Some Gen Z and millennial women said they viewed abortion rights as important but less urgent than other social justice causes. Others said racial disparities in reproductive health must be a focus.
By Emma Goldberg
June 30, 2020
Like many young Americans, Brea Baker experienced her first moment of political outrage after the killing of a Black man. She was 18 when Trayvon Martin was shot. When she saw his photo on the news, she thought of her younger brother, and the boundary between her politics and her sense of survival collapsed.
In college she volunteered for the N.A.A.C.P. and as a national organizer for the Women’s March. But when conversations among campus activists turned to abortion access, she didn’t feel the same sense of personal rage.
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.
Abortion Clinic Protests Are Still Happening in the Pandemic: ‘They Accost Patients Face to Face’
“They don’t social distance. They block, stalk, push, shove, talk, scream. It’s business as usual out there for them.”
by Carter Sherman
May 26 2020
When Kelly Benzin arrived at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, abortion clinic where she works one recent Wednesday morning, everything seemed normal. Even in the midst of the pandemic, the Heritage Clinic for Women had been drawing about five to 15 protesters a day, she said. One was just setting up his chair as Benzin pulled in.
But around 8 a.m., when the clinic officially opened, Benzin realized that about 25 to 35 people had started to gather outside. Soon, they started to approach patients, handing out roses and trying to talk them out of getting abortions.
Anti-Abortion Movement Is Capitalizing On Coronavirus
In defiance of stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, protesters continue to harass patients at abortion clinics.
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
On an average day, even during the pandemic, a handful of anti-abortion protesters line up on the sidewalk outside the Heritage Clinic for Women in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and preach at the women who enter. Their faces are familiar to clinic staff, as are their regular schedules.
But last Wednesday, when the clinic opened in the morning, the staff were startled to find 25 to 30 protesters assembling, many of them holding single red roses. Ignoring the no-trespassing signs, they began swarming the clinic’s parking lot, rushing patients as they got out of their cars.
'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.
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.
Abortion clinics expanding virtual options during pandemic
Providers say they're trying to work around restrictions that limit telemedicine abortion.
By MOHANA RAVINDRANATH and ALICE MIRANDA OLLSTEIN
Abortion providers say they’re seeing heightened demand for telemedicine abortions during the coronavirus pandemic, and providers are preparing for a growing number of virtual visits as social distancing measures continue.
These clinics are looking to video call apps like Facetime and AI-powered chatbots to make prescribing abortion medication almost entirely virtual during the pandemic. Some providers are dialing back in-person visits and forgoing ultrasounds and pelvic exams they’ve typically required before prescribing abortion pills virtually.
The coronavirus is wiping out a crucial lifeline for abortion services in the US, and many patients may lose access entirely
Apr 16, 2020
Dr. Anuj Khattar was supposed to fly to Oklahoma City on Sunday, March 29 for his monthly stint working at Trust Women, a reproductive health clinic. Khattar, a family medicine practitioner, lives in Seattle and travels a few days each month to provide abortion care.
Washington was one of the first states hit hard by the coronavirus, and Khattar wrestled over whether it was safe to travel under the circumstances. Ultimately, he decided going was the right thing to do.
The Network of Abortion Providers in Red States Was Already Delicate. Then Came the Coronavirus.
Becca Andrews, Assistant News Editor
March 31, 2020
In many red states, where abortion restrictions are plentiful and doctors who are willing to perform them are not, the physicians who do ultimately provide abortions often fly into town on a regular basis, sometimes traveling hundreds if not thousands of miles to get to clinics.
This is “not simply because of the high degree of regulation,” says Carole Joffe, co-author of Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America, “but that providers just do not feel comfortable living there.”
How COVID-19 Is Making It Harder To Get An Abortion In Canada
Last Updated March 26, 2020
The panicked calls about accessing abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic started coming in to the Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights hotline last week, and they haven’t stopped. “People are worried they won’t be able to get to their appointments, or that they won’t be able to even schedule appointments because they’re in quarantine,” says Frédérique Chabot, director of health promotion for the reproductive rights non-profit. “There’s a lot of anxiety.”
Understandably so. In a country where access to abortion — a legal, medical service — is already hit or miss, the potential closure of clinics and the scaling back of services is another looming barrier. And while Canadians likely won’t ever face a situation like women in Ohio or Texas — where anti-choice politicians are using COVID-19 as a completely transparent ruse to stop or indefinitely “postpone” abortions — there’s a very real concern that reproductive healthcare is going to slip down the priority list as the pandemic deepens and resources are stretched thin. “We can’t treat abortion as if this isn’t as urgent as COVID-19,” says Chabot. “It’s so time-sensitive and has such huge consequences, not like other elective surgeries.”