Coronavirus crisis magnifies existing challenges to abortion access
May 07, 2020
In our recent book, Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America, David Cohen and I detail the considerable difficulties many people have in accessing abortion care. The relative scarcity of clinics means long travel for many; that abortion patients are disproportionately low-income women of color means hardship in paying for the procedure, particularly since the majority of states do not allow Medicaid funds to be used for abortion; the onerous waiting periods in many states often mean women have to stay overnight in a distant city, leading to the additional costs of lodging and more days of lost wages; confrontations with protestors at the clinic sites themselves can often be deeply upsetting. All these barriers have increased exponentially with the coming of COVID-19, and some new problems have been added as well.
The Next Big Abortion Case Comes Down to John Roberts
By Irin Carmon, The Intelligencer
Feb. 28, 2020
Almost four years ago, I sat on a cable-news set waiting for the Supreme Court to hand down a ruling on a Texas abortion law that, reputable medical organizations agreed, amounted to a bogus justification for shutting down abortion clinics. The live feed was trained on candidate Hillary Clinton’s Cincinnati rally, featuring Elizabeth Warren, who had just endorsed her.
Alike in blonde bobs and jewel tones, if not much else, the two raised their clasped hands to the sky in a show of party unity and the hint of an all-female ticket, or at least a future in which reproductive autonomy, along with everything else, didn’t depend on the whims of a tiny number of white men. The particular man we were waiting on that day was Justice Anthony Kennedy. Minutes later, the networks cut away to announce that his vote in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt would keep the clinics open, ruling that the Texas law placed an unconstitutional burden on women.