How Abortion Pills Changed the Political Debate in Ireland

Analysis by Clara Ferreira Marques
May 17, 2022

If the US Supreme Court overturns the five-decade-old constitutional right to abortion, as expected, many women will find it far harder to end an unwanted pregnancy. But this won’t be a return to pre-1973, largely thanks to changes to medical technology. Abortion pills, often taken at home, are already making the reality of abortion easier and safer in the early stages of gestation. And even with inevitable new restrictions, they are set to change the political fight too.

Sydney Calkin is a senior lecturer in human geography at Queen Mary University of London and the author of a forthcoming book,  “Abortion Beyond Borders: Abortion Pills and the Future of Reproductive Freedoms.” Her work has focused on cross-border abortion access and activism, an area where politics, gender and reproduction overlap. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.


USA – A landmark study tracks the lasting effect of having an abortion — or being denied one

May 15, 2022
Megan Burbank, Emily Kwong – NPR

Though it's impossible to know exactly what will happen to abortion access if Roe v. Wade is overturned, demographer Diana Greene Foster does know what happens when someone is denied an abortion. She documented it in her groundbreaking yearslong research project, The Turnaway Study and her findings provide insight into the ways getting an abortion – or being denied one – affects a person's mental health and economic wellbeing.

For over 10 years, Dr. Foster and her team of researchers tracked the experiences of women who'd received abortions or who had been denied them because of clinic policies on gestational age limits.


Why a growing number of Latin American countries are legalizing abortion

May 14, 2022
By Ali Rogin
6-minute video with transcript

As Americans contemplate living in a country where Roe versus Wade is overturned, a very different story is playing out in many parts of Latin America. In recent years, countries throughout the region have relaxed abortion restrictions. Alicia Yamin, senior fellow for the Global Health and Rights Project at Harvard Law School, joins Ali Rogin to discuss what's changed and why.


USA – Where Does the Abortion Rights Movement Go Next?

Gloria Steinem reflects on the draft majority opinion leak, democratic backsliding and her life in the public eye.

By Lauren Jackson, NYT
May 13, 2022

It was a baptism, of sorts.  On a March night in 1969, Gloria Steinem entered Washington Square United Methodist Church as a reporter. For a few hours, she listened to women stand up in the church basement and speak the most radical thing they could: the truth about their bodies, their pregnancies and their abortions.

It was years before Roe v. Wade would make abortion access a right. And in a dim room, in what historians say was very likely the first public forum of its kind in American history, these women were outing themselves as criminals.


The Potential End of Roe Won’t Stop This Abortion Provider-in-Training

A recent medical school graduate reflects on the intersection of race and reproductive rights

By Christina Sturdivant Sani
May 11, 2022

Sherry Reddix is a 2022 graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine and a future abortion provider. She will be starting a residency in family medicine in California. This interview has been edited and condensed.

I’m from Mississippi, and my whole family is in the field of medicine. My aunt, uncle and father are all physicians, and my mom is a nurse. My uncle was actually nominated to the State Board of Health in Mississippi in 2012. Then his nomination was blocked because he served as the emergency on-call physician for the abortion clinic in Jackson, the clinic at the center of the current Supreme Court case. It was my senior year of high school, and my phone was blowing up with calls and texts. My grandma was like ‘Uncle Carl is on Rachel Maddow!’


How Abortion Laws Around The World Compare To The U.S.

11 minute podcast
May 11, 2022

Some countries in Latin America are expanding abortion rights. Other countries, like Poland, have all but outlawed the procedure. Meanwhile, health officials in Canada have signaled Americans would be welcome to seek abortion services across the border if they cannot access care at home.

All of that speaks to the reality that America's abortion debate is not happening in vacuum, and is being watched closely around the world.


The Turnaway Study: What The Research Says About Abortion

May 9, 2022
14-Minute Listen

A leaked draft opinion in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization has placed uncertainty on the future of abortion rights in the United States. As written, the opinion would overturn Roe v. Wade protections. We at Short Wave were immediately curious about the data behind abortions: What happens when pregnant people are denied abortions?

For answers, we turned to Dr. Diana Greene Foster, the lead researcher on the interdisciplinary team behind The Turnaway Study. For over a decade, she and her fellow researchers followed just under a thousand women who sought an abortion across 21 states. These data may give us insight into pregnant people's lives in a post Roe v. Wade United States.


USA – As more states restrict reproductive rights, abortion options dwindle

April 29, 2022
(4 minute podcast with transcript)

NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to legal historian Mary Ziegler about red state abortion restrictions ahead of an upcoming Supreme Court ruling that could erode the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

The state of Oklahoma is banning abortion again and again and again. Two separate bills have made it through the state legislature this week. Both allow lawsuits against people involved in abortions in the style of a recent Texas law. Weeks ago, Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed a different bill that makes abortion a felony. Oklahoma is not waiting for a Supreme Court ruling on abortion that's expected later this year. So how much do these and other bills around the country matter?

What happens to women’s rights when democracy backslides

48 minute podcast
April 26, 2022
Meg Dalton, Jonathan Chang, Meghna Chakrabarti

From Nazi Germany to Mussolini's Italy, fascist regimes shared an early target: Women.

"The fascists passed laws criminalizing abortion both for doctors performing, for people providing information for women seeking," professor Anne Wingenter says.


USA – The Experiment Podcast: The Resurgence of the Abortion Underground

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade in June, the reporter Jessica Bruder speaks with activists prepared to take abortions into their own hands.

Chaay Tee
APRIL 22, 2022
33 minute podcast

There’s a common story about abortion in this country, that people have only two options to intentionally end a pregnancy: the clinic or the coat hanger. They can choose the safe route that’s protected by Roe v. Wade—a doctor in a legal clinic—or, if Roe is overturned, endure a dangerous back-alley abortion, symbolized by the coat hanger. But a close look at the history of abortion in this country shows that there’s much more to this story. As the Supreme Court prepares to hear a case that could overturn Roe v Wade in June, activists are once again preparing to take abortion into their own hands.

Reporter Jessica Bruder explores the abortion underground to learn about the movement’s origins, and reveals how activists today are mobilizing around effective and medically safe abortion methods that can be done at home.