Aug 12 • 12M

Abortion, Every Day (8.12.22)

Nebraska updates & a pro-choice activist who was sedated by cops

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Daily audio updates & commentary on abortion in the United States.
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Some digital privacy news: After Facebook gave law enforcement the messages of a Nebraska teen, leading to her arrest, there was an understandable public outcry. I’ve already told you that in response, a Meta spokesperson claimed the warrant they received only had language about a stillbirth, not abortion. (They didn’t say if their response would have been different if the warrant did mention abortion.) Well, The Washington Post reports that regardless of language used, Facebook would have had little choice but to comply with law enforcement. But here’s the rub: 

“[S]ocial media platforms, telecom companies and other internet data brokers will have to limit what data they collect if they want to avoid helping the prosecution of women seeking abortions in states where the procedure is illegal.”

So if Facebook and other social media companies want to ensure they don’t help prosecute people for accessing health care, they’re going to have to revamp their policies on data collection. Something tells me that’s not going to be a popular choice.

Related: NPR has a short segment about the Nebraska case, and digital privacy. 

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Slate talked to a Texas woman who wasn’t given treatment for her ectopic pregnancy until after it burst. She says when she went to the emergency room, “the doctor that came in was not compassionate at all.”

“I felt like I was committing a crime for even coming there. I got asked questions like, ‘Which ER did you go to before? Why didn’t you go back to them? Why did you come to this E.R.?’ It was crazy to me that I was getting asked this question when I’m in so much pain visibly and could barely talk.”

Utah’s attorney general is asking the state Supreme Court to allow them to appeal the hold on their abortion ban, while sexual assault counselors are trying to convince Tennessee lawmakers to include rape and incest exceptions in the state’s abortion ban.

A local TV station in Georgia covered a panel of doctors talking about how the state’s abortion ban hurts patients, particularly those who need to end a miscarrying pregnancy.  OBGYN Dr. Megan Cohen said, “Our hands are tied. These people are at risk of infection, sepsis, death...if we don’t intervene.”

In Arizona, GOP candidate for governor Kari Lake is still being dodgy on abortion. After her campaign claimed she supported rape and incest exceptions, they told a local TV station that Lake stands by a tweet calling for Arizona to instate a “carbon copy” of Texas’ total abortion ban. In better but still distressing news: Activists in Arizona are holding workshops on how to self-manage an abortion in anticipation of the state’s 15-week ban going into effect in September: “We are just everyday folks who decided to learn about abortion and reproductive autonomy and wanted to share what we learned with everyone else.”

I told you yesterday that Iowa’s governor asked a state court to reinstate a 6-week abortion ban; the DesMoines Register has more info on that here.

Democrats in West Virginia, perhaps inspired by Kansas, are pushing for a public vote on abortion.

Speaking of Kansas: The Guardian breaks down how pro-choicers in the state brought home their win. A pivotal piece: “All over the state, people talked about how abortion had impacted their lives or a loved one’s.” Abortion storytelling for the (literal) win. The Associated Press also takes an in-depth look at what happened in Kansas, and the role that turnout played: “The decision to overturn Roe really was a wake-up call for more moderate voters,” said one activist. 

A maternal fetal health specialist with offices in Virginia and West Virginia is speaking out about how afraid doctors are to practice basic care because of abortion bans. Dr. Cathleen McCoy also shared the story of a woman who came into her West Virginia office with a fetus in “pretty bad trouble,” who needed to make a different appointment at the doctor’s other location simply to hear what her options were: “We just simply looked at her and said, ‘We're sorry. Based on the laws in West Virginia, you're going to need to come to our Virginia office so we can talk to you about what's going on.’”

A judge ruled on Wednesday that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will not have to testify in the ongoing legal battle over the state’s abortion law. And remember how I told you about the Florida man who used an official city vehicle in Orlando to block access to an abortion clinic? As of this week, he’s been suspended. (But not fired!)

A California bill would allow qualified nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants to perform abortions without the oversight of a physician—a move to increase access to abortion as demand increases in pro-choice states. Also in California: Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Bay Area to host a roundtable discussion about abortion rights with state leaders, and a pro-choice protester in San Francisco says that police instructed a paramedic to sedate her without her permission. She is suing the city.

New York City’s mayor signed legislation today to protect abortion access, including a bill that would make medication abortion free at all New York City Department of Health clinics.

And an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times argues that we need better sex education now more than ever. That goes without saying, obviously, but had to include a link to the piece for this fact alone: “Only 16 states require that the information taught in sex education be medically accurate.”

PBSNewsHour has a panel conversation with three faith leaders about how their religions approach abortion rights, and Cosmopolitan takes readers through battleground midterm states and who thinks what on abortion. 

POLITICO looks at the different ways activists have been trying to ensure abortion access, including pilots volunteering to fly patients to pro-choice states; and The Atlantic investigates whether there is really a pro-choice activist group committing acts of violence and vandalism across the country, or if it’s just the Right’s latest bogeyman. (I’m going with the latter.)

Mother Jones has had some great reporting recently: Their latest is about abortion access on Native American reservations, which was already limited before the SCOTUS decision overturning Roe.

Thanks, as always, for the support—I hope you have a great weekend! -J

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