January 19, 2023
6-Minute Listen with Transcript
The 50th anniversary of the Roe V. Wade decision is Jan. 22. NPR's podcast Throughline examines the debate about abortion, which wasn't always controversial.
A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:
This week, it'll mark 50 years since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion a constitutionally protected right - at least for 49 years. In U.S. history, though, abortion wasn't always controversial. In fact, in colonial America, it was considered a fairly common practice, a private decision made by women and aided mostly by midwives. But in the mid-1800s, a small group of physicians set out to change that. Led by a zealous young doctor named Horatio Storer, they launched a campaign to make abortion illegal in every state. Here are hosts Ramtin Arablouei and Rund Abdelfatah from our history podcast Throughline.
July 31, 2022
By Kendall Ciesemier
Thirty years ago, when my mother was pregnant, an ultrasound revealed troubling abnormalities: the fetus’s organs were misarranged. This condition, she was told by her doctor, correlated with a wide variety of disabilities that could cause the baby to die at birth. The doctor told my mother that she could seek an abortion. She wanted her to know her options.
My parents had good health insurance, a steady income and a strong support system. They chose to proceed with the pregnancy. A few months later, I was born to a crowd of doctors waiting to assess and treat my condition. I had my first of many major surgeries at 8 weeks old. My parents went to sleep every night praying I’d see another birthday.
I thought I was writing fiction in The Handmaid’s Tale.
By Margaret Atwood, The Atlantic
MAY 13, 2022
In the early years of the 1980s, I was fooling around with a novel that explored a future in which the United States had become disunited. Part of it had turned into a theocratic dictatorship based on 17th-century New England Puritan religious tenets and jurisprudence. I set this novel in and around Harvard University—an institution that in the 1980s was renowned for its liberalism, but that had begun three centuries earlier chiefly as a training college for Puritan clergy.
In the fictional theocracy of Gilead, women had very few rights, as in 17th-century New England. The Bible was cherry-picked, with the cherries being interpreted literally.
We need to explicitly name white supremacy and racism as the core drivers of abortion bans and restrictions, as well as violence and harassment.
Apr 21, 2022
MiQuel Davies, Rewire News
Abortion providers and people accessing abortion care are at high risk of violence and harassment. We know this from the well-documented history of providers being murdered, clinics dealing with arson and regular hate mail, and protesters stationed daily outside many abortion clinics, where they harass providers and patients.
What we don’t always talk about—or name explicitly—is that the violence and harassment faced by patients and providers who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color is often heightened and racialized. At Physicians for Reproductive Health, we know this is true from the countless experiences of physicians in our network as well as those working day to day on the ground, especially in hostile states. Unfortunately, this reality is often dismissed or minimized in an attempt to disassociate racism and white supremacy from attacks on abortion rights.
The sexual health markets emerged in response to the demand for birth control, however, they did not deliver in terms of quality or efficacy of product, even less so, towards women’s wellbeing.
April 1, 2022
On a sticky February afternoon in 1936,
Margaret Sanger, an American birth control advocate, attended the first
All-India Population Conference held at the famous Cowasjee Jehangir Hall in
Bombay (present-day Mumbai). The conference was attended by the wealthy of
Bombay society, the who’s who in the field, as well as doctors, advocates,
government officials, and more. At around the same time, family planning
societies began to emerge in India. These societies promoted birth control and
advised women who visited their centres about possible birth control
techniques. Varied as the organisations were, they shared the common goal of
insisting that poor women use birth control products to control reproduction.
Efforts to roll back abortion and contraception access aim to control women’s sexuality
By Anya Jabour, Washington Post
March 25, 2022
Last weekend, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) released a video criticizing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, and denouncing what Blackburn called the “constitutionally unsound” ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut. In that 1965 case, the Supreme Court struck down a state law restricting married couples’ access to birth control on the basis that such laws infringed upon Americans’ right to privacy. The right to privacy established in this case subsequently informed the 1972 decision in Eisenstadt v. Baird, which extended privacy rights and contraceptive access to single women, and the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which declared access to safe and legal abortions a fundamental right protected by the U.S. Constitution.
Now, these landmark cases face political opposition and legal challenges.
Continued: (unblocked link) https://wapo.st/3IHR7EA
The white supremacist and anti-choice movements have always been closely linked. But more and more, they are becoming difficult to tell apart
Mon 24 Jan 2022
This weekend’s March for Life rally, the large anti-choice demonstration held annually in Washington DC to mark the anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision, has the exuberant quality of a victory lap. This, the 49th anniversary of Roe, is likely to be its last. The US supreme court is poised to overturn Roe in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health, which is set to be decided this spring. For women in Texas, Roe has already been nullified: the court went out of its way to allow what Justice Sonia Sotomayor called a “flagrantly unconstitutional” abortion ban to go into effect there, depriving abortion rights to the one in 10 American women of reproductive age who live in the nation’s second largest state.
Opinion by Melissa Murray
April 18, 2021
A federal appeals court last week allowed an Ohio law to take effect that bars doctors from performing abortions on women who choose to end their pregnancies because the fetus has Down syndrome. The law presents a head-on challenge to the right to abortion that could soon land at the Supreme Court — this time interlaced with sensitive questions of race and eugenics.
Such intrusive “reason bans,” which have been enacted around the country, are controversial — and almost immediately challenged — because they prohibit abortion before fetal viability. Most courts have applied the Supreme Court’s long-standing precedents to strike down such bans.
By Bianka Farmakis
Nov 16, 2020
A leading global abortion provider has changed it's name in the UK in an effort to distance itself from Marie Stopes, claiming her views on eugenics are in "stark contrast" to the charity's values.
The provider, Marie Stopes International, will be known as MSI Reproductive Choices, severing its connection to the woman who paved the way for family planning.
While the move will occur Tuesday in the UK, the name change will ripple across the 37 countries the charity is located in world wide.
Nov 16, 2020
A leading abortion provider has changed its name to break ties with Marie Stopes, the controversial birth control pioneer who believed in the creation of a super race.
Marie Stopes International, which provides contraception and abortions to women and girls in 37 countries, is now known as MSI Reproductive Choices.