There’s a New Playbook for Securing Abortion Access
Recent wins suggest that we are more effective when we proudly proclaim our support for abortion access for all—and defend that position when the attacks come.
By Andrea Miller
Jan 22, 2020
Since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide 47 years ago today, anti-choice lawmakers have passed more than 1,200 legal restrictions on abortion at the state level, each more manipulative and deceptive than the last. Anti-abortion extremists have been hailed as master strategists for their focus on seating anti-abortion ideologues in state legislatures across the country. From 2010 to 2017, Republican control of state legislatures grew from 14 states to 32; during those years alone, anti-choice lawmakers passed more than 400 restrictions on abortion. Anti-abortion hysteria reached a fever pitch in 2019, as states across the South and Midwest passed abortion bans, including six-week bans in Georgia and Ohio and a total ban on abortion in Alabama and the far right—from Donald Trump down to state legislators—adopted a strategy of lies to buoy their extreme agenda.
These States Have More Abortion Clinics Today Than They Did a Decade Ago
Even as Republican-dominated legislatures passed laws designed to shut down clinics from coast to coast, some states saw an uptick in abortion clinics.
Dec 23, 2019
In a decade in which dozens of abortion clinics were shut down by medically unnecessary state laws, around 14 states—mostly in the Northeast and West—have seen an increase in clinics, according to data from the Guttmacher Institute.
While the latest Guttmacher data is from 2017, other research, including a recent Abortion Care Network report focusing on independent clinics, indicates that clinics continue to close at an alarming rate. These closures include abortion clinics in states with Democratic-majority legislatures, like Whole Woman’s Health in Illinois, which closed in June, the same month Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a landmark pro-choice law.
Fetal Personhood Is Maternal Punishment
When society values the life of a fetus over that of a living person, women pay the steepest price.
By Katha Pollitt
Dec 2, 2019
We often talk about abortion as if it’s a thing unto itself. If we connect it to anything, it’s usually to sex education, contraception, and other contested ways of preventing unwanted births.
What gets much less attention is the removal of everyday rights from willingly pregnant women. For opponents of abortion, who grant personhood to fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses, it’s not a stretch to go from saying “You have to have that baby” to “You have to produce a healthy baby, therefore your wishes, needs, and constitutional rights are of no account.” Moreover, if anything goes wrong, they’re going to assume it’s your fault alone.
New Illinois Abortion Clinic Anticipates Post-Roe World
A regional clinic across the river from Missouri reflects how both sides of the abortion divide are looking toward a landscape in which some states might ban abortions outright.
by Sabrina Tavernise
Oct. 22, 2019
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. — When it opens just across the river from St. Louis this week, the new Planned Parenthood clinic in Illinois will be one of the largest abortion clinics in the Midwest, set up to serve around 11,000 women a year with various health services, double the capacity of the clinic it is replacing.
Its size says as much about the future as the present: With the Supreme Court’s shift to the right, activists on both sides of the abortion divide are adjusting their strategy, anticipating that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that extended federal protections to abortion, might eventually be overturned and that some states would jump at the chance to ban abortions.
Why a NY woman came to Colorado for a 32-week abortion
Forty-three states place some restrictions on abortions after a certain point in pregnancy, but Colorado isn’t one of them
By Anna Staver, The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: October 13, 2019
In the spring of 2016, Erika Christensen and her husband walked past a tall, wooden fence that obscured the Boulder office of Dr. Warren Hern from the street and into his waiting room.
Printed signs taped to bulletproof glass told her all electronic devices — even cellphones — were prohibited and asked her to tell someone on staff if she needed to leave for any reason. The only items she could carry through the door were a printed book, her identification card and a check for $10,000.
America’s abortion debate is being defined by Fox News
A new study shows how the network dominates coverage of abortion — and sets the agenda other networks follow.
By Anna North
Sep 23, 2019
Something strange happened to the abortion debate earlier this year.
Politicians, media outlets, and ordinary people began talking about “post-birth” or “fourth-trimester” abortion, claiming that doctors in America are killing babies after they’re born. This would be murder, not abortion, and it’s already illegal in every state. No abortion-rights group supports this.
These states are strengthening abortion laws even as others dismantle them
By Tami Luhby, CNN
Sat June 22, 2019
Washington (CNN)The red-state drive to ban or severely limit access to abortion this year has sparked the opposite reaction in Democratic-led states, where lawmakers are cementing abortion rights and making it more accessible.
Driving the moves on both sides is the rightward shift of the US Supreme Court, which is fanning fears on the left that the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal in the US could be gutted or overturned altogether.
How Six-Week Abortion Bans Are Fueling a 'Radical' Year for Abortion Law
The bans mark an unprecedented year for abortion legislation—and a potential political turning point.
Apr 12, 2019
The projected political reckoning of abortion rights has arrived. Abortion bills, as expected, dominated state legislatures in early 2019, pushing the issue ever closer to the United States Supreme Court.
Among the 28 states considering abortion bans in the first four months of the year, a handful of the most conservative are aiming to ban abortion at just six weeks' gestation—when an embryonic "heartbeat" (doctors use the term cardiac activity, and embryos don't have hearts so much as tissues that will become the heart) can be detected. Abortion rights groups say the measures are so extreme that they effectively amount to outright abortion bans, since few women who want abortions would be able to access them before the cut-off, or perhaps even know they're pregnant.
Radical Attempts to Ban Abortion Dominate State Policy Trends in the First Quarter of 2019
First published online: April 3, 2019
Abortion rights took center stage in state legislatures during the first three months of 2019. While a number of states took steps to protect abortion access, these efforts were overshadowed by attempts to restrict abortion access. Indeed, antiabortion policymakers wasted no time revealing their true agenda: banning abortion.
Although the overall number of abortion restrictions introduced so far in 2019 was essentially the same as in the first quarter of 2018, the extreme nature of this year’s bills is unprecedented. In particular, conservative state legislatures are looking to enact abortion bans in the hopes of kick-starting litigation that will give the U.S. Supreme Court, and its majority of conservative justices, ample opportunity to undermine or eliminate abortion rights. Legislation under consideration in 28 states would ban abortion in a variety of ways:
The First Time Women Shouted Their Abortions
Fifty years ago, a group of women stood up in a church and talked about ending their pregnancies. The way they did so still shapes how we discuss the topic today.
By Nona Willis Aronowitz
March 23, 2019
You couldn’t just casually threaten suicide — you had to sound like you meant it, the woman onstage recalled. “You have to go and bring a razor, or whatever: ‘If you don’t tell me I’m going to have an abortion right now, I’m going to go out and jump off the Verrazzano Bridge.’”
The woman was speaking in 1969. Legalized abortion nationwide was still four years away; in New York, so-called therapeutic abortions were legal — but only if a doctor judged you mentally unfit to have a child. And so, the woman explained, she ended up seeing two psychiatrists who, to her relief, deemed her suicide threats real enough to be granted the procedure. The crowd clapped and roared at the absurdity of it all, until the woman explained that after her abortion, she was stuck in the maternity ward to recover — right next to crying babies. The crowd wasn’t laughing anymore.