After Texas used the pandemic as a reason to block the procedure, the number of people who fled the state to undergo abortions skyrocketed, as did second-trimester abortions.
By Carter Sherman
With Amy Coney Barrett now on the Supreme Court, the ruling that legalized abortion nationwide decades ago may be on its last legs. But during the coronavirus pandemic, Texas already gave a sneak peek at what could happen if Roe v. Wade collapses.
In late March 2020, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order postponing all abortions that weren’t “immediately, medically necessary”—which his attorney general defined as including nearly all abortions. Supporters of abortion rights promptly sued, but the order—and the legal tussling over it—intermittently cut off access to abortion until the end of April, when it finally expired.
BY ABIGAIL ABRAMS
DECEMBER 2, 2020
Dr. Yashica Robinson is an optimist—and that, she says, is fortuitous. As one of the last abortion providers in Alabama, a willingness to see the bright side is practically a job requirement.
For much of the past year, Robinson, who is the medical director at the Huntsville-based Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives, and her staff have fought to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19, while simultaneously battling a state effort to suspend all abortion services during the pandemic. “We will continue to be innovative and be creative and find ways that we will make this work,” she says, with characteristic resolve.
Inside the Plan to End Legal Abortion
May 22, 2020
Whiteface is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it blip in Texas’s oil patch 50 minutes west of Lubbock that only a few hundred people call home, so tiny that describing it as a small town would be a stretch. But on a rainy evening in mid-March, several dozen of its residents along with people from neighboring towns crammed into a worn-down community center on the town’s main strip for a meeting of Whiteface’s elected officials, an unusually large audience for their regular council meeting.
“I know y’all aren’t here to listen to our business,” joked one of the council members. And it was true. That night, the council would be voting on an anti-abortion ordinance that, if passed, would make Whiteface the latest so-called “sanctuary city for the unborn” in the state. With its approval, Whiteface would join a dozen other Texas towns that in recent months had declared abortion to be murder and announced that abortions (and in some towns, even emergency contraception like Plan B) were “unlawful” within the town’s limits; some of the ordinances, too, designated a list of the state’s leading abortion providers and advocacy groups as “criminal entities.” The crowd in the sparsely decorated community center, crammed into rows of red and yellow plastic chairs, had amassed to show their support for the ordinance, and to urge the Whiteface council to officially designate the town a self-proclaimed “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
Abortion Clinics Are Getting Nickel-and-Dimed Out of Business
From legal battles to securing vendors to getting the walls painted, every budget line is a struggle.
By Cynthia Koons and Rebecca Greenfield
February 27, 2020
Amy Hagstrom Miller, owner of Whole Woman’s Health in Austin, has faced many existential threats to her business. When Texas passed a law in 2013 requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, she was forced to close the clinic. She fought the measure all the way to the Supreme Court, and in 2016, she prevailed. By a 5–3 decision, the court ruled in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that the law wasn’t medically justified. There’s an iconic photo of Hagstrom Miller descending the Supreme Court steps afterward, fist raised, smile radiant. Nine months later, she reopened her clinic.
It looked like a happy ending. But a year later the Austin clinic was on the brink again.
These States Have More Abortion Clinics Today Than They Did a Decade Ago
Even as Republican-dominated legislatures passed laws designed to shut down clinics from coast to coast, some states saw an uptick in abortion clinics.
Dec 23, 2019
In a decade in which dozens of abortion clinics were shut down by medically unnecessary state laws, around 14 states—mostly in the Northeast and West—have seen an increase in clinics, according to data from the Guttmacher Institute.
While the latest Guttmacher data is from 2017, other research, including a recent Abortion Care Network report focusing on independent clinics, indicates that clinics continue to close at an alarming rate. These closures include abortion clinics in states with Democratic-majority legislatures, like Whole Woman’s Health in Illinois, which closed in June, the same month Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a landmark pro-choice law.
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.
Anthony Kennedy’s retirement puts abortion rights at risk
The departure of Kennedy, long a swing vote on the Supreme Court, is an opening for the anti-abortion movement.
By Dylan Matthews
Jun 27, 2018
Anthony Kennedy, the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court, is retiring.
Within minutes of his announcement, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin tweeted this: “Anthony Kennedy is retiring. Abortion will be illegal in twenty states in 18 months. #SCOTUS.”
Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but Kennedy has, since at least 2005, been the swing vote on many of the Court’s most ideologically charged decisions — including preserving Roe v. Wade.
Texas abortion providers challenge restrictive state laws in new lawsuit
By Alison Durkee
June 15, 2018
Abortion providers in Texas filed a sweeping lawsuit against the state Thursday, targeting dozens of state laws that restrict access to abortion.
The lawsuit, filed by Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, Fund Texas Choice, the Lilith Fund and other organizations against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, comes two years after the U.S. Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. That ruling struck down two other Texas abortion laws, ruling that they imposed an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortion.
The Disturbing Rise of Cyberattacks Against Abortion Clinics
Oct 5, 2017
Fatimah Gifford was nervous the day she was scheduled to testify in front of Texas’ Health and Human Services committee. Gifford is the VP of Communications for Whole Woman’s Health, which operates five reproductive healthcare clinics across Texas. This wasn’t her first time testifying before the state legislature, but it was her first time testifying about abortion.
“I entered into this with eyes wide open, and knowing that I was more than likely going to be devoured up in there,” she says.
Life and death in Texas: abortion frontline of America – video
Monday 17 July 2017
Leah Green, Tom Silverstone, Richard Sprenger and Jess Gormley, theguardian.com
New Texan anti-abortion laws are putting women’s lives at risk, according to pro-choice campaigners. But pro-life activists claim they are protecting women from an out-of-control abortion industry. Leah Green visits the state as the battle over women’s bodies intensifies
Source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2017/jul/17/life-death-texas-abortion-frontline-america-video