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.”
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.
Texas Allows Abortions to Resume During Coronavirus Pandemic
After weeks of wrangling in the courts, the state eased the restrictions on some surgical procedures, including abortion.
By Sabrina Tavernise
April 22, 2020
WASHINGTON — In a surprise move on Wednesday night, the authorities in Texas abandoned their fight to include abortion in a list of medical procedures that must be delayed during the coronavirus pandemic.
During the weeks of legal wrangling that went all of the way to the Supreme Court, Texas had argued that abortion was like any other elective surgery, and should be delayed to preserve the personal protective equipment needed by medical workers exposed to the virus.
Federal appeals court says Texas can block pill-induced abortions during pandemic
In March, Gov. Greg Abbott barred all procedures not “immediately medically necessary,” and the state’s attorney general declared that the restriction applied to abortions — sparking a weekslong court fight and prompting some women to seek abortions out of state.
by Shannon Najmabadi
April 20, 2020
Reversing course, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday said access to pill-induced abortions can be restricted while the state fights the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision is the latest in a fast-moving court case that has ricocheted between the politically conservative appeals court and a federal district judge in Austin — and at times amounted to a near-total ban on abortions in Texas. In previous rulings, the New Orleans-based appeals court has allowed pill-induced abortions to proceed, as well as abortions for women nearing the legal limit to have one in Texas, which is 22 weeks after the last menstrual period.
Texas Abortion Patients Arrive in Colorado Clinics ‘Frustrated and Exhausted’
People are making the grueling drive from Texas to Colorado for abortion care after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) used the COVID-19 pandemic to suspend abortion rights.
Apr 20, 2020
Dr. Rebecca Cohen now recognizes Texas area codes calling the Comprehensive Women’s Health Center in Denver.
In recent weeks, pregnant people have found their access to legal abortion increasingly compromised by the COVID-19 crisis. And many are looking to Colorado—an abortion care oasis—in desperation.
Texas’s Opportunistic Abortion Ban Puts Women’s Lives at Risk
by Dr. Sara Simons
I was midway through my volunteer shift for a Texas abortion fund hotline when the Texas attorney general banned abortions.
I realized something was amiss when I spoke to a college student who had called our hotline that morning, March 23, seeking funding for her procedure.
By the time I reached her that afternoon, the clinic where her appointment was scheduled for March 25 had been shut down until April 21.
So far, U.S. courts rule for abortion rights during coronavirus pandemic
Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung, Reuters
April 14, 2020
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK — Texas women regained some access to abortion on Tuesday after a court blocked a state effort to limit it due to the coronavirus, showing how even conservative-leaning courts are pushing back on Republican-led efforts to change social policy in the pandemic.
The move by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Monday night was one in a flurry of rulings by federal courts that have acted to secure the right to at least some abortions as Republican-led states have sought to curb the procedure as part of their emergency response. More than 25,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.