Your Questions About Reproductive Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Answered
"The effect [of the COVID-19 outbreak] on people accessing abortion care is considerable, especially in those states that have limited access."
Mar 17, 2020
With some U.S. cities on lockdown and businesses and schools shutting their doors, the COVID-19 virus is dramatically changing everyday life for people across the country, including those seeking reproductive health services.
In the face of potential quarantining, monthslong lockdowns, and social distancing, there’s no question that people will have anxiety over potential interruptions to their abortion care and other reproductive health care.
Abortion Access Is Under Threat As Coronavirus Spreads
In many states, abortion clinics are holding on by a thread. The pandemic might put them under.
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
Last week, Joe Nelson, a physician who provides abortions in Texas, felt a tickle in his throat. Then he started coughing. His temperature soared. On Monday, at his doctor’s office, he tested negative for the flu. Unable to obtain a coronavirus test there, he is now self-quarantining for 14 days.
In a phone call with HuffPost as he left the doctor’s office, Nelson said he was mostly worried about how his unplanned absence might affect women’s ability to get abortions in the state.
Abortion Is Safer Than Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Out
By Amanda Arnold
Mar 10, 2020
Last week, the Supreme Court began to hear an abortion case that could effectively gut Roe v. Wade. The case, June v. Russo, centers on a Louisiana law that forces abortion providers to obtain “admitting privileges” at hospitals within 30 miles. This measure is ostensibly meant to protect patient safety; in effect, though, it could leave the state — in which 10,000 women a year seek abortion care — with just one doctor at one clinic.
Legislation like this is intentionally crafted to erode access to vital reproductive health care. The Supreme Court struck down a law with a nearly identical provision in Texas four years ago because it constituted such a substantial obstacle to abortion access. But rather than presenting such restrictions as what they are — unconstitutional, anti-choice legislation advanced by abortion opponents as part of a concerted attack on the right to choose — conservatives insist they’re precautionary measures, meant to safeguard women.
The Abortion Doctor and His Accuser
What does it mean to take women’s claims of sexual assault seriously?
By Katha Pollitt
March 2, 2029
Until March 25, 2019, Dr. Willie Parker was a highly respected and much-loved abortion provider in Alabama, the celebrated author of a best-selling book, Life’s Work, in which he defended abortion from a Christian perspective, and a frequent, charismatic speaker and honoree at pro-choice conferences and events. An imposing middle-aged black man who grew up poor in Alabama, he was the movement’s rock star. That all changed overnight, when Candice Russell, a 35-year-old Latina volunteer in Dallas, posted an article on Medium, “To All the Women Whose Names I Don’t Know, About the Pain We Share, the Secrets We Keep, and the Silence That Shouldn’t Have Been Asked For.”
The #MeToo Case That Divided the Abortion-Rights Movement
When an activist accused one of the most respected physicians in the movement of sexually assaulting her, everyone quickly took sides.
Story by Maggie Bullock
March 2020 Issue, Atlantic Magazine
(Posted Feb 21, 2020)
On a 92-degree morning in September, three clinic escorts gathered in the meager shade of a tree outside the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives. They arrive here at 8:30 a.m. on the dot, regular as clock-punchers, on the three days a week the Huntsville clinic is open to perform abortions. The women and girls arrive dressed for comfort in sweatpants and shower slides, carrying pillows from home or holding the hand of a partner or friend. The escorts, meanwhile, wear brightly colored vests and wield giant umbrellas to block the incoming patients from the sight, if not the sound, of the other group that comes here like clockwork: the protesters.
Sometimes there are as many as a dozen. This day there were four: one woman, three men, all white. Four doesn’t sound like that many until you’re downwind of them maniacally hollering: Mommy, don’t kill me! You’re lynching your black baby! They rip their arms and legs off! They suffer! They torture them!
There's a Better Way to Talk About Abortion
People still use medically inaccurate and stigmatizing terms to talk about abortion. You can help change that.
by Marie Solis
Jan 22 2020
Illustrations by Cathryn Virginia
For decades, conservative politicians and activists have dictated the rhetoric around abortion, and for that reason many of the words we use to talk about the procedure are medically inaccurate, emotionally charged, and suffused with stigma. And that includes even the most basic terms we use to describe the debate over abortion rights: The anti-abortion camp has long described itself as “pro-life” instead, monopolizing a powerful word that advocates say clouds their real intention—to ban abortion. The word “choice,” some say, is an imprecise one as well, creating the impression that one’s ability to get an abortion is simply a matter of choosing to do so, when in fact there are many systematic obstacles in the way that keep people from accessing the procedure.
Becoming An Abortion Provider Is Filled With Barriers, Too
By Jo Yurcaba
Jan 2, 2020
When Dr. Elise Boos was a third-year medical resident, she would drive five hours north throughout the year to a clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana — one of the three abortion clinics in the state — to learn how to provide first and second trimester abortions. She and the other residents had to stay at a nearby hotel for two weeks at a time. Boos, who is now a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, says the rotation reinforced the stigma of the procedure for her, "because you had to leave town in order to get this training," she says. "It was hard to imagine how you could do that work in the South and still be a member of the medical community."
Over 350 lawyers, legal professionals who had abortions file brief in landmark Supreme Court case
By alexandra svokos
Dec 2, 2019
More than 350 lawyers and legal professionals who had abortions filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court Monday as part of the latest landmark abortion case.
"My hope is that my classmate on the Supreme Court will not want to demonize me," Claudia Hammerman, a partner at the prestigious law firm Paul, Weiss, told ABC News. Hammerman is also the lead signer of the brief and a Harvard Law School alumnae. "I was smart and I deserved my career and I deserved to be able to give it my all and to become a mother when I was fully, emotionally, psychologically, and in terms of resources prepared to become the best mother I could be."
The Abortion Law Heading To The Supreme Court Is Based On A Lie
A Louisiana law rests on the claim that abortion is unsafe. In reality, the common procedure is less dangerous than getting your wisdom teeth removed.
By Lydia O'Connor, HuffPost US
In the coming months, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear its first abortion case since the court became dominated by conservative justices, giving Americans their clearest look yet at how powerful the anti-abortion movement’s narrative is in the face of medical facts.
The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, concerns a Louisiana law passed in 2014 that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The law’s supporters say it’s intended to protect those who have emergency complications from abortion procedures ― a talking point that, on its surface, people on both sides of the issue could get behind.
“Failed” abortions, a period-tracking spreadsheet, and the last clinic standing: the controversy in Missouri, explained
Hearings will determine if Missouri will be the first state without an abortion clinic.
By Anna North
Oct 31, 2019
At a hearing over an investigation of Missouri’s lone abortion clinic, a state official testified to something that has disturbed reproductive health advocates in the state and beyond: With the help of state medical records, his office had created a spreadsheet tracking patients’ menstrual periods.
The goal, according to the Kansas City Star, was to investigate “failed” abortions, instances in which the patient needed to return a second time to complete the procedure. The idea was apparently that, by gathering data on patients’ periods, state officials would know who was still pregnant after a scheduled abortion.