Abortion, Every Day
Abortion, Every Day
Abortion, Every Day (10.27.22)

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Abortion, Every Day (10.27.22)

Conservatives' plan for pro-choice states: Ban abortion by town

Exciting announcement: Thanks to a very generous donation from newsletter reader and activist/philanthropist Ruth Ann Harnisch, we've reached our fundraising goal to hire a researcher for Abortion, Every Day! I’m so grateful to Ruth Ann—and the entire community here—for coming together to support the newsletter and make this expansion possible. If we have to be in this nightmare, I’m glad we’re in it together.

Content warning: Today’s newsletter discusses, and contains medical descriptions of, infant loss

In the states…

I’ve written a little bit about Montana’s midterm ballot measure that claims to protect newborn babies who are born prematurely or who are “born alive after an abortion” (not a thing)—and why it’s so horrific. But here’s NPR with more about how the law would force doctors to perform medically invasive and painful procedures on newborns with no chance of survival. One Montana couple shares the experience of having their daughter be born at 25 weeks with a fatal medical condition:

“Marcus and I were given the choice to take Maesyn outside for her final moments," Lea Bossler says. "Being ex-wildland firefighters and Montanans, we had no hesitation in taking that opportunity. [Maesyn's] death under LR-131 would have been extremely traumatic for everyone, rather than beautiful and peaceful. Legally forced repeated chest compressions and epi shots would have done nothing but overdosed, bruised and broken her already dying body.”

You all know that this is personal for me: My daughter, Layla, was born at 28 weeks. She had to undergo months of painful procedures; from being intubated and having a central line IV threaded up to her heart to treatment for a collapsed lung and living with a feeding tube. It was unbearable and traumatizing—and that was despite knowing that she would survive. To put a newborn through that in vain is vile.

Here’s more from The New York Times on the second woman to come forward about Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker driving her to get an abortion.

Here’s a video from The Texas Tribune on how Texas voters will impact abortion rights in the state despite abortion not being explicitly on the ballot as it is in other states:

More from Texas: I just told you yesterday about Mark Lee Dickson, the architect behind the anti-abortion strategy of getting small towns in pro-choice states to ban the procedure through local ordinances. Well, right now Dickson is being sued for defamation in Texas by abortion funds, who Dickson called “criminal organizations.” The state supreme court is hearing arguments about whether or not the case should be dismissed.

Speaking of Dickson and his strategy: Another small town in a pro-choice state—this time Bristol, Virginia—is trying to ban abortion via a zoning law that would prevent clinics from opening up in the area.

Iowa’s abortion case goes to court tomorrow: Gov. Kim Reynolds wants the court to lift a 2019 block on the state abortion ban based on SCOTUS’ Dobbs decision, arguing that the block is “based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated.”

A new poll in Kansas demonstrates just how much voters there care about abortion: Nearly 60% believe the state shouldn’t have any regulations on circumstances under which women can get abortions; 70% believe women are better suited than politicians to make decisions about abortion; and 77% say they wouldn’t turn in a woman who had an illegal abortion.

Planned Parenthood is opening its first new clinic since Roe was overturned in Missouri, the first state to ban abortion after the SCOTUS decision. Dr. Colleen McNicholas, the chief medical officer, said, “We saw expansion in Rolla as an important way to signal not just to our patients—but also to the legislature—that we aren’t going away and we’re gonna continue to expand where we can, while we build power to bring back abortion care.” I love this, not only because it sends the message that abortion providers aren’t going anywhere and because people need reproductive health care of all kinds—but because we need clinics that are already set up if state bans are blocked or overturned.

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USA Today has an in-depth piece on how Ohio passed their extreme abortion ban (and set the stage for post-Roe America). It’s a super comprehensive look of extremist activism at work. And if you had any doubts as to what kind of people are leading the anti-abortion charge, consider one of the law’s —Janet Porter, founder of an extremist right-wing Christian org: “She was a longtime culture warrior who opposed gay marriage, promoted false claims questioning Obama’s birthplace and compared abortion to the execution of children during the Holocaust.” Cool cool.

Find out more about the abortion ballot measure in Kentucky at the Louisville Courier Journal; The Nation has an article on pro-choice efforts in Vermont, and how it could become one of the first states to enshrine abortion rights in a state constitution; and The Guardian covers the new pro-choice play being performed in Washington, DC, My Body No Choice.

And make sure to check out this piece from Baton Rouge Public Radio about how Louisiana activists are keeping up the fight for abortion rights despite the steep odds.

In the nation…

Tomorrow, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) will introduce the Abortion Care Awareness Act of 2022, a bill that would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to put out a national public health campaign to help people find abortion services and learn about traveling across state lines, and call on the White House to issue guidance on how to distinguish between real abortion providers and crisis pregnancy centers.

The Washington Post has a profile of Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who provided abortion care to a raped and impregnated Ohio 10 year-old. You should read the whole thing—Dr. Bernard talks about her work, abortion rights, and what it was like to have to put a GPS tracking device on her toddler during a FBI investigation into a kidnapping threat.

Bernard says she feels an acute sense of responsibility every time she speaks publicly about her work, an awareness that she is representing so many others in her field. “I don’t want people to think that I’m some exception in some way, because I’m not,” she says. “This idea that ‘Oh, you’re so brave’ — all abortion providers are brave.”

And The New York Times has a piece on the hurdles facing OBGYN residency programs in states where abortion is illegal. I’ve written before about doctors having to travel out-of-state, even out of the country, for abortion training—and now the NYT says that some programs are even afraid to do that, nervous that “establishing out-of-state training could make them vulnerable to private lawsuits or even charged with aiding and abetting a crime.” What’s also troubling: More than two dozen program directors and residents in anti-abortion states declined to be interviewed, fearful of legal repercussions.

Fortune has more on the survey I told you about earlier this week showing that American workers care deeply about abortion—and want their employers to reflect that: “This is no longer a hypothetical; employees are worried about their futures and making career decisions based on how their companies and leaders address abortion access.”

Late night hosts had a blast with Dr. Oz’s debate claim that abortion should be between a woman, her doctor and “local politicians”; The 19th reports on how abortion is driving people to the polls, even when it’s not listed as a top voting issue; ABC News looks at what Democrats nationwide can learn from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer; and SELF explains the connection between abortion rights and domestic violence.

I’ll be reviewing Call Jane soon, but in the meantime, here’s an interview with Elizabeth Banks about the new film:

What conservatives are saying…

After The Washington Post reported on the activists who are smuggling abortion medication into the country and anti-choice states, conservative groups are pressuring the Biden Administration to have the DEA investigate what they call a “drug cartel at the Mexican border.” The idea, in addition to trying to further criminalize abortion, is to scare anyone else who might want to help get abortion medication to those who need it.

You love to see it…

Tufts University has a new class dedicated to abortion rights: The Right to Abortion. We need more of this in college (and high school!). Thank goodness for The Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri, who always provides a laugh even when I feel like screaming. Her latest, on conman and Senate candidate Dr. Oz, was enough to get a full-blown guffaw out of my sad, jaded soul.

And I’m so glad to see more and more mobile clinics popping up around the country. The newest: Just The Pill, which provides medication abortion to patients across the West and Midwest.

But what I loved the most today, was what musician Phoebe Bridgers had to say about abortion in a recent interview with Teen Vogue: “Fuck that shit, fuck America. Like all these irrelevant motherfuckers trying to tell us what to do with our fucking bodies.”

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Abortion, Every Day
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Daily audio updates & commentary on abortion in the United States.
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Jessica Valenti