Aug 11 • 18M

Abortion, Every Day (8.11.22)

Clinics moving down the road & across the border

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Daily audio updates & commentary on abortion in the United States.
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My latest: Inspired by the Utah lawmaker who said that fetuses aren’t attached to women, but “float” in their bodies, I’m keeping a running tally of the absolutely awful things Republicans have said about abortion. 

In the states:

Abortion will remain legal in Wyoming while a lawsuit over the ban makes its way through the court. The law would ban abortion entirely, with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of a pregnant person; it would also make providing abortion a felony punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has asked a state court to reinstate a blocked abortion ban. (Sixty percent of Iowans believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases.) 

The ACLU in Florida has asked the state Supreme Court to review the state’s 15-week abortion ban. Also in the state: The number of second trimester abortions has gone up, despite the abortion ban. (This isn’t unusual in anti-choice states where there are so many hurdles to access.)

A whopping 80 percent of people in Texas believe that there should be exceptions for rape and incest in abortion laws—right now, there are no such exceptions in the state. Related: The Texas Supreme Court is going to reconsider its parental notification law in light of the abortion ban about to go into effect. They’ll decide whether minors who are able to have abortions to save their lives will have to get parental permission or obtain a judicial bypass. 

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Some better news in Texas: the Dallas city council approved a resolution that aims to soften the blow of the state’s abortion ban.

In North Dakota, a former Miss America is running for the U.S. House. Cara Mund says she was motivated by the rollback of abortion rights, and that watching Roe be overturned was “just a moment where I knew we need more women in office.”

As we know, doctors in anti-abortion states are worried that abortion bans make it impossible for them to provide adequate care to patients. Yesterday, NPR talked with doctors in Louisiana; one ER physician in New Orleans said, “I don’t want to go to jail for 10 years for doing the right thing by my patients.”

Doctors are similarly horrified in Idaho: More than 300 medical professionals have signed onto a letter asking legislators to reconsider the state’s abortion ban, focusing specifically on the exception for a pregnant person’s life. “Uncertainty about the risk of criminal charges for providing evidence-based care during such a complication could result in catastrophic outcomes,” the letter reads. 

Meanwhile, abortion providers in Illinois (where abortion is legal) and Wisconsin (where it’s not) have teamed up to ensure as many people as possible can get the care they need. Wisconsin providers—along with nurses and medical assistants—are commuting regularly to Illinois clinics, where there’s a surge in patients from neighboring states.

New Mexico abortion clinics have also been inundated with patients from anti-choice states. As is the case in Illinois, New Mexico is seeing providers from those neighboring states moving in, as well. (There’s concern, however, from longtime NM providers that new clinics won’t understand the needs specific to the state’s patients.) 

A Tennessee clinic is moving just a mile away, but a world apart. They’re going across the border into Virginia, where abortion is legal—part of a growing trend of abortion providers moving out of their home state, but remaining close enough that patients can travel. In fact, Red River Women’s Clinic in North Dakota—who recently raised $1 million to move—has just opened its new location nearby in Minnesota.

Remember how Oklahoma's library system came under fire when emails were leaked that seem to tell staff not to even use the word ‘abortion’? Well, a reporter at Book Riot FOIA’d the records, and there’s quite a lot there. 

Missouri businesses are signing onto a “Brands Against Bans” campaign started by Planned Parenthood for local shops and companies to signal their support for reproductive rights. 

In pro-choice states: 

While North Carolina is a safe haven for abortion rights right now, it might not stay that way—the Carolina Public Press gets into the details. Delaware’s Attorney General has unveiled a legal helpline for folks in the state who need to get abortion care; and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is launching an investigation into the impact that state abortion bans have on women’s health.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer filed a new motion to block the state’s abortion law. In a statement, Gov. Whitmer said “This draconian abortion ban—which includes no exception for rape or incest—continues to be defended in court and in the public, despite the fact that 7 in 10 Michiganders support legal abortion.”

On the national front:

A new poll shows that the majority of Americans would like to support abortion rights via a state ballot, but Pew points out that it could be a risky strategy.  Another poll shows that most American college students want to live in states with access to legal abortion.

The New York Times looks at the states where abortion law has been flipping back and forth based on various lawsuits and blocks, and highlights the confusion that has been defining post-Roe medical care. Also at The New York Times, today’s episode of The Daily interviews two women who had abortions and ended up on opposite ends of the fight. 

FiveThirtyEight describes the extra safety precautions that abortion clinics are taking in light of nationwide abortion bans. They point out how violence and harassment against clinics has been on the rise, and how anti-choice protesters and extremists are now focusing on pro-choice states. (Something I’ve written about a bit here already.)

Jezebel takes a closer look at the study I told you about yesterday from If/When/How, and points out that most people who are arrested on abortion-related charges are turned in by medical professionals or acquaintances. Yikes.

Studios have responded to the open letters sent by writers, directors and show-runners demanding abortion protections for employees in anti-choice states. Their answer? Punting to unions and health insurers.

The Guardian examines how Republicans are backing off their (public) support of abortion bans, which have become extraordinarily unpopular; and Mother Jones highlights how state medical boards that will decide doctors’ fates are stacked with Republicans.  

A few last links: A new survey showing the number of American employers offering travel coverage for abortions is set to double over the next few years; a deep dive into the lie that is ‘abortion pill reversal’; and more on Eli Lilly’s delayed reaction to anti-abortion legislation. 

As always, thanks for reading and let me know if I missed anything! Hope you’re all surviving the heat. -J

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