In a preview of what’s to come in half the country, a near-total ban has led some providers to deny care until mothers’ health deteriorated
Wed 13 Jul 2022
Facing a rupture of membranes before fetal viability – a condition in which water breaks too early – a pregnant patient in Texas desperately needed an abortion. She risked infection, sepsis, excessive bleeding and even death.
But her healthcare provider’s hands were tied by Senate Bill 8, a near-total ban in effect since September 2021, preventing her from accessing that potentially life-saving care in her home state. Despite the risk associated with air travel, she boarded a plane to obtain the procedure out of state. Her obstetrician cautioned that she could go into labor in-flight and give birth to a stillborn 19-week fetus. “If you labor on the plane, leave the placenta inside of you,” the doctor warned.
Anti-abortion laws have traditionally allowed an exception to protect the “life of the mother.” Not anymore.
Opinion by MICHELE DEMARCO
In 1942, my grandmother lay in a hospital bed in center city Philadelphia waiting to die. She was 26 years old, happily married, and pregnant with her first child. Only something went horribly wrong in the last trimester, and suddenly, both she and the baby were in a fight for life.
My grandfather, distraught but resolved, begged the attending physicians to do whatever it took to save my grandmother’s life, even if that meant the life inside her wouldn’t survive. But in those days that wasn’t always the practice; this was also a Catholic hospital, which forbade such a practice because it was considered tantamount to abortion. My grandfather was told she would be kept comfortable, and they would monitor both mother and baby, but that nothing would be done to privilege her life over that of their unborn child. In the end, my grandmother pulled through — barely — but sadly, the baby did not.
What will the future of abortion in America look like?
By Jessica Bruder
APRIL 4, 2022
One bright afternoon in early January, on a beach in Southern California, a young woman spread what looked like a very strange picnic across an orange polka-dot towel: A mason jar. A rubber stopper with two holes. A syringe without a needle. A coil of aquarium tubing and a one-way valve. A plastic speculum. Several individually wrapped sterile cannulas—thin tubes designed to be inserted into the body—which resembled long soda straws. And, finally, a three-dimensional scale model of the female reproductive system.
The two of us were sitting on the sand. The woman, whom I’ll call Ellie, had suggested that we meet at the beach; she had recently recovered from COVID-19, and proposed the open-air setting for my safety. She also didn’t want to risk revealing where she lives—and asked me to withhold her name—because of concerns about harassment or violence from anti-abortion extremists.
The first state constitutional protection of reproductive rights hints at the contradictions and fears of a divided movement.
March 14 2022
IF THE SUPREME COURT overturns Roe v. Wade, 26 states are “certain or likely to ban abortion,” according to the Guttmacher Institute. In December, the court heard arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, addressing Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act banning abortion after 15 weeks’ pregnancy. The law is a deliberate violation of Roe, the 1973 ruling legalizing abortion. Most observers expect the conservative majority to rule in Mississippi’s favor. In that case abortion law would revert to the states, where in vast red swaths of this nation it has been so slashed and shredded that it’s already practically confetti.
The decision rejects the idea of fetal personhood—which anti-abortion groups have been pushing on state legislatures.
By Jia Tolentino, New Yorker
February 20, 2022
January 22nd marked the forty-ninth anniversary of Roe v. Wade—and, likely, the last year that its protections will remain standing. In December, during oral arguments, the Supreme Court’s six conservative Justices signalled their intention to uphold a Mississippi law that, in banning almost all abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy, defies Roe’s protections. Most of those Justices seemed prepared to overturn Roe entirely. Without Roe, which prohibits states from banning abortion before fetal viability—at twenty-eight weeks when the law was decided, and closer to twenty-two weeks now—abortion could become mostly inaccessible and illegal in at least twenty states.
January 21, 2022
When he was running for president in 1999, George W. Bush, then governor of
Texas, famously fended off the strong anti-abortion wing of his party by
suggesting the country ought not consider banning abortion until public opinion
shifted further in that direction. "Laws are changed as minds are
persuaded," he said.
Bush was no moderate on the abortion issue. As
president he signed several pieces of anti-abortion legislation, including the
first federal ban on a specific abortion procedure, and used his authority to
severely limit federally funded research on embryonic stem cells.
Dec 13, 2021
NEW ORLEANS – Before Texas enacted the nation’s strictest abortion law this fall, sending hundreds over the Louisiana border to seek care, those in need of abortion services could get medical attention in a matter of days. But the possibility of an imminent Supreme Court decision allowing states to further restrict access has pushed the wait for people seeking abortions in Louisiana to weeks, said Kathaleen Pittman, the clinical administrator at Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport.
The stress is overwhelming clinics in Louisiana, already among the most restrictive states for abortion in the nation.
By Steve Almasy, CNN
Thu December 9, 2021
(CNN) A coalition of more than 40 organizations, including abortion rights advocacy groups, issued a report on Wednesday with 45 recommendations to "protect, strengthen and expand abortion services" in California.
The report comes as the US Supreme Court weighs new laws in Texas and Mississippi that are much more restrictive than 1973's Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationwide and says states can't ban abortion unless a fetus is viable or can survive outside the womb.
By Tierney Sneed
Sun December 5, 2021
(CNN)At stake in the Mississippi abortion case heard by the Supreme Court December 1 is access to the procedure for millions of people across the country.
As Justice Brett Kavanaugh made clear at Wednesday's hearing, the justices are not considering whether to outlaw abortion nationwide. But a decision that overturns current Supreme Court precedent on abortion rights -- and one that specifically reverses the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade opinion -- could lead to bans on abortions being implemented in several states across the country.
Pro-choice groups and lawmakers will focus voters’ attention on the threat to reproductive rights after Mississippi case
Lauren Gambino in Washington
Fri 3 Dec 2021
With the US supreme court seemingly poised to exploit its conservative supermajority to undermine or overturn the landmark Roe v Wade decision, Democrats are vowing to make abortion a defining issue of next year’s midterm elections, embracing what they view as a political silver lining in an otherwise nightmare scenario.
As the justices weigh whether to uphold a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks, far earlier than Roe allows, and a request by the state that they explicitly overturn the historic 1973 ruling, Democrats and their allies have promised a fight.