‘We do it because it’s the right thing to do’

Abortion care remains difficult to access in Newfoundland and Labrador, but providers are coming up with creative solutions

JUNE 20, 2024

It was on a cold and blustery afternoon last month. About 60 reproductive justice activists gathered outside the Confederation Building in St. John’s to defend reproductive rights.

The May 17 event was organised as a counter-rally to the annual March For Life held by anti-choice activists. But the March for Life protestors didn’t show up this year.

Continued: https://theindependent.ca/news/we-do-it-because-its-the-right-thing-to-do/

Access to abortion is not just a matter of health, it is a matter of basic human rights

Jun 16, 2024
by Jessica Gosselin, Valerie Jeanneret, Meghan Pritchard

How is it that women in the United States, a society that styled itself as the defender of the “free world” more than 50 years ago, are still fighting for basic human rights in 2024?

In the landmark decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court abandoned its duty to protect fundamental rights by overturning Roe v. Wade, ruling that there is no federal, constitutional right to abortion. In the nearly two years since, 21 states have banned abortion or restricted the procedure to earlier in pregnancies than the standard that had been set by Roe v. Wade that allowed abortion until the fetus became viable, or 24-28 weeks post-conception.

Continued: https://healthydebate.ca/2024/06/topic/abortion-basic-human-rights/

USA – The Supreme Court’s Abortion Pill Ruling Should Satisfy Nobody

JUNE 13, 2024

On Thursday, the Supreme Court did the bare minimum necessary to operate like an actual court of law, unanimously throwing out an absurd and dangerous lawsuit against medication abortion. The justices do not deserve extra credit for refusing to embrace this deeply unserious litigation, and they should earn no gold stars for maintaining the legal status quo on abortion pills. They merely acted as minimally responsible adults in a room of sugared-up preschoolers, shutting down the lower courts’ lawless rampage over all known rules of standing in desperate pursuit of an anti-abortion agenda. It is chilling to the bone that activist lawyers and judges were able to wreak as much havoc as they did before SCOTUS put them in timeout.

And this bad joke of a case isn’t even over: A lower court has already teed up a do-over that could once again jeopardize access to reproductive care in all 50 states. Don’t call this decision a victory. It is at best a reprieve—an election-year performance of Supreme Court unanimity and sobriety that masks the damage the conservative supermajority has already inflicted, as well as the threats to reproductive freedom that lie ahead.

Continued: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2024/06/supreme-court-abortion-pill-ruling-2024-comstock-threat.html

Idaho – When “abortion travel” becomes a nightmare: A tale of no good choices

She wanted a baby — but her fetus had no chance of survival. How Idaho's abortion laws led to devastating trauma

JUNE 12, 2024

Rebecca Vincen-Brown was still in her first trimester of pregnancy, in the late fall of 2022, when things started to go wrong. She had blood drawn for a standard genetic test called noninvasive prenatal testing, or NIPT, which can detect increased risks for various chromosomal disorders. The results of the test took slightly longer than normal to come back, and when they did, Vincen-Brown received a troubling phone call: The test was “inconclusive” because not enough fetal DNA was detected in her blood.

NIPT cannot diagnose fetal disorders conclusively, but the possibilities were troubling: Her fetus might have triploidy, trisomy 13 or trisomy 18, rare and serious genetic conditions involving either an extra set of chromosomes or an extra copy of one chromosome. While the specifics vary, most infants born with these conditions will live only days or weeks, and almost none will survive to adulthood.

Continued: https://www.salon.com/2024/06/12/when-abortion-travel-becomes-a-nightmare-a-tale-of-no-good-choices/

USA – Abortion Groups Say Tech Companies Suppress Posts and Accounts

The groups say they are increasingly confused and frustrated by how major technology platforms moderate posts about abortion services.

By Emily Schmall and Sapna Maheshwari
June 11, 2024

TikTok has briefly suspended the account of Hey Jane, a prominent telemedicine abortion service, four times without explanation. Instagram has suspended Mayday Health, a nonprofit that provides information about abortion pill access, without explanation as well. And the search engine Bing has erroneously flagged the website for Aid Access, a major seller of abortion pills online, as unsafe.

The groups and women’s health advocates say these examples, all from recent months, show why they are increasingly confused and frustrated by how major technology platforms moderate posts about abortion services.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/11/business/abortion-groups-tech-platforms.html

I’m from the UK. Here’s why I chose to pay for my abortion abroad

I felt safer getting my abortion in a country that forthrightly enshrines abortion access in law.

10 June 2024

“Your boobs are huge,” my partner quipped from the hotel bed as I wiggled into my swimming costume. I laughed it off and jiggled them in his face before taking one last swim on our holiday in the Dominican Republic, trying to quiet that voice in the back of my head, whispering, “What if you are pregnant?”

Annoyingly, the lying, anxious voices were actually right this time. I was pregnant. The day after, we landed in Montreal, Canada, and took a test to discover that my gigantic boobs were, in fact, a harbinger of a pregnancy. The shock overwhelmed me; I spun between numbness, despair, confusing tinges of happiness for a child I’d never wanted, and anticipatory grief for what was to come.

Continued: https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/why-i-chose-abortion-abroad

UK – ‘I felt entirely alone’: comedian Grace Campbell on the aftermath of her abortion

When Grace Campbell decided to terminate her pregnancy, she felt relief at being able to exercise a right so many women had fought for. But nothing prepared her for the depression that came after. Here, the comedian reflects on the physical and emotional toll

Grace Campbell
Sun 9 Jun 2024

There it is,” the doctor said, without warning. I turned, the cold jelly sliding off my stomach, to face the screen he had swivelled towards me. There it is, he said, nonchalantly, like he was pointing at the Eiffel Tower as we walked along the Seine. There it is, like he’d found his car in a festival car park. There it is, as he showed me, apropos of nothing, the foetus I was about to abort.

In December last year, I was at home, stuck in a sour state of depression that no amount of brightly coloured vapes and episodes of Schitt’s Creek could remedy. After an intense seven weeks, post-abortion, the bleeding had finally stopped. But the persistent crying, self-hatred and grief followed me everywhere I went.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/society/article/2024/jun/09/i-felt-entirely-alone-comedian-grace-campbell-on-the-aftermath-of-her-abortion

‘They have no options’: Texas court dims hope of timely abortion care for high-risk patients

Kristen Anaya was told she must be on the cusp of death before doctors would give a life-saving abortion

Mary Tuma
Sat 8 Jun 2024

After four rounds of in vitro fertilization, Kristen Anaya and her husband were elated to discover Anaya was finally pregnant - with a baby girl - last April. The 42-year-old Dallas-area woman called IVF a “long and emotional journey”. Despite the cost and struggle, the process was well worth it for Anaya, who wanted to grow her family.

However, the good news would give way to an unexpectedly grueling and traumatic pregnancy that forced her to suffer for days before receiving care, due to Texas’s severe abortion bans.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/08/texas-abortion-high-risk-patients

Criminalizing Drugs—Including Misoprostol and Mifepristone—Is a Bad Idea

Even before Louisiana’s decision to label abortion pills as dangerous controlled substances, the parallels and connections between the war on drugs and the war on abortion have been clear.

June 7, 2024

Louisiana recently added misoprostol and mifepristone (“M&M”) to the state’s list of criminalized controlled substances. M&M are medications that, among other things, can safely and effectively end a pregnancy. As a result of this law, possession of these medications without a prescription can result in fines of up to $5,000 or “imprisonment of no more than five years with or without hard labor.”

Much of the outcry against this state action has focused on the fact that M&M are neither dangerous nor addictive and thus should not be categorized or criminalized as a controlled substance. While it is true that M&M, two exceptionally well-studied and approved medications, are extremely safe and lack any potential for addiction, this critique reinforces dangerous myths about the war on drugs already deeply intertwined with the war on abortion.  

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2024/06/07/war-on-drugs-misoprostol-mifepristone-abortion/

US state abortion ban exemptions aren’t vague by accident. Uncertainty is the point

Anti-choice statutes are designed to keep health providers fearful of running afoul of the law. Women suffer for it

Judith Levine
Fri 7 Jun 2024

Anyone who has lived under the control of an abusive partner or parent knows that the problem is not just what’s prohibited. It’s what you’re unsure is prohibited. The prospect of punishment instills fear. Vagueness about what will be punished promotes caution. Just in case, the teenager doesn’t hang out with certain friends. The teacher deletes the controversial book from the curriculum.

The doctor decides not to perform an abortion when the patient’s health or life is at risk, but, maybe, not imminently so.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/jun/07/state-abortion-ban-exemptions-uncertainty