Ten million Black women in the US face high barriers to abortion access, that will be difficult to overcome for many.
By Taylor Johnson and Kelsey Butler
23 Aug 2022
In the weeks since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, an abortion desert has ballooned in the US South, where bans are hitting Black women hardest.
Across the country Black patients have an abortion rate roughly four times that of their White peers, in part due to lower use of contraception that leads to higher rates of unintended pregnancies. In the states that have moved quickly to enact restrictions, Black women make up a far larger proportion of abortion seekers than in places where abortion remains legal.
BY ROBIN MARTY
PHOTOGRAPHS BY LUCY GARRETT FOR TIME
JULY 28, 2022
On the morning the Supreme Court announced that it had overturned Roe v. Wade, we had 21 patients in our lobby waiting to have an abortion. We cried as we were forced to turn them all away. They cried as they realized the very same medical procedure that was legal only a few minutes earlier was no longer available to them. But the reality was that each of those people represented a potential felony for my staff—and up to 99 years in prison. Within hours of the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the injunction on a 2019 law was lifted and abortion became illegal in almost all instances in the state of Alabama.
Abortion is now largely banned across the South.
By Kyla Guilfoil and Alexandra Svokos
July 11, 2022
Two weeks after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the South has become covered with abortion bans. Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas -- along with Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Dakota -- all now have near-total bans on abortion in effect.
The clinics that had been working there spent years navigating previous restrictions and fighting off state laws.
Some clinic employees say they are embracing encrypted messaging apps and Zoom meetings to leave less of an electronic paper trail.
June 8, 2022
By Kevin Collier
With the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that enshrined the constitutional right to abortion nearly 50 years ago, some abortion providers are rushing to take precautions to guard their communications and their patients’ data, fearing that the information could be used in future prosecutions.
Others are already a step ahead of them. Mia Raven, the director of policy at the West Alabama Women’s Center, said her clinic runs almost exclusively on paper. It’s a strategy she said is meant to ensure patient privacy.
June 4, 2022
Ailsa Chang, Michael Levitt, Mansee Khurana
(8-minute listen, with transcript)
Following the leaked Supreme Court decision that suggests Roe v. Wade will be overturned, many Americans of childbearing age are wondering what they can do now to prepare for that possibility. Of course, reproductive healthcare providers on the front lines of this debate have been thinking about this for quite some time.
Robin Marty is the operations director for the West Alabama Women's Center, and the author of Handbook for a Post-Roe America. Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosely is a practicing OB-GYN and the CEO of Power to Decide, a sexual health and planning nonprofit. They both joined NPR's All Things Considered to provide some guidance on what reproductive healthcare might look like in the future, and how people can keep themselves informed and prepared if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Independent clinics have been "deeply impacted" by the move in a region with already dwindling access to reproductive health care.
By Susan Rinkunas
Apr 28, 2022
Planned Parenthood quietly stopped scheduling abortions this month at its clinics in Georgia and Alabama and canceled some existing appointments, due to what it said were staffing issues at its Southeast affiliate. The organization said the change is temporary, but did not say when it would resume care. In the meantime, the clinics are referring people to other providers.
“We have elected to scale back some of our services across the affiliate while we onboard new staff at our health centers and at the executive level,” the spokesperson said in response to questions from Jezebel. “This is a temporary change, and we expect to again be operating at full capacity by the end of the month.” There are two days left in the month and it does not appear that abortions will resume in that time frame.
Apr 13, 2022
Robin Marty, Rewire News
This past weekend, the murder charge against Lizelle Herrera, a Texas woman accused of inducing her own abortion, made national headlines. According to local activists at Frontera Fund, an abortion fund based in South Texas, Herrera’s arrest allegedly happened after she visited a hospital where, while in the process of miscarrying, she may have provided medical staff with information that made them believe she had induced her own abortion. (The charge was dropped Sunday.)
Whether or not Herrera did something to provoke a miscarriage, the reality is that her arrest and murder charge prove exactly what we have always known: Abortion opponents lie when they claim they will not investigate miscarriages, or that pregnant people will not end up in jail because of their anti-abortion laws. Just like Rosie Jiménez, who died in 1977 because she could not afford a safe abortion, South Texans have become the bellwether of the true harm of abortion bans in the United States.
But will Biden do it?
MARCH 31, 2021
Abortion advocates are finally on the offensive. Having barely made it through the last four years with Roe intact, the groups battling to protect the right to abortion can now, in theory, help set the agenda for their pro-choice president. And they are putting much of their energy into a single demand: End the ban on using federal funds for abortion care.
That ban, known as the Hyde Amendment, was passed by Congress in 1976 as an amendment to the federal budget. Thanks to Hyde, Medicaid health insurance can’t cover abortions—except in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment—forcing low-income women to pay for abortions out of pocket. The amendment was the first major blow to abortion rights after Roe because it essentially cut off access to those who had always struggled to get care before the procedure was legalized.
Reproductive justice non-profit buys Alabama abortion clinic
Posted May 15
By Abbey Crain
The director of the Yellowhammer Fund, a non-profit that provides financial assistance for abortions in Alabama, said she was considering shutting down the organization amid financial worry before Alabama passed a law banning near all abortions in the state in May 2019 .
One year later, after an influx of more than $2 million in donations from across the country in the immediate aftermath of the ban and the support of 1,200 monthly financially sustaining members, the fund now owns and operates the West Alabama Women’s Center, one of three of remaining abortion clinics in the state.
After Abortion Ban Attempt in Alabama, a Flood of Confusion and Phone Calls
August 27, 2019
by Catherine Trautwein
Pro-choice demonstrators protest outside the state capitol during the March For Reproductive Freedom in Montgomery, Alabama May 19, 2019. (Seth Herald/AFP)
Almost daily, the Reproductive Health Services clinic in Montgomery, Alabama, receives several versions of the same call: “Are y’all still doing abortions? Have they outlawed it in Alabama? Where can I go?”
The confusion is understandable. In May, Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, which aimed to outlaw abortions in all cases except when the mother’s life was at risk. The passage of the strictest anti-abortion measure in the country made national news.