The show’s repetition and lack of progress through four seasons feel achingly familiar – and maybe that's the point
By KYLIE CHEUNG
PUBLISHED MAY 26, 2021
After almost two years, Hulu's "Handmaid's Tale" returned for its fourth season in April, picking up right where it left off throughout its last three seasons of gratuitous violence with minimal plot payoff. Wednesday's episode follows June's escape from Gilead into refuge in Canada, as she will reunite with loved ones and figures from her past after years of separation and recycled plotlines.
Set in the fictional dystopia of Gilead, "The Handmaid's Tale" depicts America's future after a civil war and takeover by religious political extremists who relegate all women to "handmaids," or baby incubators for powerful men and their wives. Handmaids are denied access to education, or really any basic human rights or bodily autonomy, which has consistently helped the Hulu drama strike a chord amid ongoing, escalating attacks on reproductive rights in the U.S.
Prosecutors—with the help of doctors and nurses—are punishing pregnant people using laws intended to help them.
Feb 8, 2021
Purvi Patel was suffering from heavy vaginal bleeding when she walked into the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, Indiana. She insisted that the bleeding was not the result of pregnancy. After the doctors persisted, however, she admitted that she’d had a miscarriage, and, not knowing what to do, had placed the remains in a dumpster.
What came next is a cautionary tale about what can happen to Black and brown women when they face bias and betrayal by health-care workers who are supposed to help them, and the ways in which hospitals, which are supposed to be places of healing, can become carceral.
Jul 03, 2020
As pro-choice advocates in Louisiana breathe a sigh of relief after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the June Medical Services case last week, Tennessee is gearing up for a fight against one of the most restrictive anti-abortion bills in the country—one that advocates say targets people of color.
Used as a bargaining chip while negotiating the state budget, the bill was passed in the early morning hours of June 19 when the Tennessee Senate made a last-minute deal with the House to pass a six-week abortion ban, which is unconstitutional because it makes it medically and logistically impossible for most people to determine that they are pregnant and arrange for abortion care.
They’re Doctors. They’re Also Incredibly Effective—and Dangerous—Anti-Abortion Activists.
Your OB-GYN could be one of them.
June 4, 2020
In April 2019, when meetings like this still took place, Diane Foley took the stage in Indianapolis, looking out into the faces of anti-choice advocates and doctors who were gathered for their annual conference. The Health and Human Services official began her presentation: “Opportunities for Collaborative Engagement in Policy Development.” The bland, policy-wonkish title belied its almost-revolutionary substance: nothing less than a major shift in American health care—and a threat to the more than 4 million primarily low-income people who rely on a key government program for family planning and other care.
Title X, which Foley oversees as the head of the Office of Population Affairs—and which also includes the government’s teen pregnancy program—offers health care providers more than $286 million in funding each year. Just a month before her presentation, a new rule passed that would, for the first time, prohibit Title X recipients from performing abortions on-site or even providing abortion referrals. This effectively shut out a quarter of all clinics that were getting funding—including Planned Parenthood, which has traditionally received some $60 million a year from the program and provides more than 2.4 million patients with a slew of services, from birth control to cancer screenings to wellness exams.
Self-Managed Abortion Is Medically Very Safe. But Is It Legally Safe?
by Carrie N. Baker
Between 1969 and 1973, feminists in Chicago with no formal medical training formed an underground abortion service called Jane that performed nearly 12,000 safe illegal abortions.
Today, as many states increasingly restrict medical professionals’ ability to offer abortion, women are once again finding ways to access safe abortion on their own.
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.
New York Woman Faces Up to Eight Years Behind Bars for Selling Abortion Pills Online
In February, FDA agents showed up at Ursula Wing’s door with an arrest warrant and seized her computer and phones, her daughter’s iPad, boxes of medication abortion pills, and a dozen packages that she was set to mail.
Aug 9, 2019
A New York City woman who sold medication abortion pills to more than 2,000 people over two years has been indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. If convicted, she could face up to eight years in prison.
In 2012, the woman, Ursula Wing, posted on her blog the Macrobiotic Stoner about her experience terminating her pregnancy using pills that she had bought online. Four years later, she found herself running a business providing medication abortion pills to customers who needed them, including a teenager who was afraid to tell her parents that she was pregnant, and a woman who hid her abortion from her abusive partner.
A boom in at-home abortions is coming
Advocates say “self-managed abortions” are safe — and in the current political environment, interest is rising.
By Anna North
Jul 9, 2019
After Marie decided to take medication to end her pregnancy, it took several days for the pills to work.
When the uterine contractions started, Marie recalled, she experienced “a lot of bleeding, a lot of pain, a lot of cramps. Just like a bad cycle.” (Marie asked that her last name not be used because of legal concerns.)
The US right’s concern for the foetus doesn’t survive the trip down the birth canal
Women face jail for miscarriage while migrant children are held in unsafe conditions. Hypocrisy is thrown into sharp relief
Mon 1 Jul 2019
In Alabama, a woman who was shot in the stomach five times and lost her pregnancy as a result has been charged with the manslaughter of her foetus. Marshae Jones allegedly instigated a fight that resulted in the shooting, and, thus, according to a local police source, the “only true victim” was the “unborn baby”. Lieutenant Danny Reid further explained that the foetus is “dependent on its mother to keep it from harm, and she shouldn’t seek out unnecessary physical altercations”.
If Jones can be tried for manslaughter, what other types of pregnancy loss can be treated as serious crimes? If a pregnant woman is hit by a car while jaywalking, is this manslaughter? How about if – despite knowing of the tiny risk – she chooses to eat soft blue cheese and miscarries due to listeria? What if she changes the cat litter and contracts toxoplasmosis?
Roe v. Wade is at risk, but abortion rights groups see surprising opportunities for gains
The Kavanaugh confirmation battle has Americans ready to fight for abortion access, advocates say.
By Anna North
Jan 22, 2019
The most surprising thing about the abortion rights movement in 2019 is the optimism.
The potential deciding vote to overturn Roe v. Wade sits on the Supreme Court. A wave of strict anti-abortion laws are passing in states from Ohio to Mississippi. In the midst of a government shutdown, Republicans in Congress put forth a bill to shore up restrictions on federal funding for abortions (it failed).