, even with increased conservative clout on the Supreme Court, a reversal of Roe would mean abortion policy would revert to the states, and many would be eager to impose bans.