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?
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2020
Rebecca Gomperts is one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people this year. The Dutch activist has dedicated her life to trying to get women safe access to abortions in countries where abortion is illegal.
Gomperts is the founder of Women on Waves, which involves a ship with an on board abortion clinic. Women are taken from countries where abortion is illegal by boat to this ship on international waters, where they can get the treatment they need.
Activists Are Now Teaching Women How to Have Abortions at Home
“So long as we have a safe option that can be accomplished outside of a clinical or medical setting, there’s no reason that shouldn’t also be available.”
by Carter Sherman
Jan 22 2020
COLUMBIA, Missouri — In the Columbia Public Library, just past a room where a Bible study was wrapping up, a group of people gathered in a conference room to learn how to have an abortion at home.
What happens when you self-induce an abortion? one woman asked the panelists, who sat at a table in the front of the room.
The Last Decade Was Disastrous For Abortion Rights. Advocates Are Trying To Figure Out What’s Next.
This year, the battle over abortion rights reached a fever pitch. That’s what this entire decade was building toward.
Ema O'Connor BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on December 17, 2019
As the decade draws to a close, the national right to abortion is in the most vulnerable place it’s been in decades.
Since 2010, hundreds of laws restricting abortion access have been enacted all over the country, making the procedure less attainable and forcing abortion clinics to close. The US has gone from having around 1,720 facilities that perform abortions in 2011 to 1,587 in 2017 (the last year reproductive rights group Guttmacher Institute surveyed). As of this year, there are six states with only one abortion clinic left. Twenty-five abortion bans were signed into law in 2019 alone, leading to nationwide protests. Though all, so far, have been blocked by the courts, a major fight over abortion rights at the Supreme Court is yet to come.
Abortion After the Clinic
As Republican lawmakers try to legislate it out of existence, the future of reproductive healthcare may be at home.
By Irin Carmon
Nov 11, 2019
When Leana Wen introduced herself to America as the new president of Planned Parenthood last fall, she had a story she liked to tell — one that showed exactly why abortion access mattered. It was a sad tale of “a young woman lying on a stretcher, pulseless and unresponsive, because of a home abortion.” Wen, an emergency physician who had been plucked from Baltimore’s Health Department to take over the century-old institution, said the young woman had arrived at her ER in “a pool of blood” because “she didn’t have access to health care, so she had her cousin attempt an abortion on her at home. We did everything we could to resuscitate her, but she died.”
Wen was talking about a time when abortion was technically legal, yet the story rhymed with the pre-Roe era, when doctors and lawyers spoke of being radicalized by women filling their wards with blood and desperation, the same nightmare the familiar pro-choice rhetoric warns will soon be upon us. Behind the scenes, however, a vanguard of the abortion-rights movement implored Wen, directly and through intermediaries, to stop talking about “home abortion” in such dire terms.
Leana Wen Wants to Have a More Nuanced Conversation About Abortion
By Eliana Dockterman
October 17, 2019
Leana Wen, the former head of Planned Parenthood and a professor at George Washington University, addressed a controversial statement she made on abortion during the TIME 100 Health Summit on Thursday. Wen kicked off a firestorm on Twitter Tuesday when she broke with typical Planned Parenthood language and said that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare,” a Clinton-era phrase that has since gone out of vogue among many abortion rights activists.
During Tuesday’s Democratic primary debate, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard argued that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare,” prompting Wen to write on Twitter, “I don’t agree with @TulsiGabbard on a lot, but do appreciate that she brought up the third rail for Democrats: that abortion should be ‘safe, legal, and rare.’ We should reduce the need for abortions by investing in prevention.”
Planned Parenthood ousts leader after less than a year
By Lenny Bernstein, Ariana Eunjung Cha and Amy Goldstein
July 16, 2019
The president of Planned Parenthood was forced out of her job Tuesday in a dispute over her management style and the direction of the nation’s largest women’s reproductive rights organization amid growing political and legal challenges to abortion.
Planned Parenthood’s board met in emergency session for hours Tuesday and approved Leana Wen’s immediate departure just eight months after she took over the post. The terms had been negotiated over several weeks, said a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman.
A Pastor’s Case for the Morality of Abortion
Jes Kast, a minister in the United Church of Christ, believes the procedure should be fully legal and accessible. Her path to that position has been complicated.
May 26, 2019
In America, the debate about abortion is often reduced to binary categories. Religious versus secular. Misogynists versus murderers. Even “Christian theocracy” versus, presumably, everyone else.
With abortion once again in the headlines this month, after Alabama and several other states passed near-total bans on the procedure, Jes Kast, a pastor in the United Church of Christ, spoke up as someone who does not fit those categories. She supports abortion rights, and is representative of her denomination on this issue: According to the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of people in the UCC, a small, progressive denomination with a little less than 1 million members, think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Kast also serves on the clergy-advocacy board of Planned Parenthood, which works to “increase public awareness of the theological and moral basis for advocating reproductive health,” according to its website.
How ‘Shout Your Abortion’ grew from a Seattle hashtag into a book
Amelia Bonow was recently in Seattle to talk about the book, "Shout Your Abortion."
Originally published December 12, 2018
By Nicole Brodeur, Seattle Times columnist
Amelia Bonow was in a Lyft, headed to Seattle’s Neptune Theatre, when she told the driver what awaited her there: She had co-founded a movement called “Shout Your Abortion,” aimed at humanizing, normalizing and de-stigmatizing the procedure. It had spread from Seattle across the nation, and resulted in a book of personal essays by abortion clients, and providers, that was being launched before a crowd of supporters that night.
The driver had a story of his own, apparently, because at some point during the ride, Bonow posted on Facebook: ” … having my one thousandth conversation with a male Lyft driver who knocked somebody up who had an abortion and hasn’t ever talked about it …”
Abortion foes seek Trump's help to offset midterm setback
The Associated Press
November 29, 2018
NEW YORK — Anti-abortion leaders are seeking help from the Trump administration as they shift their political strategies now that the U.S. House will be controlled by Democrats who support abortion rights.
Under Republican control, the House tried repeatedly, though unsuccessfully, to halt federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and it passed a bill that would have banned most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The Democratic-led House that takes office in January is likely to push legislation that would expand access to abortion, even if such measures die in the GOP-controlled Senate.