BY ABIGAIL ABRAMS
DECEMBER 2, 2020
Dr. Yashica Robinson is an optimist—and that, she says, is fortuitous. As one of the last abortion providers in Alabama, a willingness to see the bright side is practically a job requirement.
For much of the past year, Robinson, who is the medical director at the Huntsville-based Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives, and her staff have fought to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19, while simultaneously battling a state effort to suspend all abortion services during the pandemic. “We will continue to be innovative and be creative and find ways that we will make this work,” she says, with characteristic resolve.
Reproductive justice non-profit buys Alabama abortion clinic
Posted May 15
By Abbey Crain
The director of the Yellowhammer Fund, a non-profit that provides financial assistance for abortions in Alabama, said she was considering shutting down the organization amid financial worry before Alabama passed a law banning near all abortions in the state in May 2019 .
One year later, after an influx of more than $2 million in donations from across the country in the immediate aftermath of the ban and the support of 1,200 monthly financially sustaining members, the fund now owns and operates the West Alabama Women’s Center, one of three of remaining abortion clinics in the state.
Every State That’s Tried to Ban Abortion Over the Coronavirus
By Hannah Gold
Apr. 7, 2020
Just days into the national surge of coronavirus cases, as an increasing amount of states called for nonessential businesses to shut down, some Republican legislators began using the public health crisis as an opportunity to deny health care to patients seeking abortions. The tactic has been replicated in the past couple of weeks, with governors in several states peddling the cynical argument that temporarily banning abortion will help shore up their supply of medical gear for hospitals overwhelmed by the pandemic.
So far, lawmakers in five states — Ohio, Texas, Alabama, Iowa, and Oklahoma — have attempted to halt abortion services indefinitely. As of now, only the Texas order has taken effect, and all of these temporary bans face strong legal challenges. Last week, providers in Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, and Oklahoma filed lawsuits to prevent the orders from taking effect in their states. A similar lawsuit was filed in Texas last week as well.
Federal judges in 3 U.S. states block orders limiting abortion access over COVID-19
Caroline Kelly, CNN
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Federal judges in Alabama, Ohio and Texas have blocked orders banning nonessential medical procedures from limiting abortion access during the coronavirus outbreak, a win for abortion rights activists as the fight over abortion rights intersects with the worsening pandemic.
"Because Alabama law imposes time limits on when women can obtain abortions, the March 27 order is likely to fully prevent some women from exercising their right to obtain an abortion," federal Judge Myron Thompson, from the Middle District of Alabama, wrote Monday. He temporarily halted the order, issued by the state's Health Department earlier this month, until April 13.
States Are Using the Cover of COVID-19 to Restrict Abortion and Healthcare for Women
With constituents distracted by the deadly pandemic, Republican state legislatures across the country are ramping up efforts to limit access to abortion
By Alex Morris
March 30, 2020
On March 18th, as the reality of the coronavirus crisis was becoming painfully apparent to Americans, the Idaho legislature was turning its attention to healthcare concerns of another kind: making sure that women were denied access to abortion at some nebulous future date. Across the country, state legislatures had gone into recess, heeding the social distancing advice of medical professionals. Not Idaho. For at least an hour on the floor of the House, there was vigorous debate over Senate Bill 1385, a so-called “trigger law” that would immediately criminalize abortion in the state if Roe v. Wade were overturned or a constitutional amendment gave states the right to criminalize it themselves. Under the law, performing an abortion would be a felony, except in instances of officially-reported rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother. “Everyone needs to face the consequences of their own personal choices,” Representative Megan Blanksma said in her closing debate, just before the bill passed 49-18 and made its way to Governor Brad Little’s desk to be signed, which it was last Tuesday.
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!
The Abortion Bans
Fault Lines examines early abortion bans passed in the US, how women are resisting, and whether the laws will stand.
(25 minute video)
13 Nov 2019
In 2019, nine US states passed laws effectively banning abortion in the earliest stages of pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant.
Fault Lines travelled to Alabama and Georgia, two states that passed the most extreme bans, to meet architects of the bills and legislators, clinics and patients on the front lines, and reproductive justice advocates fighting the bans in court.
U.S. federal judge blocks Alabama’s near total-ban on abortion
By KIM CHANDLER The Associated Press
Posted October 29, 2019
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked Alabama‘s near-total abortion ban from taking effect next month, saying the law, part wave of new abortion restrictions by conservative states, is clearly unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued an expected preliminary injunction temporarily blocking Alabama from enforcing the law that would make performing an abortion a felony in almost all cases. The ruling came after abortion providers sued to block the law from taking effect Nov. 15. The injunction will remain in place until Thompson decides the full case.
After Abortion Ban Attempt in Alabama, a Flood of Confusion and Phone Calls
August 27, 2019
by Catherine Trautwein
Pro-choice demonstrators protest outside the state capitol during the March For Reproductive Freedom in Montgomery, Alabama May 19, 2019. (Seth Herald/AFP)
Almost daily, the Reproductive Health Services clinic in Montgomery, Alabama, receives several versions of the same call: “Are y’all still doing abortions? Have they outlawed it in Alabama? Where can I go?”
The confusion is understandable. In May, Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, which aimed to outlaw abortions in all cases except when the mother’s life was at risk. The passage of the strictest anti-abortion measure in the country made national news.