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.”
For many women, abortion access was already limited. Then COVID-19 hit
Coronavirus—and restrictions on “elective procedures” in states like Texas—have made accessing reproductive healthcare harder than ever. But providers are getting creative.
By Pavithra Mohanlong Read
On a Thursday in early April, Shanthi Ramesh saw three patients back to back. They were all healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Two of them worked in a local emergency room, while the other was driving up to New York the next day to volunteer at a hospital.
They had another thing in common: All three women had gone to Ramesh’s clinic to get an abortion.
'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.
The State’s Ban Isn’t Stopping Texans From Getting Abortions
The order from Governor Greg Abbott, closing abortion clinics through April 21, has sent many out of state to seek the procedure—in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Arielle Avila
Apr 13, 2020
Update: On Thursday evening, federal judge Lee Yeakel blocked parts of the state's temporary abortion ban, allowing clinics to legally offer certain abortion procedures. On Friday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the ban, with limited exceptions.
More than one hundred patients at Whole Woman’s Health facilities in Texas were turned away on March 31 for appointments that some had scheduled the day before. The morning of the 31st, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that an executive order banning abortion during the coronavirus outbreak could remain in place, reversing a federal judge’s block of it, meaning that many who hours before thought they could go through with their appointments now could not. According to Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO and president of the organization, patients were begging, often in desperation, to see the clinicians. But with the order back in place, there was nothing doctors could do except provide funds for some patients to fly to get their abortions out of state, increasing their risk of being exposed to the coronavirus or unwittingly exposing others.
Even if Roe is upheld, abortion opponents are winning
A drip, drip, drip of state restrictions has made abortion harder to obtain.
By RACHANA PRADHAN, RENUKA RAYASAM and MOHANA RAVINDRANATH
Abortion is still legal in the United States, but for women in vast swaths of the country it’s a right in name only.
Six states are down to only one abortion clinic; a court stepped in Friday to stop Missouri’s sole clinic from closing, at least for now. Some women seeking abortions have to travel long distances, and face mandatory waiting periods or examinations. On top of that, a new wave of restrictive laws, or outright bans, is rippling across GOP-led states like Alabama and Georgia.