Abortions have been available by mail during coronavirus. Not anymore.
Jan. 13, 2021
Julie Amaon wanted to make the process as easy as possible. Her organization — Just the Pill — began facilitating abortions by mail in October. After they scheduled a call with a doctor, patients in Minnesota would typically receive their pill in the mail within 72 hours. Amaon, a family medicine doctor and medical director for Just the Pill, always followed up with a care package: Oreos, sanitary pads and a bag of peach mango herbal tea.
The entire operation screeched to a halt Tuesday night, when the Supreme Court lifted a national injunction that allowed women to access the abortion pill remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. Since July, patients had been able to request an abortion pill without ever setting foot in a clinic or a doctor’s office, an accommodation instituted to protect patients from the virus.
BY MARY ZIEGLER, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR
When it comes to abortion, all eyes are currently on the Supreme Court. But in the states, pro-life and pro-choice forces are already shadowboxing about what a post-Roe v. Wade America will look like.
Two states with abortion on the ballot this week just offered a very different perspective on the shape of battles yet to come. By a 62.1 to 39.1 percent margin, Louisiana amended its constitution to declare that there was no state right to abortion or abortion voting. By contrast, in a closely watched Colorado vote, the state rejected a ballot initiative banning abortion at 22 weeks by a 59.1 to 40.9 percent.
Roe v. Wade Might Be Overturned Soon — This Is Worse Than You Think
OCTOBER 20, 2020
Angel Kai’s* heart sank when she found out she was pregnant again. The 20-year-old had delivered her second child only three months prior. She was on unpaid maternity leave from her job in Amarillo, TX, and she’d just received a $130 electricity bill in the mail that she didn’t know if she’d be able to pay. “Everything that was happening financially was just bad,” she remembers. “I couldn’t have another kid. I knew getting an abortion would be the best thing, because I couldn’t walk up the street to get a soda if I wanted one at the time. We were that tight on money.”
It turned out, though, that Angel couldn’t even afford the abortion she knew she wanted. Her health plan was offered under state-funded Medicaid, which, in Texas, only covers abortion in cases of life endangerment, rape, and incest. So, Angel Googled “abortion financial help.”
BY MICHELLE ONELLO, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR
The Trump administration has been executing a coordinated attack on what it sees as a critical public health issue. Unfortunately, the offensive is not targeting the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected over six million people and claimed almost 200,000 lives in the US. Instead, the campaign has its sights set on women’s sexual health and reproductive rights, especially abortion. With the recent death of Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg threatening the fate of Roe v. Wade, the security of abortion rights has never been more precarious.
The administration’s brazen anti-abortion agenda includes not only well-publicized executive actions such as the expansions of the global and domestic gag rules, “conscience” exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, and the packing of courts with anti-abortion judges.
Democrats might crush Republicans in November. With a 6–3 conservative Supreme Court majority, abortion rights could still be decimated.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2020
Friday was a perfect early-autumn evening in Washington, D.C., less than 50 days away from the election. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List, arguably the most powerful anti-abortion group in Washington, had wrapped up her day on Capitol Hill. She and her kids packed cheese and crackers and headed to the lawn outside the Supreme Court building, a majestic spot for a picnic. Dannenfelser’s phone rang—it was one of her staffers calling strangely late for a Friday. He had news.
Call it coincidence. Call it fate. “I’ve literally never sat on the lawn at the Supreme Court,” Dannenfelser told me. But in the moment when she found out that the pro-life movement may be about to achieve everything activists have been working toward since 1973, when Roe v. Wade made abortion legal across the United States, Dannenfelser was literally gazing upon the institution she has worked so hard to influence. The thought of victory so close at hand “makes my heart race and my spirit soar,” she said.
Aug 31, 2020, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court's decision in June striking down a Louisiana restriction on abortion clinics is giving abortion opponents an unlikely opportunity in other states.
Officials in Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Oklahoma have in recent weeks argued that the high court's 5-4 ruling actually bolsters their defense of anti-abortion laws, even though the justices ruled against Louisiana.
Alice Clapman, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Aug. 10, 2020
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June Medical Services struck down a Louisiana law requiring doctors to have privileges at a local hospital in order to perform abortions. Alice Clapman, litigator for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says it’s time to recognize that many state abortion restrictions billed as “common sense health and safety regulations” are nothing more than tactics to hinder care, especially for rural communities and people of color who face systemic barriers to health care.
On June 29, in June Medical Services v. Russo (JMS), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that would have left the state with only one abortion provider. From the moment the court’s fractured decision came down, commentators began speculating and debating whether it signals a shift. Had the court moved from the balancing test applied in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt to a more deferential test, one that would focus solely on the degree of burden imposed by a challenged restriction, without inquiring into whether that restriction serves any valid state interest?
Aug. 5, 2020
By Megan Burbank, Seattle Times features reporter
“Did you feel they treated you like a person?” The question is posed near the end of the new documentary “Personhood” to Tamara Loertscher, a Wisconsin woman who was imprisoned in 2014 while pregnant after disclosing prior drug use to her doctor; tests showed traces of methamphetamine in her body.
Loertscher and her attorneys have maintained that she stopped using drugs when she found out she was pregnant, but as the case unfolded, her history of drug use and Wisconsin’s “Unborn Child Protection Act” became the state’s justification for giving her fetus more legal rights than she had. Loertscher’s fetus was appointed an attorney; she, initially, was not. When Loertscher refused drug treatment, she was jailed, which effectively cut off the prenatal care she had sought.
No matter what the Supreme Court decides, abortion opponents have already won
As the Supreme Court considers a Louisiana law, this is how anti-abortion groups see the direction of the country.
By Anna North
Mar 5, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC — Standing in front of the US Supreme Court on Wednesday morning, Dennis McKirahan was in a hopeful mood. “It’s a great day,” he said, glancing at the blue sky. “The sun is shining in me and outside.”
He and around a dozen other activists were with the group Shofar Call International, a Christian group that blows a horn typically used in Jewish ceremonies called the shofar as part of anti-abortion demonstrations and religious events. “In Hebrew the Shofar is also referred to as the Bat Kol or the Voice of Heaven,” the group’s website states. “When the enemy hears the Voice of Heaven being proclaimed in the earth, he trembles in fear.”
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.