The long fight for reproductive rights is only getting harder
Book review, By Katha Pollitt
May 13, 2020
Fifteen-year-old Talia didn’t realize she was pregnant until well into her second trimester. Ending the pregnancy meant she had to get a judge’s approval. Neither parent could fulfill her state’s consent requirement because one was missing and the other was involved in her life only now and then. When she arranged a clinic visit 24 hours before the abortion, per the state law for minors, she wound up at a “fake women’s health center” next door to the real abortion clinic. The people there did everything they could to dissuade her from ending her pregnancy, including falsely telling her that they would do it later (past her state’s deadline), but Talia remained firm in her decision. Lacking health insurance that covered abortion, she had to come up with $4,000 for the procedure.
Coronavirus crisis magnifies existing challenges to abortion access
May 07, 2020
In our recent book, Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America, David Cohen and I detail the considerable difficulties many people have in accessing abortion care. The relative scarcity of clinics means long travel for many; that abortion patients are disproportionately low-income women of color means hardship in paying for the procedure, particularly since the majority of states do not allow Medicaid funds to be used for abortion; the onerous waiting periods in many states often mean women have to stay overnight in a distant city, leading to the additional costs of lodging and more days of lost wages; confrontations with protestors at the clinic sites themselves can often be deeply upsetting. All these barriers have increased exponentially with the coming of COVID-19, and some new problems have been added as well.
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.”
The Real Challenges of Exercising the Right to an Abortion—and What You Can Do About It
by Carole Joffe and David S. Cohen
For almost half a century, every American woman has had the constitutional right to an abortion.
But—as U.C. San Francisco sociologist Carole Joffe and Drexel law professor David S. Cohen show in their new book, Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America—the reality of exercising one’s reproductive rights is riddled with hurdles designed by anti-abortion activists and politicians.