The Fight to Protect Abortion Access Amid the Pandemic
June 15 2020
It wasn’t much past 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning in late April, and anti-choice protesters outside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, were already cantankerous: There were three men with bullhorns, including one on top of a ladder; a 1,200-watt speaker pointing toward the clinic’s front door; and another protester blowing a shofar. “Welcome to the circus,” said Kim Gibson, a clinic escort who works to keep the mayhem away from patients.
Even as the coronavirus pandemic has gripped the nation (new cases are still on the rise in Mississippi), protesters disregarded Jackson’s stay-at-home order and have consistently failed to wear masks or keep appropriate social distance — not only from one another, but also from patients, whose cars they readily approach in an effort to “counsel” them and hand out anti-abortion propaganda.
The coronavirus is wiping out a crucial lifeline for abortion services in the US, and many patients may lose access entirely
Apr 16, 2020
Dr. Anuj Khattar was supposed to fly to Oklahoma City on Sunday, March 29 for his monthly stint working at Trust Women, a reproductive health clinic. Khattar, a family medicine practitioner, lives in Seattle and travels a few days each month to provide abortion care.
Washington was one of the first states hit hard by the coronavirus, and Khattar wrestled over whether it was safe to travel under the circumstances. Ultimately, he decided going was the right thing to do.
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.
Citing 'Irreparable Harm,' Federal Judge Blocks Oklahoma Attempt to Ban Abortion During Pandemic
"To politicians and anti-abortion groups playing political games amid a pandemic: Let this be a lesson to you that we won't allow you to put our patients and the community at risk."
By Jessica Corbett, staff writer, Common Dreams
Published on Monday, April 06, 2020
Reproductive rights advocates celebrated on Monday after U.S. District Judge Charles Goodwin granted a temporary restraining order against the state of Oklahoma's ban on abortions during the coronavirus pandemic on the grounds that denying the right to the medical procedures would cause "imminent, irreparable harm" to state residents.
"Today's ruling is important because our patients need and deserve access to abortion care," said Brandon Hill, president and CEO of Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood Great Plains. "Abortion is an essential and time-sensitive medical procedure that should not be caught in the crosshairs of political agendas—especially during this public health crisis."
Millions of Women Already Live in a Post-Roe America: A Journey Through the Anti-Abortion South
January 18 2019
Video by Maisie Crow, Lauren Feeney
I met Danielle in the counseling room of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization in Jackson, Mississippi, which sits on a busy corner in the city’s arts district. Its vibrant pink paint job has earned it the name “the Pink House,” and it is the state’s only remaining abortion clinic.
Dressed in gray sweatpants and a T-shirt, Danielle looked pensive as she sat in a narrow room in the back of the building alongside 12 other women there for abortion care. Betty Thompson, a counselor who has worked at the clinic for 24 years, stood before the women, ready to walk them through the necessary paperwork and go over next steps.
Abortion access is limited, but this traveling doctor is determined to provide care
By Kendall Ciesemier
Oct. 2, 2018
It’s 11:30 p.m. in St. Louis, and Dr. Colleen McNicholas’ flight is delayed. She’s headed to Oklahoma, just like she does each month, to work at an abortion clinic that has been closed for a week for lack of a doctor. Now 60 patients are on the day’s schedule, waiting for her to provide care.
Flight delays and travel hiccups aren’t new to McNicholas. She travels an average of 400 miles almost weekly to one of four clinics in three different states, where the clinics rely solely on traveling doctors to stay open.
Women fear for their safety and loss of rights if US abortion laws change
One doctor explains that the abortion situation in Oklahoma is already "at the level of a developing country."
Monday 01 October 2018
By Cordelia Lynch, US correspondent
Women are living in fear that their reproductive rights will be overruled if abortion reform laws are revoked in America.
Sky News has spoken to women who have performed their own abortions, driven hundreds of miles to receive safe treatment and who have spent their lives fighting to ensure women retain rights over their own bodies.
Does it Matter if Abortion Is Legal?
A new book warns that even with Roe v. Wade intact, the procedure is still effectively banned in some places.
By Rebecca Grant
November 8, 2017
In 2013, 22-year old Beatriz Garcia found herself in the middle of the global abortion debate, a symbol and a lightning rod for what happens when a woman who lives in a country with a total abortion ban faces a life-threatening pregnancy.
Michelle Oberman, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, opens her new book Her Body, Our Laws: On the Front Lines of the Abortion Wars, From El Salvador to Oklahoma, with Beatriz’s story. The case gives grounding to this ambitious book, which looks at the effects of abortion restrictions in Latin America and the United States. Oberman has spent her career studying the murky ethical waters of pregnancy and motherhood. She’s done research about pregnant women who abuse drugs and written two books about mothers who have killed their children. Her mission with this book is not to argue whether or not abortion should be legal, but to interrogate the impact of laws that restrict it.
Continued at source: https://newrepublic.com/article/145700/matter-abortion-legal
Many Abortion Restrictions Have No Rigorous Scientific Basis
May 9, 2017, News Release
Texas and Kansas Stand Out as the States with the Largest Number of Scientifically Unfounded Restrictions
At least 10 major categories of abortion restrictions are premised on assertions not supported by rigorous scientific evidence, according to a new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review. These restrictions include unnecessary regulations on abortion facilities and providers, counseling and waiting period requirements rooted in misinformation, and laws based on false assertions about when fetuses can feel pain.
The authors, Guttmacher Institute experts Rachel Benson Gold and Elizabeth Nash, document that over half of U.S. women of reproductive age live in states where abortion restrictions are in effect that have either moderate or major conflicts with the science. The worst offenders are Kansas and Texas (with laws in effect in eight out of the 10 categories) and Louisiana, Oklahoma and South Dakota (seven such laws each). A table with information for all states is included in the full analysis.
Continued at link: Guttmacher Institute: https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2017/many-abortion-restrictions-have-no-rigorous-scientific-basis
by Alice Hines
Sam Avery knew she could find what she needed at the All Families clinic, because she’d seen the protesters outside when driving through town. Their “Pray to End Abortion” signs billboarded an otherwise discreet service in Kalispell, Montana, population 22,000. It’s the kind of town where churches outnumber supermarkets and gay pride parades draw counter-protests. The clinic’s owner had a nickname: “Susan Cahill the baby killer,” says Avery. “She’s got that label for the rest of her life.”
Avery got pregnant after quitting the hormonal birth control that was making her sick. She decided to get an aspiration abortion, one of the most common surgeries in the U.S., which takes between three and 10 minutes to complete. Avery’s drive to All Families took four hours from her then-home on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation through Glacier National Park and across the Continental Divide. When she finally met Cahill, she gleaned a different impression from others in town: “She’s a rare mix of badass and surly and also caring and understanding. She has the right proportions to be really good at what she did.”
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