Nov 28, 2022 • 12M

Abortion, Every Day (11.28.22)

Who is most likely to have later abortions? Children.

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Daily audio updates & commentary on abortion in the United States.
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In the states…

Yet another woman in Texas has been denied vital and life-saving healthcare. VICE interviewed a woman who was pregnant with twins when she found out that a fetal abnormality would likely kill one of the fetuses, while putting the other at risk. To save the healthy fetus, she would have to undergo a selective reduction, illegal in her home state:

“Abortion is merciful in some instances. Frankly, in a lot. There was no decision, really, because the baby wasn't going to survive. There was no chance. And we had another baby to think about, we had me to think about, and, of course, my family. I’m not going to leave my son without a mom.”

The woman pointed out that she had money, political knowledge, the ability to get time off and child care—yet the process to travel to Colorado for her abortion was still near-impossible. And while she’s not worried about legal ramifications for herself, her husband could be in danger for helping her “aid and abet” the procedure.

Speaking of women seeking care in Colorado: The state, like other pro-choice havens, has been overwhelmed with out-of-state abortion patients, resulting in long waiting times at Planned Parenthood. In response, health group Kaiser Permanente has announced that they will be providing abortions to help take some of that pressure off and to ensure their patients are getting the care they need.

Also in the state: PBS NewsHour has an interview with Dr. Warren Hern, who has been running an abortion clinic in Colorado since 1973.

Good news out of Kansas, where a judge blocked enforcement of a law banning telemedicine for abortion medication. This is another state that’s been inundated with out-of-state abortion patients, and telemedicine is a key piece of ensuring that the state doesn’t have weeks-long waiting lists for care, and that rural patients are able to get abortions.

Keep an eye for abortion-related ballot measures in Ohio and Missouri for 2024. The Washington Post points out that Republicans in both states are trying to make ballot measures more difficult—because despite all their nonsense about putting the issue back to the states, Republicans don’t actually care what voters want. (The Columbus Dispatch has more info on Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s efforts to make it harder to change the state constitution, as does the Ohio Capital Journal.)

A Mississippi Today columnist writes that voters there should also be able to vote on abortion via ballot measure:

“The Mississippi Legislature could settle this complex issue easily by voting early in the 2023 session to place on the ballot as soon as possible a proposal to reverse the state Supreme Court decision granting the right to an abortion. Then the citizens could decide just as they have in six other states.”

Some quick state hits: More abortion restrictions are expected in Florida after Republicans gains in the midterms; early voting has begun in the Georgia Senate run-off; in pro-choice Minnesota, Democrats are looking to codify abortion rights into law; and the commissioner of the New York City Health Department writes in USA Today about the city’s Abortion Access Hub, which helps patients from anywhere in the country connect with help to get care.

In the nation…

In case you missed it, I wrote a column today about how mainstream media paints abortion as something Americans are evenly split on (we’re not!) and how that enables Republicans enacting bans that most voters don’t want. Let me know what you think.

Last week, I told you about the CDC’s new data on abortion and how it showed that—as has been the case for some time—that the majority of abortions are done via medication, and that the vast majority were performed at or before 9 weeks with nearly all abortions performed at or before 13 weeks. But here are a couple of other takeaways from the report that are worth noting:

  • Over 60% of women who had abortions were already mothers. It’s an especially notable statistic given that conservatives like to frame the issue as if there are two kinds of women: Those who have abortions and those who have children. Most often, we’re both.

  • The other very important statistic in the report is about later abortions. The demographic most likely to have abortions at or after 21 weeks were children 14 years old and under. The second most likely group were teenagers 15 to 19 years old. This has been the case for some time, but I wanted to highlight the stat because of Republicans’ disgusting rhetoric around later abortions. It’s also a good reminder that framing later abortions as something that are always about fetal abnormality and a woman’s health or life doesn’t tell the whole story. Children and teens are a group that are more likely to be sexually assaulted, more likely to be victims of incest, less likely to have the resources and support to get care early in their pregnancy, and have to face additional financial and legal hurdles to get abortions.

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Just a reminder that an anti-abortion group is suing the FDA over their approval of abortion medication in an effort to get them to reverse their decision—which would end access to the medication for all American women, not just those in anti-choice states. Two law professors and FDA experts wrote an op-ed about the group’s effort, pointing out not just that the lawsuit is frivolous and not based on facts—but that if the group was successful, it would set a dangerous precedent:

“If misinformation can remove one of the safest drugs from the market for political reasons, harming women’s reproductive health care nationwide, then we risk creating public health policy that is ruled by the views of those with the resources to push lawsuits no matter how weak their merits, not expert judgment.”

Multiple studies have shown that Americans want their employers to take a stand on abortion rights—one survey even showed that more than a third of women under 40 years old are considering quitting their jobs in order to find a company who takes a strong position on the issue. From Forbes:

“In short, anyone leading a company needs to understand that failing to act will cost them. Abortion is a workplace issue. Full stop.”

Well & Good reports on Indigenous Women Rising, the organization that runs the only abortion fund dedicated to Native Americans. Rachael Lorenzo of the group points out that various calls for abortions to be performed on reservations as a way to evade anti-abortion laws ignore the fact that Native women are one of the most underserved communities when it comes to abortion. “The ask of tribal nations to expand their very limited resources now because white women, in particular, are afraid of losing abortion access when Native people have never had good abortion access is a slap in the face,” they said.

Vox looks at how the media got the midterms so wrong on abortion; a columnist at The Daily Beast argues that the FDA giving over-the-counter status to only one type of birth control is paternalistic; and one company found that web searches for vasectomies increased by 300% after the Dobbs decision was leaked, and by 600% after the decision was finalized.

Listen up…

Kansas City Public Radio has a segment on the way that Missouri’s abortion ban is putting women’s lives at risk; and Atlanta Public Radio looks at the new renewed abortion allegations against Georgia Republican Herschel Walker.

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