The New Front Line of the Anti-Abortion Movement
As rural health care flounders, crisis pregnancy centers are gaining ground.
By Eliza Griswold
Nov 11, 2019
On the door of a white R.V. that serves as the Wabash Valley Crisis Pregnancy Center’s mobile unit are the stencilled words “No Cash, No Narcotics.” The center, in Terre Haute, Indiana, is one of more than twenty-five hundred such C.P.C.s in the U.S.—Christian organizations that provide services including free pregnancy testing, low-cost S.T.D. testing, parenting classes, and ultrasounds. Sharon Carey, the executive director of the Wabash Valley center, acquired the van in January, 2018, for a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, after finding a company that retrofits secondhand vehicles with medical equipment. That May, Carey began to dispatch the van to rural towns whose residents often cannot afford the gas needed to drive to the C.P.C. or to a hospital. Carey has selected parking spots in areas with high foot traffic, so that prospective clients can drop in to learn about the C.P.C.’s services. In Montezuma, she chose the lot outside a Dollar General. In Rockville, she discovered an I.G.A. supermarket frequented by the local Amish community; the van parks next to the hitching post where Amish shoppers tether their buggy horses. Driving straight up to the Amish farms would have been the wrong approach, Carey felt. The community is insular, and was unlikely to welcome outsiders offering their teen-agers free pregnancy tests or screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Abortion After the Clinic
As Republican lawmakers try to legislate it out of existence, the future of reproductive healthcare may be at home.
By Irin Carmon
Nov 11, 2019
When Leana Wen introduced herself to America as the new president of Planned Parenthood last fall, she had a story she liked to tell — one that showed exactly why abortion access mattered. It was a sad tale of “a young woman lying on a stretcher, pulseless and unresponsive, because of a home abortion.” Wen, an emergency physician who had been plucked from Baltimore’s Health Department to take over the century-old institution, said the young woman had arrived at her ER in “a pool of blood” because “she didn’t have access to health care, so she had her cousin attempt an abortion on her at home. We did everything we could to resuscitate her, but she died.”
Wen was talking about a time when abortion was technically legal, yet the story rhymed with the pre-Roe era, when doctors and lawyers spoke of being radicalized by women filling their wards with blood and desperation, the same nightmare the familiar pro-choice rhetoric warns will soon be upon us. Behind the scenes, however, a vanguard of the abortion-rights movement implored Wen, directly and through intermediaries, to stop talking about “home abortion” in such dire terms.
More Companies Are Openly Supporting Abortion Rights. That May Be Controversial, But It’s Also Good Business
By Jess McHugh
November 8, 2019
For years, Mikkel Svane drove the same route to drop his kids off at school every day. It took him down Valencia Street in the heart of San Francisco, past a Planned Parenthood clinic. And almost every day, he would pass protesters holding pictures of torture and violence, alongside religious imagery. He’d try to distract his kids, not knowing how to explain why these “obsessed people” came to be standing in front of a health clinic, holding pictures of the Holocaust.
The CEO moved to San Francisco from his native Denmark with his customer service software company Zendesk, and he was surprised to encounter such fierce protest on this issue in a place like San Francisco in 2019. In Denmark, abortion has been settled law since the 1970s, and it does not continue to provoke the kind of violent debate that still rages in the U.S.
These 5 States Are the Next Battlegrounds in the Abortion Wars
Abortion rights groups are pouring tens of millions into these states to flip their legislatures in 2020.
by Carter Sherman
Oct 22 2019
When Americans think about the future of abortion, they often think of the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion nationwide in Roe v. Wade. But over the last decade, the real battle over abortion hasn’t been in Washington, D.C. — it’s played out in statehouses across the country, where legislators have passed restriction after restriction on the procedure.
Now, abortion rights activists believe they have a unique chance to wrest back those state legislatures from abortion opponents. And though Election Day 2020 is still more than a year away, they’re already preparing.
Abortion rights group to host presidential forum on reproductive rights
By Jessie Hellmann
NARAL Pro-Choice America will host a presidential forum focused on reproductive rights and abortion, the group announced on Thursday.
The forum will take place in the second to last week in January in Des Moines, Iowa, a key primary state.
The Forgotten Father of the Abortion Rights Movement
What Bill Baird's aggressive, often illegal form of activism can teach a new generation about combating anti-abortion forces.
By Myra MacPherson
October 7, 2019
I first met Bill Baird in Hempstead, Long Island, on a freezing December night in 1968. This was 18 months after he was arrested and jailed for handing a can of contraceptive foam to an unmarried coed at Boston University. And it was some four years before the Supreme Court would hand down its decision in Eisenstadt v. Baird, the case that grew out of Baird’s illegal action and established the right of unmarried people to possess contraceptive products. Eisenstadt, in turn, was a crucial privacy precedent that the Court cited in 1973’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision establishing a woman’s right to an abortion. But on that night in 1968, Baird was attending to more immediate matters: a clinic packed with desperate women.
The Ban on Abortion for Low-Income People Is Now a Litmus Test for Congress
People have started calling out Democratic members of Congress for supporting the Hyde Amendment.
by Katelyn Burns
Oct 1 2019
Forty-three years ago this week, Congress first enacted the Hyde amendment, which banned federal funds from covering abortion care. The amendment is now standard rider, or bill language, on all applicable federal spending bills. It primarily affects low-income people who depend on Medicaid for healthcare coverage.
Repealing Hyde has emerged as a flashpoint for Democrats as they enter the 2020 primary season in the wake of repeated GOP attacks on abortion access at both the state and federal level. While the current House of Representatives boasts its first pro-choice majority in more than 45 years, there are still a few anti-choice Democratic holdouts who continue to support Hyde, including Reps. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Henry Cuellar (D-TX). On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) endorsed Cuellar over Jessica Cisneros, a pro-choice progressive primary challenger. All three anti-choice Democrats face primaries against more progressive candidates.
As Abortion Access Dwindles, This App Offers Safe, Discreet Options
Obtaining medically accurate information about abortion can be difficult yet dire for pregnant people desperate for answers.
posted Sep 24, 2019
Each year, 25 million unsafe abortions are performed around the world. The rate of unsafe abortions is higher where access to skilled providers and effective contraception is limited or unavailable, or where sexual education is lacking.
Accessing medically accurate information about abortion can be a sensitive pursuit for people desperate for answers; it’s particularly dire if they’re pregnant without wanting to be. Decisions based on misinformation can lead to disability—and even death.
Facebook Took Down A Fact-Check Of An Anti-Abortion Video After Republicans Complained
The fact-check was conducted by three doctors who determined an anti-abortion activist's claim that "abortion is never medically necessary" was false.
Claudia Koerner, BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on September 11, 2019
Facebook on Wednesday removed a fact-check conducted by doctors of an anti-abortion activist's video, which falsely claimed abortion was never necessary to save women's lives, after four Republican senators complained.
Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Kevin Cramer, and Mike Braun sent a letter to Facebook on Wednesday, accusing the company of censorship and bias against conservatives. At issue were two videos published by anti-abortion group Live Action and its founder, Lila Rose, which were rated as inaccurate by an independent fact-checking group.
More evidence that abortion bans are widely unpopular
By Jennifer Rubin
August 13, 2019
A new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute finds a majority of Americans (54 percent) think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 25 percent think it should be illegal in most cases, and only 15 percent think it should be illegal in all cases. “Although a few states such as Alabama and Missouri have recently passed laws that — should they survive court challenges — would make abortion illegal with virtually no exceptions, there is no state in which more than one-quarter of residents say abortion should be illegal in all cases,” the polls finds. “States with the largest proportion of residents who say abortion should be illegal in all cases include: Louisiana (23%), Mississippi (22%), Arkansas (21%), Nebraska (21%), Tennessee (21%), Kentucky (20%), and North Dakota (20%). In all other states, including Alabama (16%) and Missouri (19%), fewer than one in five think abortion should be illegal in all cases.”