USA – How Anti-Abortion Activists Are Taking Advantage of the Coronavirus Crisis

How Anti-Abortion Activists Are Taking Advantage of the Coronavirus Crisis

By Robin Marty
March 24, 2020

In just two weeks the novel coronavirus managed exactly what anti-abortion activists struggled for nearly five decades to accomplish: it is the biggest threat to legal abortion in America ever imagined. The entire globe is facing completely uncharted territory in public health, and many are working to address the pandemic by implementing telemedicine and other online tools to care for everyday health needs while COVID-19 patients inundate hospitals. This could help people in need of abortions, too — if legalized, doctors could remotely prescribe medication to be taken at home that would terminate pregnancies up to 10 weeks. Yet despite having a safe and effective means of ending an early pregnancy without any need to physically see a medical professional, abortion opponents are instead using this moment to close as many abortion clinics as possible throughout the U.S. — an action that will lead to another health system crisis even if COVID-19 is contained.


USA – The Abortion Doctor and His Accuser

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.”


USA – The #MeToo Case That Divided the Abortion-Rights Movement

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!


USA – What to Know About Giving Yourself an Abortion

What to Know About Giving Yourself an Abortion
Ending a pregnancy on your own means using pills—not coat hangers.

by Marie Solis
Feb 17 2020

Abortions happened before it was legal to get one, and, should it ever become illegal again, they will happen then too—many of them outside of clinics, without direct medical supervision.

But doing your own abortion in 2020 looks a lot different than it did pre- Roe v. Wade. People who self-induced abortions in the decades before the landmark Supreme Court ruling sometimes resorted to drinking toxic chemicals, throwing themselves down the stairs, or using crude instruments like knitting needles or a coat hanger, the latter of which has become a universal symbol of the life-threatening consequences of restricting people’s access to abortion care. The hanger may still function as a powerful image, but it’s no longer accurate when it comes to representing what it means to self-induce an abortion: Self-inducing or self-managing an abortion is now synonymous with taking pills, a safe and effective method of ending a pregnancy.


This Will Be Trump’s Go-To Abortion Lie in 2020

This Will Be Trump's Go-To Abortion Lie in 2020
Anti-choice activists are already rallying around a misinformation campaign.

by Marie Solis
Jan 7 2020

As part of their election year agenda, abortion opponents are planning to push the unfounded myth that abortions routinely result in live births, and that the providers who perform the procedures have no ethical responsibility to save those lives.

Two women who claim to be the product of unsuccessful abortions will speak at this year’s March for Life, the annual anti-abortion demonstration in protest of the January 1973 Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade. And the organization behind the march, along with other major anti-abortion groups, has pledged to push federal "Born-Alive" legislation in 2020 that would require doctors to provide medical care to infants who survive failed abortion procedures.


USA – The Road to Abortion Is Paved With Bad Bus Routes

The Road to Abortion Is Paved With Bad Bus Routes

July 1, 2019
Robin Marty

According to the Guttmacher Institute, roughly 75 percent of those who get abortions are poor or low-income — not necessarily a surprise, given the lack of access to affordable preventative health care and contraception. Unlike most medical procedures, the majority of states don’t cover terminating a pregnancy through Medicaid (with very narrow exceptions), leaving patients to pay for the procedure out of pocket. But for low-income patients — especially in rural areas across the country — finding the funds to pay for an abortion out of pocket is quite literally only half the battle.

The other half? Paying to get to the procedure itself — a task that can cost hundreds of dollars on its own and eat up hours, if not days, of travel time in states that lack usable local public transit systems or mass transportation between rural and urban areas.


The Abortion Bans Aren’t Just About Repealing Roe v Wade

The Abortion Bans Aren’t Just About Repealing Roe v Wade

The extreme, dangerous anti-abortion laws in Ohio, Alabama, and Georgia are serving as a distraction from the Right's real agenda: closing every last loophole to abortion access once ‘Roe’ is overturned.

Robin Marty
May 15, 2019

It is 2019 and abortion is still legal. Yes, in each and every state in America.

This seems like something that shouldn’t need to be announced, yet here we are. Over the past few weeks we’ve seen abortion restrictions hit a fever pitch, with Georgia and Ohio signing so-called “heartbeat” bans, which would make abortion illegal within about two weeks after a missed period), and a ban that criminalizes abortion at conception passing in both chambers of the Alabama legislature, which is expected to be signed by the governor.


USA – Is It Time to Take the Abortion Battle Hyperlocal?

Is It Time to Take the Abortion Battle Hyperlocal?

By Robin Marty
Published April 27, 2019

Whether or not the Supreme Court decides to uphold Roe v. Wade and keep abortion legal in every state, it’s an undeniable fact that abortion access has been decimated across the country. For more than half of U.S. states, the clinics that do remain are located in just a handful of cities, leaving most of the state without any provider at all.

Prior to 2016 and the resurgence of a national anti-abortion push, the right was heavily invested in this city-by-city targeting. A few of the more extreme groups even tested out city-based resolutions or bans to see if it was possible to wage hyperlocal attacks on abortion rights, even while the state itself kept the procedure legal.


USA – I Am an Abortion Rights Activist. I Hope the Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade.

I Am an Abortion Rights Activist. I Hope the Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade.

March 20, 2019

On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 that the ability to terminate a pregnancy was a constitutional right. Now, less than five decades later, with a number of lower-court abortion decisions advancing and the most conservative Supreme Court since the 1930s, abortion opponents could be close to getting what they have wanted ever since Roe v. Wade: the decision’s reversal.

I am an abortion rights activist, and frankly, I couldn’t be happier.


USA – The Abortion Rights Movement Can’t Afford Amnesia—or Nonprofits Leading Our Activism

The Abortion Rights Movement Can’t Afford Amnesia—or Nonprofits Leading Our Activism
We need an energetic movement that will fight for abortion without reservation. And that means reclaiming its radical roots—and reclaiming it from big national organizations, including the Democratic Party.

Mar 11, 2019
Michelle Farber & Dayna Long

Given the dire state of abortion access, it’s hard to believe that a radical women’s movement in this country once helped win transformative reforms, including decriminalizing abortion, in spite of a Republican president and a U.S. Supreme Court packed with GOP appointees. If you don’t know the history of that movement—or what followed for feminists after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973—it can be even harder to imagine a way forward for abortion rights supporters now. A movement that doesn’t reflect on its own history, including its failures, has an uncertain and rocky future.

We were recently reminded of that when reading Robin Marty’s Handbook for a Post-Roe America, billed as the definitive guide for activists to navigate the current crisis, in which abortions are already inaccessible for many and the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to make things worse.