“I Was So Naive”: The Painful Stories Behind Abortion Restrictions

A couple trying to conceive, an ultrasound technician, and a gay pastor share their experiences with abortion in post-Roe America.

NOVEMBER 30, 2023

As Anya Cook sat at the hairdresser, she thought she might die. The night before, her water had broken. But being only about 16 weeks along in her pregnancy—six weeks before a fetus can potentially survive on its own outside the uterus—she’d known something was wrong; her husband, Derick Cook, had rushed her to the emergency room at the Broward Health hospital in Coral Springs, Florida. After a wait of more than 45 minutes in the emergency room—amniotic fluid still seeping from Anya’s body—a doctor had informed her that she would lose the child, but, given Florida’s strict abortion ban, there was nothing they could do. She’d been sent away with antibiotics and told she would have to wait to have her miscarriage alone.

She went to get her hair done the next day. “One thing my grandmother always said, ‘You make yourself look presentable so when they catch you dead, you’re already ready,’” she tells me. It was never the plan to deliver her baby in the bathroom of a hair salon. Anya recalls with vivid detail the sound of her fetus hitting the bowl of the toilet as blood poured out of her, dripping down her legs. After hours of surgery, Anya lost roughly half the blood in her body. The doctors asked Derick whether they should prioritize saving Anya’s life or her uterus. “That was very confusing,” he says. “I just went with the best answer: Save my wife and her uterus.” Since then, Anya has had to undergo a string of surgeries as a result of the complications she suffered.

Continued: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/11/painful-stories-behind-abortion-restrictions-post-roe

Pensacola Florida was once center for abortion violence. Late nurse who ran clinic wasn’t scared

Mollye Barrows, Pensacola News Journal
Sept 18, 2023

Linda Taggart, the nurse who ran one of Pensacola’s first abortion clinics during its most tumultuous times, has passed away.

The clinic was a target of violence for years, including bombings, arson fires and deadly shootings. Despite being attacked and threatened repeatedly, Taggart remained steadfast in her position for 30 years until her retirement.

Continued: https://www.pnj.com/story/news/local/escambia-county/2023/09/18/pensacola-was-once-ground-zero-for-abortion-violence-meet-the-nurse-who-ran-clinic-at-center-of-figh/70794734007/

Florida supreme court signals openness to abortion ban that would slash access

Five of seven justices on court were selected by Governor Ron DeSantis and decision would have ramifications across south-east

Carter Sherman and Ava Sasani
Fri 8 Sep 2023

In arguments in a case that could drastically limit abortion access in the south-eastern United States, the Florida supreme court on Friday seemed open to arguments to uphold a law that bans abortion past 15 weeks of pregnancy.

If the state’s high court upholds the 15-week ban under consideration, a separate, stricter law would take effect prohibiting abortion after six weeks, before many people know they are pregnant.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/sep/08/florida-abortion-ban-supreme-court

To Protect a Mother’s Health: How Abortion Ban Exemptions Play Out in a Post-‘Roe’ World

By Christopher O’Donnell, Tampa Bay Times
JULY 31, 2023

This pregnancy felt different.

After the heartache of more than a dozen miscarriages, Anya Cook was 16 weeks along. She and husband Derick Cook spent a Sunday last December sharing the news with his parents and looking at cribs.

As they left a restaurant in Coral Springs, Florida, that evening, Cook’s water broke. Her husband rushed her to the nearest emergency room.

Continued: https://kffhealthnews.org/news/article/to-protect-a-mothers-health-how-abortion-ban-exemptions-play-out-in-a-post-roe-world/

Florida: A reflection of the ‘chaos and confusion’ surrounding abortion rules in the US

The state, governed by White House hopeful Ron DeSantis, has passed one of the most restrictive laws in the country. When it enters into force, the south will become a vast desert for women’s freedom of choice

Iker Seisdedos
JUN 18, 2023

Alejandra is 32 years old and has a tense expression. She is waiting for her appointment to have an abortion at the Planned Parenthood Golden Glades clinic in Miami. She sits in a room with four other women separated by hospital curtains. “I’m desperate, it’s a matter of life and death,” she says impatiently. Because of her epilepsy, the gynecologist has warned her that her “wanted” pregnancy is dangerous. That she should not “carry it to term.” She is eight weeks along but doesn’t want to risk it: she fears that if she leaves it any longer, the new law signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, which will lower the legal limit for abortion in the state from 15 to six weeks, will take effect.

“I’ve been told I could die,” she continues. “It’s not about me anymore, it’s that I have a six-year-old daughter, and, frankly, I don’t trust my mother to take care of her.” She makes the gesture of caressing her belly with her hands and adds: “There are days when I wake up with this joy, but then I remember that I simply can’t.” She came to the clinic alone. Hardly anyone knows she’s there. That is why Alejandra is pseudonym.

Continued: https://english.elpais.com/usa/2023-06-18/florida-a-reflection-of-the-chaos-and-confusion-surrounding-abortion-rules-in-the-us.html

What happened to the GOP’s promises to support women and families after Roe?

North Carolina’s new abortion ban exposes the GOP’s failures to shore up government assistance for parents and children.

By Dylan Scott
May 17, 2023

Last summer, after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturned the federal right to have an abortion, much ink was spilled on the possibility that Republicans, eager to pass a new round of abortion bans, would feel compelled at the same time to improve the social safety net to help the women and children their new laws would affect.

But that spending has largely not materialized. Though nearly 20 states have banned abortion over the past year, experts say few have put meaningful dollars into supporting children and families.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/2023/5/17/23725314/north-carolina-abortion-ban-paid-family-leave

Because of Florida abortion laws, she carried her baby to term knowing he would die

By Elizabeth Cohen, Carma Hassan and Amanda Musa, CNN
Tue May 2, 2023

A Florida woman, unable to get an abortion in her state, carried to term a baby who had no kidneys. Deborah Dorbert’s son Milo died in her arms on March 3, shortly after he was born, just as her doctors had predicted he would.

“He gasped for air a couple of times when I held him,” said Dorbert, 33. “I watched my child take his first breath, and I held him as he took his last one.”

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/02/health/florida-abortion-term-pregnancy/index.html

Florida’s abortion ban and “pro-life” hypocrisy

Women’s lives are on the line after Ron DeSantis, notoriously ultra-right Governor of Florida, signed a six-week abortion ban

April 14, 2023
by Natalia Marques

On April 14, the Florida state legislature passed one of the most strict abortion bans in the country, which outlaws abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The same day, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis quietly, with little fanfare and a private ceremony, signed the bill into law. Florida is following in the footsteps of many US states in passing laws to restrict or ban abortion after the downfall of Roe v. Wade last year. A six week ban is considered especially absurd by medical professionals, as one in three women don’t even learn they’re pregnant until after six weeks.

continued: https://peoplesdispatch.org/2023/04/14/floridas-abortion-ban-and-pro-life-hypocrisy/

Florida Senate approves 6-week abortion ban as two Republicans vote ‘no’

Democrats argued that the bill supported Christian principles over health care for women, and that the government should not interfere in decisions that a patient makes with a doctor.

April 3, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Senate on Monday approved a proposed ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, with two Republicans opposing the bill amid outbursts from protesters.

The bill, S.B. 300, would ban most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for women facing life-threatening harm during pregnancy, and exemptions of up to 15 weeks for victims of rape, incest and human trafficking. There’s also $30 million for the Florida Department of Health to expand programs that support contraception, parenting and pregnancies.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/04/03/florida-senate-6-week-abortion-ban-00090202

Florida couple unable to get abortion will see baby die after delivery

Doctors’ interpretation of state law prevents procedure, family tells Washington Post, despite baby’s fatal illness

Maya Yang
Sat 18 Feb 2023

In a few weeks, a Florida couple will have to bid farewell to their child shortly after the baby is delivered, a gut-wrenching reality created by the US supreme court’s elimination of nationwide abortion rights last year.

Because of a new Florida law that bans abortion after 15 weeks except under certain circumstances, Deborah Dorbert has become one of many women having difficulty accessing necessary abortion procedures after the supreme court overturned the rights granted by the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/18/florida-abortion-law-couple-birth