USA – In Medicine, a Lack of Courage Has Helped Put Roe in Jeopardy

Jan. 21, 2022
By Eyal Press

This Saturday marks the 49th, and quite possibly the last, anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in every state. Roe’s precarious future can be attributed to various factors: the tenacity of the anti-abortion movement, the addition of three conservative justices to the court during Donald Trump’s presidency, the opportunities that pro-choice advocates may have missed. But if, as is widely expected, the Supreme Court upholds a Mississippi statute that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and overturns or guts Roe later this year, I will be thinking about something else: not the legal precedent, but the role that lawlessness and terrorism — and the medical community’s response to it — played in hastening Roe’s demise.

The act of terrorism that particularly haunts me took place on Oct. 23, 1998. That evening, an obstetrician-gynecologist named Barnett Slepian was standing in the kitchen of his home in Amherst, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo, when a sniper’s bullet struck him in the back. He collapsed to the floor and, within a few hours, was pronounced dead. At the time, Dr. Slepian was one of three abortion providers in the Greater Buffalo area. One of the others was my father, Shalom Press, an obstetric gynecologist who performed abortions on certain days in his private practice.


Group whose anti-abortion ad Amy Barrett signed accused of promoting harassment of doctors

In one case, a doctor whose name was published by Indiana group was warned by FBI of kidnapping threat against her daughter

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington
Fri 14 Jan 2022

An Indiana group whose anti-abortion campaign was endorsed in a signed advertisement by Amy Coney Barrett before she became a supreme court justice, keeps a published list of abortion providers and their place of work on its website, in what some experts say is an invitation to harass and intimidate the doctors and their staff.

In one case, court records show, a doctor whose name was published by the group, which is called Right to Life Michiana, was warned by the FBI of a kidnapping threat that had been made online against her daughter.


Sixth of Irish doctors who perform abortions have been threatened

Colin Coyle
Sunday April 25 2021

More than one in six doctors providing termination services say they have experienced a “verbal threat or attack” since abortion was introduced in Ireland in 2019. The finding is from a study of 156 hospital doctors and GPs by researchers in the National Maternity Hospital and the Coombe.

The researchers found that while Irish doctors suffered fewer verbal or physical attacks than their American counterparts, they were more likely to be alienated by family, friends or acquaintances due to their abortion work.


USA – Why we might soon see a surge in antiabortion violence


JAN. 31, 2021

In 2009, four months after Barack Obama, who supported abortion rights, was
sworn in as president and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, a
religious zealot murdered the late-term abortion doctor George Tiller in the
vestibule of Tiller’s church.

I have always believed those two things were related.


What explains Donald Trump’s war on late-term abortions?

What explains Donald Trump’s war on late-term abortions?
Attacks on the rare but controversial procedures are designed to please more than evangelicals

Aug 22nd 2019

WHILE LEROY CARHART, a doctor who specialises in late-term abortions, was finishing his most recent termination, the manager of his clinic in Bethesda, Maryland, outlined the procedure. Abortions in the second half of pregnancy take between two and four days, said Christine Spiegoski, a nurse wearing a T-shirt that read: “Don’t like abortion? Prevent pregnancy by f**king yourself!” First, the doctor injects potassium chloride or digoxin into the fetus’s heart, killing it within minutes. If he is unable to reach the heart and instead pumps the drug into the amniotic sac, death can take up to 24 hours. Dr Carhart euthanises the fetus at the beginning of the procedure because its tissue and skull then soften and contract, easing removal. At 25 weeks a fetus weighs around a pound and a half and is over a foot long; some of those Dr Carhart aborts are older.


USA – 10 years without our friend and colleague, Dr. George Tiller

10 years without our friend and colleague, Dr. George Tiller

May 31, 2019
Taylor Rose Ellsworth, MPH is the Director, Education, Research & Training at Physicians for Reproductive Health.

I was raised in an abortion clinic in the South. After school, I waited to get buzzed in through the side door by the security camera. I did my homework in the recovery room, and remember hearing stories about Dr. George Tiller. He provided compassionate abortion care to women in Wichita, Kansas, many of whom needed an abortion later in pregnancy, traveling long distances to get the health care they needed after exhausting all their social and financial resources. It was stories like these that normalized abortion for me at a very young age as part of regular health care. I also understood that not everyone agreed with a person’s right to abortion. And some of these people committed terrible acts. I was 13 when a fellow abortion clinic in Georgia was bombed by an anti-abortion extremist, killing a police officer and maiming a nurse. I was afraid every morning when my mom left for work, until it just became part of our family’s reality. I never thought I would go on to work in abortion care, but it turns out I would follow in my mom’s footsteps.


USA – Ten years after abortion doctor’s murder, one woman carries the fight for reproductive rights

Ten years after abortion doctor's murder, one woman carries the fight for reproductive rights
In 2009, George Tiller was shot dead in Kansas. Today, as America’s discord over abortion reaches fever pitch, Julie Burkhart is keeping the flame alive

Ed Pilkington
Fri 31 May 2019

Julie Burkhart remembers all too vividly the morning of 31 May 2009. It was a Sunday and she was in a meeting in Washington DC when, shortly after 10am, her phone started buzzing incessantly with calls from her home town of Wichita, Kansas.

When she got through to one of her co-workers she thought at first he was making a surreal joke. George Tiller, her mentor with whom she had worked side-by-side for the past eight years at the frontlines of America’s abortion wars, had been accosted at Sunday service in his Wichita church and shot dead.


‘St. George’ Tiller: Abortion With Compassion

‘St. George’ Tiller: Abortion With Compassion
An obstetrics professor fondly recalls Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered a decade ago.

May 29, 2019

Re “Doctors Who Risk Their Lives” (editorial, May 26):

In your acknowledgment of the 10th anniversary of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, you rightly point to his courage in the face of relentless attacks by his opponents. But there is another element of Dr. Tiller’s legacy that bears mention.

In the close-knit world of the abortion-providing community in the United States, Dr. Tiller was routinely referred to, without irony, as “St. George.” This was because of his generosity and compassion. Providers from all over the country would routinely refer their most difficult cases to him — women who discovered that their pregnancies had gone horribly wrong late in pregnancy, 11-year-old girls who had been raped by a relative and barely understood that they were pregnant.

These colleagues knew that these patients would be cared for with the utmost kindness and sensitivity, and often without charge.

Carole Joffe
Berkeley, Calif.
The writer is a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.


USA – At least 20 abortion cases are in the pipeline to the Supreme Court. Any one could gut Roe v. Wade.

At least 20 abortion cases are in the pipeline to the Supreme Court. Any one could gut Roe v. Wade.
Today’s emotional rhetoric has parallels to another politically volatile period in the early 1990s.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha
February 15, 2019

The Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 vote this month to block a restrictive Louisiana abortion law from taking effect provided some measure of consolation to reproductive rights advocates who feared the court’s new conservative majority would act immediately to restrict access to the procedure.

But that relief is likely to be short lived. In the pipeline are at least 20 lawsuits, in various stages of judicial review, that have the potential to be decided in ways that could significantly change the rights laid out in the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, and refined almost two decades later in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The 1992 decision said a state may place restrictions on abortion as long as it does not create an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to abortion.


USA – 4 Independent Abortion Provider Staffers Open Up About Their Work & What Keeps Them Going

4 Independent Abortion Provider Staffers Open Up About Their Work & What Keeps Them Going

By Madhuri Sathish
Dec 17, 2018

Ever since Donald Trump assumed the presidency, the restrictions on abortion access have only been exacerbated. Many states have had to contend with abortion clinic closures, and conservative lawmakers continuously try to use religious exemptions, strict time limits, and financial threats to effectively make abortions impossible to access. But even as state legislatures attempt to crack down on abortion rights, independent abortion providers across the country tell Bustle that they have remained on the frontlines of reproductive justice work, despite the mounting challenges.