Planned Parenthood president: Saying abortion is a small part of what group does is stigmatizing

By KK Ottesen
Dec. 29, 2020

Alexis McGill Johnson, 48, is a political scientist, social justice advocate, and president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood. She is co-founder and former co-director of the Perception Institute, an anti-bias research group.

You served on the board of Planned Parenthood for nearly a decade [before] actually running the organization. Can you talk about how you first got involved?

I literally was just walking down the street and saw a billboard that I now know was run by [Life Always]. It had a little Black girl’s face on it, and she just was cute. [Laughs.] And so I got closer, and I saw the words underneath that said, “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.” I’m from New Jersey. My family had moved to Georgia. And so I would travel on holidays and see billboards like that and would totally write that off as being, you know, something that happened in really conservative states. And when I saw it in New York City — it was in SoHo — I just was shocked, like, What is going on here?


Abortion in the Philippines: bill to decriminalise terminations would save women’s lives, its author says

Maro Enriquez
30 Nov, 2020

Filipino lawyer and human rights activist Clara Rita Padilla did not expect a photo she posted on Facebook in May would be so popular. In the picture, she looks sombre as she holds up a copy of a controversial proposed law she had drafted.

“Amid the Covid-19 havoc, here is the bill that I’m finalising to decriminalise abortion in the Philippines,” she wrote. “This bill, when passed into law, can save women’s lives.”


USA – Dr. Meera Shah Will Never Stop Telling Abortion Stories

SEP 8, 2020

The inaugural issue of Ms. hit newsstands in the early ’70s with bold cover lines meant to establish itself as a different kind of women’s magazine. One read, “Women Tell The Truth About Their Abortions.” Inside, 53 prominent women, including Susan Sontag, Dorothy Pitman Hughes, and Billie Jean King, had begun a petition stating they’d had abortions and demanding “a repeal of all laws that restrict our reproductive freedom.”

“I like to think that that was a precursor to the many acts that led to the Roe v. Wade decision a year later,” Ms. editor Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel said in 2011. Still, the magazine had relaunched the campaign just five years earlier, amid a new wave of threats to reproductive freedom across the United States.


Canada – It’s hard enough to get an abortion in New Brunswick—closing Clinic 554 won’t help

by Tegwyn Hughes
Posted on August 17, 2020

This article is the first in a two-part series about Clinic 554 and health care in New Brunswick.

In the Greater Toronto Area, there are nine locations where someone can access abortion services. In the entire province of New Brunswick, there are only four.  Come September, that number could shrink to three, worsening the already poor access to abortion care in the province.

Clinic 554, New Brunswick’s only independent clinic that offers abortions—as well as family medicine, trans-inclusive care, and contraception counselling—is set to close permanently at the end of September. Advocates for the Fredericton, N.B. clinic, as well as former patients, are urging the provincial government to save it, but the Progressive Conservative leadership hasn’t budged.


The Most Traumatic Thing About Abortions Is the Judgment

The Most Traumatic Thing About Abortions Is the Judgment

By Rajvi Desai
May 22, 2020

Cynthia was 20 when she got pregnant. She wasn’t allowed to go out with anybody, let alone have sex. Breaking the news to her parents was an unimaginable act. The apprehension that came with the pregnancy was so intense for her, Cynthia says it never even crossed her mind to keep the child.

“It was like I was not pregnant, and I had to get the abortion to ensure I continue to be not pregnant,” Cynthia says. “It wasn’t even a child I aborted — more like a cold that had to be cured.”


Why We Need Literature on Abortion

Why We Need Literature on Abortion
In this excerpt from Choice Words, Annie Finch's anthology of abortion poems, stories, and essays, she reflects on how literature on abortion is necessary on both a personal level and a larger societal one.

May 1, 2020
Annie Finch

I had an abortion in 1999.

Searching for literature to help me absorb my experience, I realized that I had rarely read anything about abortion (and I have a Ph.D. in literature). I was astounded to discover that there was no major literary anthology about one of the most profound experiences in my life and that of millions of others. A physical, psychological, moral, spiritual, political, and cultural reality that navigates questions of life and death, abortion should be one of the great themes of literature.

My anthology, Choice Words: Writers on Abortion, which was published recently, was the result of the 20-year search that grew out of this initial sense of shock and loss.


Europe – Abortion Without Borders in the time of COVID-19

Abortion Without Borders in the time of COVID-19

April 7, 2020
by Mara Clarke, Member, Abortion Without Borders/Founder, Abortion Support Network

In my 18+ years of talking about abortion, this is the first time that words have failed me. Please bear with me, while I try to explain to you the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Abortion Without Borders ( and the people who contact us, seeking abortions.

Things started changing for Abortion Without Borders (AWB) on 13 March, when Poland announced they would be cancelling all flights, trains and busses – and stopping international post. Like so much of the news around Covid-19, this news was half true and some of these services continued to run. Before the Covid-19 crisis, the Abortion Without Border’s Polish helpline received an average of 300 calls per month. In three days alone, from 13-15 March, the helpline received 114 calls. From 13 March until 31 March, the helpline took 308 calls. This is a full month of calls in approximately two weeks.


USA – Abortion storytellers and the harassment they face

Abortion storytellers and the harassment they face

By Steph Herold, opinion contributor

Next month, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in June Medical Services v. Gee, the first major abortion-related case to come before the Court since Justice Kavanaugh’s appointment to the bench. The case largely focuses on a Louisiana law designed to close abortion clinics by imposing the exact requirements that the Court declared unconstitutional in the 2016 case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

Yet this time around, abortion opponents are arguing that only patients, not abortion providers (such as Whole Woman’s Health or June Medical Services), should be able to bring these cases and that nothing prevents patients from doing so. This raises an unusual and pertinent question: is it reasonable to expect people seeking time-sensitive, stigmatized health care to drop everything and sue their state?


Independent submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Philippines

Independent submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Philippines as requested by the Human Rights Council (the Council) in its Resolution 41/2 adopted on 11 July 2019

Posted 10 February 2020
Supplementary information on the grave human rights violations resulting from women’s and girls’ lack of effective access to safe and legal abortion in the Philippines

Respectfully submitted on January 31, 2020

by Catholics for Reproductive Health
Center for Reproductive Rights
EnGendeRights, Inc.
Family Planning Organization of the Philippines
Filipino Freethinkers
Philippine Safe Abortion Network
WomanHealth Philippines
Women’s Clinic Pilipinas
Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights

1. This submission was prepared by a coalition of civil society groups working in the Philippines to contribute to the upcoming report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the situation of human rights in the Philippines as requested by the Human Rights Council (the Council) in its Resolution 41/2 adopted on 11 July 2019 on the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. We would like to direct the attention of the OHCHR to grave violations of fundamental human rights resulting from one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world which causes preventable deaths and injuries among women and girls who are unable to access safe and legal abortion services.


USA – 39 Abortion Stories Show Just How Important Abortion Access Is

39 Abortion Stories Show Just How Important Abortion Access Is
There's one story for each of the 39 Senators who asked the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v Wade.

By Danielle Campoamor
January 9, 2020

On January 2, 39 GOP Senators signed an AMICUS brief urging the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that secured the legal right to abortion. In the brief, these senators, along with 168 Republican members of the House, asked the sitting Supreme Court Justices to revisit and overturn Roe v Wade when they consider a case based on a Louisiana law that could severely limit access to abortion in the state.

For each of these 39 Senators, most of whom are cis men who will never know what it’s like to be pregnant when you do not want to be, I wanted to talk to 39 people who do know that feeling.