The Inside Story Of How Arkansas Exploited COVID To Stop Abortions
Under pressure by anti-abortion activists ― including a board of health member ― the state health department became a weapon in the war against abortion.
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
June 22, 2020
On the first day of April, Marsha Boss, a 68-year-old Catholic pharmacist, uploaded a photo to Facebook. Snapped on a sunny day, it showed the parking lot outside Little Rock Family Planning Services, one of two abortion clinics left in Arkansas. “We watched three cars from Texas come in, three from Tennessee and one from Alabama all coming to our great state to get an abortion,” she wrote in her post. “How sad is that?”
In private, around the same time, Boss was extending her disapproval to state health officials. Over text messages and in phone calls, she complained that the clinic was violating social distancing guidelines, performing “25 to 30” abortions a day, and warned that out-of-town patients ― many of whom were fleeing abortion bans their states put in place after coronavirus hit ― might spread the infectious disease in Arkansas. She also said she saw someone carrying coveted surgical masks into the clinic, as well as beer.