(1 hour podcast)
- Yamani Hernandez, executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds.
- Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
- Kathaleen Pittman, administrator of Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, La., the main plaintiff in June Medical v. Russo.
- Mary Ziegler, Stearns Weaver Miller professor at Florida State University College of Law specializing in the legal history of reproduction, the family, sexuality and the Constitution.
In this Episode:
In June Medical v. Russo, the Supreme Court struck down a challenge to abortion rights in Louisiana, a state in which reproductive health care access is already fraught. The law would have required all doctors performing abortions to obtain hospital admitting privileges. Even though this case has put such challenges to rest, lawmakers in Louisiana have effectively undercut women’s access to reproductive healthcare, causing clinic closures and more. As our guests make clear, Roe is not enough.
Abortion funds see an increase in calls during the coronavirus pandemic
The increase in need comes as unemployment reaches new highs.
By Alexandra Svokos
15 May 2020
As the novel coronavirus continues to impact most aspects of American life, including health care, abortion funds across the country are reporting that calls for assistance have increased.
Abortion funds provide money and other forms of assistance to patients seeking abortions, including to help cover the cost of the procedure itself as well as associated costs like transportation, child care and hotel stays as getting an abortion for many U.S. patients involves traveling long distances to clinics and multi-day processes due to state laws.
The Abortion Doctor and His Accuser
What does it mean to take women’s claims of sexual assault seriously?
By Katha Pollitt
March 2, 2029
Until March 25, 2019, Dr. Willie Parker was a highly respected and much-loved abortion provider in Alabama, the celebrated author of a best-selling book, Life’s Work, in which he defended abortion from a Christian perspective, and a frequent, charismatic speaker and honoree at pro-choice conferences and events. An imposing middle-aged black man who grew up poor in Alabama, he was the movement’s rock star. That all changed overnight, when Candice Russell, a 35-year-old Latina volunteer in Dallas, posted an article on Medium, “To All the Women Whose Names I Don’t Know, About the Pain We Share, the Secrets We Keep, and the Silence That Shouldn’t Have Been Asked For.”
The #MeToo Case That Divided the Abortion-Rights Movement
When an activist accused one of the most respected physicians in the movement of sexually assaulting her, everyone quickly took sides.
Story by Maggie Bullock
March 2020 Issue, Atlantic Magazine
(Posted Feb 21, 2020)
On a 92-degree morning in September, three clinic escorts gathered in the meager shade of a tree outside the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives. They arrive here at 8:30 a.m. on the dot, regular as clock-punchers, on the three days a week the Huntsville clinic is open to perform abortions. The women and girls arrive dressed for comfort in sweatpants and shower slides, carrying pillows from home or holding the hand of a partner or friend. The escorts, meanwhile, wear brightly colored vests and wield giant umbrellas to block the incoming patients from the sight, if not the sound, of the other group that comes here like clockwork: the protesters.
Sometimes there are as many as a dozen. This day there were four: one woman, three men, all white. Four doesn’t sound like that many until you’re downwind of them maniacally hollering: Mommy, don’t kill me! You’re lynching your black baby! They rip their arms and legs off! They suffer! They torture them!
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.
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.)
Abortion bans have some women preparing for the worst. It involves ‘auntie networks.’
By Monica Hesse, Columnist
May 26, 2019
The first breadcrumb leading me to an Auntie Network landed in my path last week, in the form of a Facebook post written by a friend of a friend:
“Hey! People with uteri in other states! If you need to visit your friend Cindy in Chicago, you just PM me and ask for my phone number. I will be so excited to TALK and HANG OUT with you. No judgment. No questions.”
Black Women Who Provide Abortions Open Up About The Challenges & Rewards Of Their Work
By Madhuri Sathish
Mar 8, 2019
Restrictions on abortion access disproportionately impact minority communities. But it isn't just patients seeking abortions who are affected by these barriers, which are largely backed by conservative lawmakers. Abortion providers in areas of the country with restrictive abortion laws often struggle to get the necessary funding to maintain their services. Black women who are abortion providers sit at the intersection of those twin challenges, and they tell Bustle that they face unique hurdles to their work.
On top of fighting numerous legal and financial battles to defend abortion access, black women abortion providers say they have to overcome systemic discrimination within their field while simultaneously working to provide a safe space for their patients.
The Endless Cost Of Maligning Abortion
Feb 28, 2019
Throughout our lives, we rely on different clues and impressions to help us determine what is right, and what is wrong. These clues may be large or small, and take many forms; in select cases, they can even appear as financial figures. For while it may be impossible to put a price on human health and happiness, the cost of neglecting them is becoming all too clear.
In the case of Americans' reproductive health, such numbers clearly show that denying women contraceptives and wanted abortions has a substantial toll on their lives and livelihoods, their children and families, and society as a whole. Evidence in favor of giving women full access to family planning is extensive and varied, with many pragmatic aspects, from the costs of Medicaid-paid births to combating environmental threats.
Reproductive Rights at Risk With or Without Roe
In much of the country, access to abortion has already been blocked by state governments, especially for women in poverty. And if Roe goes, access will be scarcer still.
January 11, 2019
Recent discussions of abortion rights have been understandably chock-full of apocalyptic imagery and language. Some protesters at the U.S. Capitol in the Trump era have dressed as handmaids à la The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s story of an ultra-conservative totalitarian government that compels women to have the children of the wealthy and powerful. After Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, many — on both the left and right — assumed that Roe v. Wade was soon to fall. “Roe v. Wade is doomed,”CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin pronounced last June to much media fanfare.