Abortion: Ireland’s past is America’s future

BY CHRISTINE RYAN
05/17/22

This month, four years ago, media from across the globe descended on the courtyard of Dublin Castle. They traveled to capture the scene of thousands of Irish people celebrating the results of the Irish abortion referendum. A landslide majority had “repealed the 8th” and voted to change the country’s constitution to enable legal recognition of abortion rights for the first time in the state’s history. Generations of families cheered and cried together while politicians from warring parties embraced. Viewers abroad marveled at the displays of pride, rapture, and even love.  

To understand why the referendum result in Ireland prompted such
outpourings is to understand the full meaning of the right to abortion.

Continued: https://thehill.com/opinion/international/3491465-abortion-irelands-past-is-americas-future/


Abortion: the story of suffering and death behind Ireland’s ban and subsequent legalization

Published: May 16, 2022
Gretchen E. Ely

If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the U.S., the nation may find itself on a path similar to that trod by the Irish people from 1983 to 2018. A draft decision signed by the majority of conservative justices was leaked in May 2022, and indicates the court may do just that.

Abortion was first prohibited in Ireland through what was called the Offenses Against the Person Act of 1861. That law became part of Irish law when Ireland gained independence from the U.K. in 1922. In the early 1980s, some anti-abortion Catholic activists noticed the liberalization of abortion laws in other Western democracies and worried the same might happen in Ireland.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/abortion-the-story-of-suffering-and-death-behind-irelands-ban-and-subsequent-legalization-182812


USA – When a Right Becomes a Privilege

The main difference between the women who will make it to an abortion provider in a post-Roe world and those who won’t? Money.

By Melissa Jeltsen, The Atlantic
May 15, 2022

When New York legalized abortion in 1970—three years before the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade—a shrewd entrepreneur named Martin Mitchell saw an opportunity. The 31-year-old Detroit-area man chartered a tiny private plane and began advertising frequent flights from Michigan, where elective abortion was illegal, to Niagara Falls, New York, where it was not. For $400, a woman got transportation, an abortion by a licensed doctor at a clinic near the airport, and lunch, before being flown home the same day.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2022/05/roe-v-wade-abortion-access-poor-women/629858/


USA – Abortion foes push to narrow ‘life of mother’ exceptions

Doctors warn women’s lives would be endangered and maternal deaths could increase.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux
May 13, 2022

The pregnant woman was bleeding heavily by the time she arrived at the hospital. Maria Phillis, an obstetrician/gynecologist, and other doctors on duty at the Cleveland medical facility transfused her with bags of blood, but her condition deteriorated rapidly. It wasn’t long before the mother faced an awful choice: Her placenta, a part of the womb, had attached in the wrong place, wreaking havoc in her body. But the baby was far too young to survive on its own.

The pregnancy was terminated to save the woman’s life — an outcome painful for all involved. “This was a very desired pregnancy,” Phillis said.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/05/13/abortion-ban-exceptions-mothers-life/


Why Do Social Media Platforms Keep Removing Posts About Safe and Legal Abortion Pills?

Access to solid information about how to get ahold of abortion pills is more crucial now than ever.

May 13, 2022
Madison Pauley, Mother Jones

Not all the 39 patients who asked Christie Pitney for abortion pills last week were pregnant. Some had IUDs or were on birth control, and they wanted to have the pills—an extremely safe, FDA-approved regimen that is now the most common way of terminating a pregnancy in the United States—on hand, just in case. “They’re very, very worried and scared about what the future holds,” says Pitney, an advanced practice midwife who prescribes abortion pills virtually to patients.

The patients had found Pitney through Aid Access, an organization that connects people who want medication abortions with telehealth providers who can give them online consultations and order the pills for them.

Continued:  https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2022/05/twitter-instagram-facebook-google-abortion-pills-roe-ban/


Many states are bracing for a post-Roe world. In Oklahoma, it’s practically arrived.

Already, clinicians in Oklahoma are trying to devise strategies to help their patients get to clinics in other states because of a six-week ban. But there are limits to what they can do.

Shefali Luthra, Health Reporter
May 12, 2022

The day after the Supreme Court leak, Andrea Gallegos had already started to cancel patients’ appointments.

A draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that guaranteed access to abortion, had been published online and verified by the court. In the aftermath, Gallegos, the administrator for Tulsa Women’s Clinic, an Oklahoma-based abortion provider, wasn’t worried about Roe — at least, it wasn’t the first thing she was worried about. To her, there was a bigger, more immediate threat: a six-week abortion ban the Republican governor was expected to sign any day now. The law, a direct copycat of a prohibition currently in effect in Texas, was expected to survive legal challenges. It would take effect immediately.

Continued: https://19thnews.org/2022/05/oklahoma-abortion-clinics-access-limitations/


USA – Getting abortion pills by mail is already more complicated than it might seem

Most states have at least one restriction on medication abortion beyond FDA rules. Overturning Roe v. Wade would further limit access.

May 12, 2022
By Aria Bendix

Google searches for the term "abortion pills" rose to an all-time high on May 3, the day Politico published a leaked draft opinion indicating the Supreme Court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The two-drug regimen of medication abortion, as it's clinically known, has been available since the Food and Drug Administration approved it in 2000. People have been able to get the pills by mail since April 2021, when the FDA suspended enforcement of a requirement that the first pill be administered in person. The agency made that option permanent in December.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/getting-abortion-pills-mail-already-complicated-might-seem-rcna28420


‘I became the abortion lady of Mississippi’: the mother of seven who devoted her life to the pro-choice cause

Raised a fundamentalist Christian, Laurie Bertram Roberts grew up believing abortion was evil. Then a pregnancy put her life at risk – and she was denied the termination she desperately needed

Emine Saner
Thu 12 May 2022

When Laurie Bertram Roberts was 17, she was sent home from hospital and almost bled to death. Pregnant and experiencing bleeding, she had gone to the emergency department of her nearest hospital in Indiana twice, and was told she was miscarrying, but, because a scan showed the foetus still had a heartbeat, she was also told there was nothing they could do. What she needed, in order to end a pregnancy that was ending anyway, was an abortion – but she says the Catholic hospital would not provide one. “They had the power to end my pregnancy right there, when I was already bleeding fairly heavily, in a tremendous amount of pain. Instead, they sent my scared 17-year-old self, a mother of two already, home.”

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/may/12/abortion-lady-mississippi-mother-seven-pro-choice-christian-laurie-bertram-roberts-pregnancy


The end of Roe will mean more children living in poverty

How “pro-life” states are failing new parents and babies.

By Dylan Scott
May 12, 2022

Almost half the United States is ready to outlaw abortion, if given a green light by the Supreme Court, something it’s expected to do in the next few months. But many of those states are not willing to give new babies and their families the educational, medical, or financial support they need to lead a healthy life. That could leave tens of thousands of future children unnecessarily disadvantaged and living in poverty.

The precise effect on new births from the 22 states set to enact broad abortion bans if Roe v. Wade is overturned is impossible to predict. But public health experts like Diana Greene Foster — the lead researcher on the Turnaway Study, an enormous survey project that tracked the long-term effects of receiving or being denied an abortion — expect a meaningful increase in the number of women with an unwanted pregnancy who nevertheless give birth. Middlebury College economics professor Caitlin Knowles Myers anticipates as many as 75,000 people who want an abortion but can’t get one will end up giving birth in the first year after Roe is overturned.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/23057032/supreme-court-abortion-rights-roe-v-wade-state-aid


The Devastating Economic Impacts of an Abortion Ban

The overturning of Roe v. Wade would seriously hinder women’s education, employment, and earning prospects.

By Sheelah Kolhatkar
May 11, 2022

Last December, oral arguments were held before the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case leading to the leaked draft opinion last week that, if finalized, would overturn Roe v. Wade. During one especially illuminating moment, Chief Justice John Roberts attempted to draw Julie Rikelman—the litigation director of the Center for Reproductive Rights, who was arguing to have a ban on abortions after fifteen weeks in the state of Mississippi overturned—into a back-and-forth about the significance of the cutoff for having access to an abortion. Rikelman made a broader argument, that narrowing women’s access to the procedure could disproportionately harm low-income women or those experiencing personal crises. She turned to numbers to bolster her argument. “In fact,” Rikelman said, “the data has been very clear over the last fifty years that abortion has been critical to women’s equal participation in society. It’s been critical to their health, to their lives, their ability to pursue—”

“I’m sorry, what—what kind of data is that?” Roberts interrupted.

Continued: https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-devastating-economic-impacts-of-an-abortion-ban