How Abortion Pills Changed the Political Debate in Ireland

Analysis by Clara Ferreira Marques
May 17, 2022

If the US Supreme Court overturns the five-decade-old constitutional right to abortion, as expected, many women will find it far harder to end an unwanted pregnancy. But this won’t be a return to pre-1973, largely thanks to changes to medical technology. Abortion pills, often taken at home, are already making the reality of abortion easier and safer in the early stages of gestation. And even with inevitable new restrictions, they are set to change the political fight too.

Sydney Calkin is a senior lecturer in human geography at Queen Mary University of London and the author of a forthcoming book,  “Abortion Beyond Borders: Abortion Pills and the Future of Reproductive Freedoms.” Her work has focused on cross-border abortion access and activism, an area where politics, gender and reproduction overlap. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/how-abortion-pills-changed-the-political-debate-in-ireland/2022/05/17/f409c526-d5ed-11ec-be17-286164974c54_story.html


U.N. and advocates raise concerns of abortion access for Ukrainian refugees in Poland

May 17, 2022
PATRICK ADAMS, NPR

Ukrainian women who were raped by Russian soldiers are among the millions of refugees who have fled to Poland.

And they now find themselves in a country that severely restricts access to reproductive health care, including both contraception and abortion.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/05/17/994654590/u-n-and-advocates-raise-concerns-of-abortion-access-for-ukrainian-refugees-in-po


Democrats Must Become As Brave and Righteous as Abortion-Clinic Escorts

To win back abortion rights, Democrats need to learn how to fight the moral battle being waged by anti-abortion theocrats—something clinic escorts do every day.

By Elie Mystal, The Nation
May 16, 2022

We now live in a country where the government cannot force you to wear a mask on a plane during a pandemic but can force you to carry a pregnancy to term against your will. It is a country where the government won’t ban certain kinds of assault rifles but will ban certain kinds of medical care. We live in this country because five justices in thrall to a fundamentalist Christian orthodoxy have taken control of the Supreme Court—and because the majority of Americans who reject that orthodoxy have too often ceded the moral ground to the monsters who claim to have legitimate, enforceable interests over women’s bodies.

Women’s rights organizations and advocates have been in the trenches, fighting this fundamentalist sect, at literal physical risk to their lives, for decades. They’ve been fighting in the streets and fighting in the courtroom, but their alleged allies in Congress, in the media, and in the boardroom have rarely had their back.

Continued: https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/abortion-moral-fight/


Dutch doctor says group will keep sending abortion pills to US women

Issued on: 16/05/2022

Washington (AFP) – Rebecca Gomperts, a 55-year-old Dutch physician, has spent years fighting for women's access to abortion around the world.

Made famous by her "abortion boat," as recounted in the 2014 documentary "Vessel," she and her Women on Waves group have anchored the ship in international waters off the coasts of Poland, Spain, Mexico and other countries, offering medical abortions to women otherwise unable to obtain them.

Continued: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220516-dutch-doctor-says-group-will-keep-sending-abortion-pills-to-us-women


USA – When a Right Becomes a Privilege

The main difference between the women who will make it to an abortion provider in a post-Roe world and those who won’t? Money.

By Melissa Jeltsen, The Atlantic
May 15, 2022

When New York legalized abortion in 1970—three years before the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade—a shrewd entrepreneur named Martin Mitchell saw an opportunity. The 31-year-old Detroit-area man chartered a tiny private plane and began advertising frequent flights from Michigan, where elective abortion was illegal, to Niagara Falls, New York, where it was not. For $400, a woman got transportation, an abortion by a licensed doctor at a clinic near the airport, and lunch, before being flown home the same day.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2022/05/roe-v-wade-abortion-access-poor-women/629858/


USA – A landmark study tracks the lasting effect of having an abortion — or being denied one

May 15, 2022
Megan Burbank, Emily Kwong – NPR

Though it's impossible to know exactly what will happen to abortion access if Roe v. Wade is overturned, demographer Diana Greene Foster does know what happens when someone is denied an abortion. She documented it in her groundbreaking yearslong research project, The Turnaway Study and her findings provide insight into the ways getting an abortion – or being denied one – affects a person's mental health and economic wellbeing.

For over 10 years, Dr. Foster and her team of researchers tracked the experiences of women who'd received abortions or who had been denied them because of clinic policies on gestational age limits.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/05/15/1098347992/a-landmark-study-tracks-the-lasting-effect-of-having-an-abortion-or-being-denied


Why Roe v. Wade must be defended

The Lancet
May 14, 2022
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00870-4
EDITORIAL| VOLUME 399, ISSUE 10338, P1845

“Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.” So begins a draft opinion by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, leaked from the US Supreme Court on May 2, 2022. If confirmed, this judgement would overrule the Court's past decisions to establish the right to access abortion. In Alito's words, “the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives”. The Court's opinion rests on a strictly historical interpretation of the US Constitution: “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” His extraordinary text repeatedly equates abortion with murder.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(22)00870-4/fulltext


USA – Abortion foes push to narrow ‘life of mother’ exceptions

Doctors warn women’s lives would be endangered and maternal deaths could increase.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux
May 13, 2022

The pregnant woman was bleeding heavily by the time she arrived at the hospital. Maria Phillis, an obstetrician/gynecologist, and other doctors on duty at the Cleveland medical facility transfused her with bags of blood, but her condition deteriorated rapidly. It wasn’t long before the mother faced an awful choice: Her placenta, a part of the womb, had attached in the wrong place, wreaking havoc in her body. But the baby was far too young to survive on its own.

The pregnancy was terminated to save the woman’s life — an outcome painful for all involved. “This was a very desired pregnancy,” Phillis said.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/05/13/abortion-ban-exceptions-mothers-life/


Why Do Social Media Platforms Keep Removing Posts About Safe and Legal Abortion Pills?

Access to solid information about how to get ahold of abortion pills is more crucial now than ever.

May 13, 2022
Madison Pauley, Mother Jones

Not all the 39 patients who asked Christie Pitney for abortion pills last week were pregnant. Some had IUDs or were on birth control, and they wanted to have the pills—an extremely safe, FDA-approved regimen that is now the most common way of terminating a pregnancy in the United States—on hand, just in case. “They’re very, very worried and scared about what the future holds,” says Pitney, an advanced practice midwife who prescribes abortion pills virtually to patients.

The patients had found Pitney through Aid Access, an organization that connects people who want medication abortions with telehealth providers who can give them online consultations and order the pills for them.

Continued:  https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2022/05/twitter-instagram-facebook-google-abortion-pills-roe-ban/


Many states are bracing for a post-Roe world. In Oklahoma, it’s practically arrived.

Already, clinicians in Oklahoma are trying to devise strategies to help their patients get to clinics in other states because of a six-week ban. But there are limits to what they can do.

Shefali Luthra, Health Reporter
May 12, 2022

The day after the Supreme Court leak, Andrea Gallegos had already started to cancel patients’ appointments.

A draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that guaranteed access to abortion, had been published online and verified by the court. In the aftermath, Gallegos, the administrator for Tulsa Women’s Clinic, an Oklahoma-based abortion provider, wasn’t worried about Roe — at least, it wasn’t the first thing she was worried about. To her, there was a bigger, more immediate threat: a six-week abortion ban the Republican governor was expected to sign any day now. The law, a direct copycat of a prohibition currently in effect in Texas, was expected to survive legal challenges. It would take effect immediately.

Continued: https://19thnews.org/2022/05/oklahoma-abortion-clinics-access-limitations/