Deep in the heart of Texas, poverty means illness reigns.
By Samuel Dickman
Feb. 16, 2021
For people who live in poverty in America, getting medical care is never easy. In Texas, health care for the poor is particularly challenging: Medicaid rules are among the most stringent in the country. A family of four with two parents must earn less than $285 per month to qualify. And for those who do receive Medicaid, finding a provider can present even greater challenges. It’s about to get worse.
For the past several years, Texas politicians have worked to cut off Medicaid recipients’ access to the wide range of services offered by Planned Parenthood. Now, barring an extension of a state district court’s temporary block on their efforts, they may have gotten their way.
29 state legislatures now have antiabortion majorities
Caroline Kitchener, The Lily
Feb. 2, 2021
When the South Carolina legislature convened on Jan. 12, one issue took priority over any other. Senate Bill 1, the first piece of legislation introduced on the Senate floor, bans most abortions, outlawing the procedure once a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat — around six weeks — except in cases of rape and incest, when there is a fatal fetal anomaly, and when a mother’s life is at risk.
SB 1 cleared the state Senate on Thursday. Now it will head to the South Carolina House, where it will almost certainly pass, before making its way to the desk of Gov. Henry McMaster (R).
The governor ordered a halt to nonessential medical procedures last year, which the attorney general then said applied to "any type of abortions."
Jan. 25, 2021
By Pete Williams
The Supreme Court handed a victory to advocates of abortion rights Monday, wiping off the books lower court rulings that had upheld a Texas order banning nearly all abortions in the state during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Greg Abbott ordered a halt to nonessential medical procedures in late March to conserve hospital resources and personal protective equipment. Attorney General Ken Paxton then said the order applied to "any type of abortions," including medication abortions that do not involve surgery.
Texas officials cited a need to preserve medical supplies as a reason to crack down on abortions. A new study finds that many Texans left the state during this time seeking the procedure.
SHANNON NAJMABADI, THE TEXAS TRIBUNE
POSTED ON JANUARY 4, 2021
After Gov. Greg Abbott's order that postponed all non "immediately, medically necessary" surgeries expired in May, second-trimester abortions increased 61%.
The number of Texas residents who went out of state to receive abortions leapt from 157 in February to 947 in April, after Gov. Greg Abbott ordered that all procedures not "immediately, medically necessary" be postponed to contend with the nascent coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
They're asking the FDA to declare the pill used in about 40% of abortions an “imminent hazard to public health.”
By Carter Sherman
September 2, 2020
Sen. Ted Cruz is leading the charge on a Hail Mary plea to the Food and Drug and Administration: He wants the agency to cut off access to a pill that’s used in nearly 40% of U.S. abortions.
On Monday, the Texas Republican led a group of 20 senators in sending a letter to the commissioner of the FDA, asking the agency to take the pill mifepristone, which helps induce abortions, off the U.S. market. The senators want the pill declared an “imminent hazard to public health.”
by Shannon Najmabadi and Edgar Walters, The Texas Tribune
Monday, August 31st 2020
Texas is proposing to cut nearly $3.8 million in funding from programs that offer low-income residents access to contraceptives and breast and cervical cancer screenings, while leaving intact a robustly funded program that discourages women from having abortions.
Texas health officials proposed the cuts while taking great pains to avoid belt-tightening in most other programs that offer direct services in health care. As the coronavirus pandemic ravages parts of the economy, leaving the state with a projected $4.6 billion deficit, Gov. Greg Abbott asked state agencies to cut their spending by 5% — but largely exempted programs deemed crucial to public health.
“It’s infuriating because you can't just turn on and off health care,” a Dallas clinic's co-medical director said.
Aug. 12, 2020
By Chloe Atkins
Several Texas clinics say they saw an uptick in women seeking abortions later in their pregnancies this spring, after the state temporarily halted most abortions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Hundreds of abortions were canceled after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed an executive order on March 22 banning all nonessential medical procedures, and the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, said in a statement that the ban included abortions, unless a woman’s health was at risk.
One woman reveals the lengths she went to in order to receive an abortion when Texas clinics closed due to the pandemic.
As told to Anna Louie Sussman
Aug 10, 2020
Shortly after Esmarie* learned she was pregnant in mid-March, the city in South Central Texas where she lives started to shut down in response to the coronavirus. Her college classes went online and she lost shifts at the two restaurants where she works, leaving her barely able to afford groceries. She knew right away that she did not want to continue the pregnancy, but feared abortion clinics would soon be shut down, too. It would be another six weeks before she was able to resolve her pregnancy with a self-managed abortion using abortion pills, which, when used as directed, have a success rate of 95 percent and are an increasingly popular option during the pandemic (one study showed a 27 percent rise in requests across the U.S., and a 94 percent increase in demand in Texas). Esmarie, 19, told us about her experience obtaining an abortion during the pandemic.
The day I found out I was pregnant, I saw all over Facebook that Texas was going to be shutting down the clinics. I thought, I’m not going to be able to have this abortion. I thought that I didn't have a choice—I was going to have to just live with it. It was very scary because I couldn't tell anybody. I was trying to get as many hours of work as I could.
She tried to get an abortion during the
pandemic. Her state wouldn’t allow it
(Interactive) Photographs by Glenna Gordon
Story by Kyle Almond and Benazir Wehelie, CNN
June 29, 2020
In the early days of the coronavirus
pandemic, many states put a temporary ban on elective surgeries and medical
procedures deemed nonessential. For several states, that included abortion.
It didn’t take long for abortion providers to
challenge the new restrictions. In some states, several judges blocked the
bans. Others were eventually lifted by the states themselves. But for weeks,
many women were left in limbo.
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.