Today, there are 34 percent fewer independent clinics across the country than there were in 2012. The threats independent clinics face are harsh—which is why now more than ever, they need our support to continue meeting this moment.
by NIKKI MADSEN
The toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for families and communities across the country, including my own. But when I reflect back on 2020, amid all of the heartache, a moment of absolute joy stands out.
In early March, just days before the nationwide cascade of shutdowns and uncertainty, I stood arm-in-arm outside the Supreme Court with reproductive health, rights and justice advocates as we cheered on the fierce clinic staff at Hope Medical Group for Women, the Louisiana-based independent abortion care provider at the center of this year’s Supreme Court abortion case. Like other independent clinics (indies) before them, Hope was fighting for all of us that day.
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.
by Jhoni Jackson
"I've had two abortions, I'm blessed, that's it," Viva Ruiz tells PAPER. "God loves us. Period. There's no apology. There's no debate."
Last week, Thank God for Abortion — a collective activism initiative, though founded by Ruiz, who is currently an artist-in-residence at Shout Your Abortion — released an eponymous anthem. It's an electro-reggaeton track that, combined with its video, leaves little unspoken, connecting the dots between various oppressions. 100% of Bandcamp proceeds will benefit the Abortion Care Network.
By: Clare Busch
July 17, 2020
On June 29, the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions to also have the ability to admit and treat patients at a local hospital. The same day, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a new mandatory 24-hour waiting period between consulting with a physician and having an abortion. Other state legislatures are back at work enacting new barriers on accessing abortion.
While abortion clinics prepare to navigate additional legal restrictions on patients’ reproductive rights, workers are also navigating how to safeguard patients’ health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the country, anti-abortion activists have flouted CDC guidelines by not wearing masks when they protest clinics and exploit new distancing protocols to increase patient harassment.
Many Abortion Clinics May Not Survive COVID-19 Unless Progressives Take Bolder Action
04 Jun 2020
The fury of the anti-choice movement is always in Kwajelyn Jackson’s face.
Protesters stand outside of the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where she works. They harass her doctors. They destroy clinic property. They break COVID-19 social distancing rules. They hound her patients, who are mostly poor and black or Hispanic.
Anti-Abortion Activists Are Winning the Coronavirus Pandemic
The pandemic has achieved what years of Supreme Court battles and hundreds of restrictions could not: it has choked off access to legal abortion.
by Carter Sherman
Mar 28 2020
Over the past few weeks, as vast swathes of U.S. society have shut down in an effort to curb the coronavirus, the pandemic has achieved what years of Supreme Court battles and hundreds of restrictions could not: It has choked off access to legal abortion.
The global disruption caused by coronavirus has become yet another battle in the American abortion wars, and it’s one that anti-abortion activists are winning.
‘I Feel Very Powerless’: How Abortion Providers Are Dealing With COVID-19
Abortion providers face a complex interplay of questions about how to balance their own health, the need to physically distance, and the potential of COVID-19 to limit patients’ ability to travel for abortion services.
Mar 23, 2020
When Dr. Sheila Ramgopal woke up on March 15, the COVID-19 warning signs were there. A dry cough. A sore throat. Some tightness in their chest, and a temperature slightly over 100 degrees.
“Not even a fever in my mind,” Ramgopal, medical director of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Reproductive Health Center, told Rewire.News. But the symptoms met the criteria to be tested for COVID-19. All that was missing was a known exposure to someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Abortion Clinics Are Getting Nickel-and-Dimed Out of Business
From legal battles to securing vendors to getting the walls painted, every budget line is a struggle.
By Cynthia Koons and Rebecca Greenfield
February 27, 2020
Amy Hagstrom Miller, owner of Whole Woman’s Health in Austin, has faced many existential threats to her business. When Texas passed a law in 2013 requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, she was forced to close the clinic. She fought the measure all the way to the Supreme Court, and in 2016, she prevailed. By a 5–3 decision, the court ruled in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that the law wasn’t medically justified. There’s an iconic photo of Hagstrom Miller descending the Supreme Court steps afterward, fist raised, smile radiant. Nine months later, she reopened her clinic.
It looked like a happy ending. But a year later the Austin clinic was on the brink again.
Getting an abortion in “the most pro-life state in America”
Welcome to the Louisiana clinic at the center of the court case that could gut Roe v. Wade.
By Anna North
Feb 19, 2020
Photographs by Annie Flanagan for Vox
SHREVEPORT, Louisiana — The first patients arrive around 10 am.
They wear boots and coats against the December cold, but there’s coffee inside to help them warm up. Christmas figurines — a Santa holding a tree, a quaint house covered in snow — give the place a homey feel. In the waiting room, Friends plays on the TV.
Even before they sit down, though, patients are confronted with reminders that this place is under threat.
Indie Abortion Clinics Can’t Be Replaced, but They’re Dying Out
Abortion clinics that aren't connected to large national organizations like Planned Parenthood provide more than half of all abortions.
by Marie Solis
Dec 23 2019
Laurent Delli-Bovi is used to operating her Brookline, Massachusetts, abortion clinic in a state of financial precarity. Women's Health Services, which has been around for almost 28 years, has been in the red for the last 13 of them.
Delli-Bovi, the clinic's medical director, said those years have mostly consisted of "robbing Peter to pay Paul": putting off paying some bills in favor of more urgent ones. The independent clinic runs on a "day-to-day" basis, its future never guaranteed.