Abortions Later in Pregnancy in a Post-Dobbs Era

Ivette Gomez, Alina Salganicoff, and Laurie Sobel - KFF
Published: Feb 21, 2024

Abortions occurring at or after 21 weeks gestational age are rare. They are often difficult to obtain, as they are only available in a handful of states, performed by a small subset of abortion providers and are typically costly and time-intensive. Yet, these abortions receive a disproportionate share of attention in the news, policy and the law.

…This brief explains why individuals may seek abortions later in pregnancy, how often these procedures occur, and the various laws which regulate access to abortions later in pregnancy across the country.

Continued: https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/issue-brief/abortions-later-in-pregnancy-in-a-post-dobbs-era/

Advancing together towards abortion access and quality care

19 February 2024
FIGO - Hannah Agnew, Senior Communications and Marketing Coordinator

A new supplement published in the International Journal of Gynecology (IJGO) describes the remarkable progress made in abortion access in crucial areas, such as law and policy reforms, improved access to information and supportive health systems and communities.

This compilation of positive case studies brings together examples from diverse regions, such as England and Wales, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Argentina and India. 

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/advancing-together-towards-abortion-access-and-quality-care-0

The increasing difficulties of getting an abortion in Italy

This long article is behind a paywall, but the first part is available.

Women wishing to terminate a pregnancy are facing many hurdles and social disapproval, raising the wrath of feminists.

By Raphaëlle Rérolle
Feb 13, 2024

To find their way around the San Filippo Neri Hospital, women who want an abortion had better be able to read between the lines. The abortion service does exist. It's mentioned, among all the others, at the entrance to this large Rome establishment, located to the northwest of the capital. But then, poof, the name disappears. Once past the entrance hall, visitors are greeted by a single A4 sheet of paper. Plastered against a wall, the sign reads "gynecological surgery" in large letters, then, in brackets and in smaller type, "law 194/78". It is by this number, followed by the year of its adoption, that the legislation authorizing abortion in Italy is commonly referred to. For the acronym IVG (interruzione volontaria di gravidanza) to reappear, you have to wait for the service's door. The head of the department, Marina Marceca, said she again had to fight for this, against the views of the very Catholic director of this public hospital, who was bothered by the designation.

Continued: https://www.lemonde.fr/en/international/article/2024/02/14/the-increasing-difficulties-of-getting-an-abortion-in-italy_6522839_4.html

Post-Roe v. Wade, more patients rely on early prenatal testing as states toughen abortion laws

by: LAURA UNGAR and AMANDA SEITZ, Associated Press
Feb 12, 2024

WASHINGTON (AP) — In Utah, more of Dr. Cara Heuser’s maternal-fetal medicine patients are requesting early ultrasounds, hoping to detect serious problems in time to choose whether to continue the pregnancy or have an abortion.

In North Carolina, more obstetrics patients of Dr. Clayton Alfonso and his colleagues are relying on early genetic screenings that don’t provide a firm diagnosis.

The reason? New state abortion restrictions mean the clock is ticking.

Continued: https://www.westernslopenow.com/news/national-news/ap-post-roe-v-wade-more-patients-rely-on-early-prenatal-testing-as-states-toughen-abortion-laws/

Maryland – A safe haven for late abortions

At a clinic in Maryland, desperate patients arrive from all over the country to terminate their pregnancies.

Photographs by Maggie Shannon
February 5, 2024

For several years, Morgan Nuzzo, a nurse-midwife, and her friend and colleague Diane Horvath, an ob-gyn, talked about opening a clinic that would provide abortions in all trimesters of pregnancy. In May, 2022, the draft opinion of the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade was leaked, infusing their plan with fresh urgency. The women had launched a GoFundMe campaign earlier that spring, noting that stand-alone clinics made up the majority of providers offering abortion after fifteen weeks, and that many of these had closed in recent years. Within weeks, Nuzzo and Horvath had raised more than a hundred thousand dollars; that summer, they started training employees for the new clinic, Partners in Abortion Care, in College Park, Maryland. They saw their first patient that October, and by the end of 2023 they had treated nearly five hundred. The youngest was eleven years old, the oldest fifty-three.

Continued: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2024/02/12/a-safe-haven-for-late-abortions

USA – Do women still have a right to stabilizing abortion care under federal law?


Almost two years ago, the Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to abortion that had been recognized for almost 50 years.

Now, in Moyle v. United States, the court has strongly hinted that it is ready to eliminate the limited statutory protection for patients who need emergency abortions under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which was enacted by Congress in 1986.

Continued: https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/4444695-do-women-still-have-a-right-to-stabilizing-abortion-care-under-federal-law/

USA – Study: Abortion Bans Creating OBGYN Crisis

Docs in anti-choice states are depressed, scared, and getting worse

FEB 1, 2024

A new study shows that abortion bans have created an “occupational health crisis” for OBGYNs in anti-choice states, 93% of whom report that they or a colleague have been unable to follow standards of care because of abortion laws.

Researchers from Harvard’s School of Public Health, Boston College, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, report “deep and pervasive impacts” not just on patient outcomes—but physicians’ own health, and on state workforce sustainability.

Continued: https://jessica.substack.com/p/study-abortion-bans-creating-obgyn

Second trimester abortions: a preventable crisis in global abortion care

Diminishing access to second trimester abortions in many countries denies the reality of the rising number of vulnerable women most likely to need a later stage abortion. Sally Howard reports on a preventable crisis in global abortion care

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.p2982
Published 31 January 2024
Sally Howard, freelance journalist

Kamila had dearly wanted to have a child. The 27 year old was happily engaged to be married and was 17 weeks pregnant when a scan showed that her fetus was developing without a skull and wouldn’t survive to birth. She was refused an abortion in her home country of Poland, where abortions in the case of fetal abnormality are prohibited.

On her way to the Netherlands, where an abortion had been arranged by the charity Abortion Without Borders, Kamila (not her real name) started bleeding heavily in a petrol station toilet. Distraught and weak, she had to be transported to a German hospital, where she gave birth to a dead fetus in the emergency room. Kamila returned to Poland after a four day hospital stay, with a bill for her medical treatment from the German state.

Poland has some of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws (fig 1). The law that forced Kamila to travel had been in place since 2020, introduced to Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal (the national court that supervises compliance of statutory law with the country’s constitution) by the Polish Law and Justice Party, which was voted out of power on 19 October 2023. In those three years the ruling has effectively shuttered Polish abortion provision: both medical and surgical abortions are inaccessible in Poland, even in cases where they’re technically legally permitted, such as when there’s a threat to the life or health of the parent.

Continued (Behind paywall): https://www.bmj.com/content/384/bmj.p2982.full

Clinic 554 to close, bringing clinic-based abortions to end in Fredericton area

Dr. Adrian Edgar says pro-bono work, increased rent costs are forcing immediate closure of clinic

Aidan Cox · CBC News
Jan 31, 2024

A Fredericton clinic that provides surgical abortions will be closing its doors after Wednesday, with its medical director blaming an unwillingness by the provincial government to allow the procedure to be covered by Medicare.

Dr. Adrian Edgar, the clinic's medical director, announced in 2019 he was being forced to close Clinic 554 over financial pressures incurred from providing pro-bono abortion procedures to women who can't afford to pay for them out of pocket.

On Wednesday, Edgar said the clinic, which has been operating one day a week, will now close completely because of the continuing financial strain from providing the procedure free of charge, and a rent increase at Brunswick Street building that houses the clinic.

Continued: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/clinic-554-fredericton-abortion-1.7100433

USA – ‘Very clear’ or ‘narrow and confusing’? Abortion lawsuits highlight confusion over emergency exceptions

N'dea Yancey-Bragg, USA TODAY
Jan 27, 2024

A North Dakota judge's recent decision to deny a request blocking part of the state's restrictive abortion law highlights an issue abortion-rights advocates say is impacting doctors nationwide: The exceptions in strict abortion laws can be vague, causing medical providers to question when they can perform an abortion in a medical emergency.

A lawsuit in North Dakota is one of several recently filed by advocates seeking to clarify and expand the circumstances under which doctors can provide abortions during medical emergencies in states with strict abortion bans. Mary Ziegler, a professor of law at University of California, Davis, said the emergency exceptions written into these laws can be confusing for physicians and, given their high penalties, can lead doctors to "err on the side of protecting themselves and not providing care to patients."

Continued: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2024/01/27/abortion-lawsuits-emergency-medical-exceptions/72339103007/