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Instead of dismissing the region as a lost cause, invest in its progress.

JOHN PARRA

In the Southeastern United States, Roe was dead in spirit for a solid 15-plus years before the Supreme Court issued its edict earlier this year that overturned the landmark ruling and declared that abortion is no longer a constitutional right.

This long and exhaustive winnowing of reproductive rights in the region, in addition to Dobbs, have brought on malaise and despair among locals. It’s affected me, too. I live in the South, and come from generations of Southerners, and my own lucent rage has struggled to maintain its fervor. As a longtime abortion rights reporter, I grow wearier by the day as constant fear hovers overhead, threatening to snuff out what remains of my furious energy.

In the face of such defeat, many folks, exhausted, are concluding that the fight is over, abortion rights lost, and it’s time to pack it up and head to Illinois or whatever haven state is accessible. This is a mistake.

Writing off the South means disregarding the slow, deliberate work done by grassroots organizations that have fought to provide reproductive health care there for decades (in some cases, since the Roe ruling). It also means shrugging off Southerners, many of whom are people of color, who struggle to get basic health care, let alone abortion care, including well-person exams, contraception, STI/STD testing, cervical cancer screenings, prenatal and postnatal care, the list goes on.

Time and time again, it has been proven that abortion access matters in elections all over the country. Despite being told repeatedly by pundits that abortion was not a significant factor in the midterm elections, voters proved that talking point wrong, and nowhere was that more clear than in the Southeast. In Kentucky, a referendum to clarify that “to protect human life,” abortion was not protected in the state’s constitution was defeated. Polling from the Associated Press and the Kaiser Family Foundation confirms that some two-third of voters supporting Sen. Raphael Warnock, who has been unapologetically pro-abortion access in his campaign, did so at least in part because of the outcome of the Dobbs decision. There is power in the South.

The misguided dismissal of the Southeastern U.S. that has arisen from the death of Roe has come from several places. Often it’s from people who live outside the region and write us all off as a bunch of backwoods rednecks who deserve what they get, a sentiment that comes across clearly when we’re asked, “Why don’t you just move?” The same people use the phrase “bless your heart” laden with irony, the only way they know how. (There are, for the record, many ways to use the phrase, and some of them are sincere.) Other times, it comes from the very privileged who live among us here in the South; those who can take comfort in their personal resources, that if they need care, they can afford to get it, even if that means traveling outside of the state where they live and vote and work, without much concern for what their neighbors may have to endure to get medical care.

Writing off the South means disregarding the slow, deliberate work done by grassroots organizations that have fought to provide reproductive health care there for decades.

History offers a lesson here: Whenever complacence has settled over us, it has gone badly for the most vulnerable. As I write in my book, No Choice: The Destruction of Roe v. Wade and the Fight to Protect a Fundamental American Right, white feminists in particular were lulled into a false sense of security after the Roe ruling. When the Hyde Amendment was proposed in 1977 to ban the use of federal funds for abortion care, the effort was largely waved off by the mainstream abortion rights advocates, most of whom were white, upper-middle-class women. They were certain that it would fizzle, given their recent victory at the highest court in the land. (That the law would not affect them may have also been a motivator for their lack of alarm; Henry Hyde was unabashed in the fact that his legislation took aim at poor people.) But the Hyde Amendment did pass, became law, and ever since, has resulted in a loss of abortion access for low-income folks who relied on Medicaid to help pay for care.

I don’t mean to be alarmist, but what I’m getting at is this: It can always get worse, and it is unquestionably better for people to invest in the groups that are working to fill in the gaps wherever they can then to simply write off the South as lost.

Remember, the South raised some of the greatest justice-minded leaders in our nation’s history. Women’s suffrage under the 19th Amendment was cemented in Tennessee. The civil rights movement was born here, fortified by Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Ida B. Wells, and so many more. It lives on perhaps most acutely in voting rights organizing below the Mason-Dixon line. There is a rich labor rights history here, where coal miners have fought for safe working conditions and fair wages for generations, and where Amazon and Starbucks employees are now doing the same. The reproductive justice movement in the South has threads from all of these efforts running through it. Recently, LGBTQ+ leaders here have shown immense bravery in the face of a new wave of transphobic panic, and their determination to continue on has deeply moved me.

The work being done in this region is, and has traditionally been, truly extraordinary. Given the circumstances, nothing less could make much of an impact. In Texas, for example, two local abortion funds: La Frontera Fund in the Rio Grande Valley, and Fund Texas Choice in Austin, among others, have been helping patients who are past six weeks’ gestation travel to clinics outside of the state long before there was a legal precedent for such a restrictive ban. They experienced the fallout of a post-Dobbs reality nearly nine months before it was the law of the land, after Texas banned abortion at six weeks’ gestation. Both groups are Latinx-led, and they helped set a roadmap for other abortion funds in hostile states across the country before the Supreme Court ruling. (While these two funds are not currently directly funding abortion care while they wait for legal clarity from the courts, money donated to them keeps their phone lines open so that they can give advice on safe reproductive care.)

In Tennessee, my home state, abortion funds like Abortion Care Tennessee and Mountain Access Brigade leapt into action after the ruling, knowing there was a finite amount of time before the state’s trigger law took effect and abortion was banned outright. Choices, a full-scale reproductive health care center in Memphis, was also prepared for the moment—they opened a clinic a few hours’ drive north in Carbondale, Illinois, where they can provide abortion care, while continuing to maintain all other reproductive health care in Memphis, where their clientele is largely low-income people of color. (By the way, even in states where abortion is banned, people still need access to reproductive care, and it’s often not easy to come by—abortion stigma infects all aspects of this sort of care.)

In Mississippi, Laurie Bertram Roberts has guided the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund for almost a decade, helping abortion seekers, pregnant people who wish to give birth, and mothers. Recently, they were on the front lines of the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, distributing clean water to those in need. In Alabama, the West Alabama Women’s Clinic has also pivoted to emphasize full reproductive care outside of abortion services, including gender affirming care in the college town of Tuscaloosa. Since abortion was banned, they’ve struggled to keep their doors open.

Further south, in Montgomery, Alabama, a city known for its civil rights activism, abortion clinic escorts have long operated out of a house next door to the local clinic. Though the clinic is now closed, the house is not—the crew continues to provide emergency contraception, pregnancy tests, and condoms, in addition to serving as a space where organizers can come and discuss how to meet the needs of their communities.

This is not an exhaustive list of the incredible work that’s being done in the Southern United States. Not by a long shot. The work that is being done in our region to make it a place where all are welcome and cared for keeps me going. I hope the rest of the country can see that good work—and invest in it. Otherwise, things can only get worse for those who are already suffering disproportionately.

Source: https://www.elle.com/culture/a41913811/abortion-reproductive-care-south/?emci=a92713bf-6567-ed11-ade6-14cb65342cd2&emdi=4ffe4014-6d67-ed11-ade6-14cb65342cd2&ceid=3411192

Another woman has come forward with the harrowing details of how the Supreme Court’s decision four months ago to overturn Roe v. Wade put her life in danger.

CNN has told the stories of several women – including one from Houston, one from central Texas and one from Cleveland – and what they had to do to obtain medically necessary abortions.

Now, a woman from Austin, Texas, has come forward because she nearly died when she couldn’t get a timely abortion.

This is her story.

The loss of a ‘miracle’ baby

Amanda Eid and Josh Zurawski, both now 35, met in 1991 at Aldersgate Academy preschool in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and dated in high school.

“Josh always tells me he’s been in love with me since we were 4 years old,” Amanda said.

Three years ago, they married in Austin, Texas, where they both work in high-tech jobs.

They tried to have a family but failed. Amanda had fertility treatments for a year and a half and finally became pregnant.

Amanda Eid became pregnant after a year and a half of fertility treatments.

Amanda Eid became pregnant after a year and a half of fertility treatments.Courtesy Amanda Zurawski

“Very excited to share that Baby Zurawski is expected in late January,” Amanda shared on Instagram in July. The post included a picture of her and her husband in “Mama” and “Dad” hats, Amanda holding a strip of ultrasound photos of their baby girl.

“The fact that we were pregnant at all was a miracle, and we were beside ourselves with happiness,” she said.

But then, 18 weeks – just four months – into her pregnancy, Amanda’s water broke.

The amniotic fluid that her baby depended upon was leaking out. She says her doctor told her the baby would not survive.

“We found out that we were going to lose our baby,” Amanda said. “My cervix was dilating fully 22 weeks prematurely, and I was inevitably going to miscarry.”

She and Josh begged the doctor to see if there was any way to save the baby.

“I just kept asking, ‘isn’t there anything we can do?’ And the answer was ‘no,’ ” Amanda said.

Texas anti-abortion laws

When a woman’s water breaks, she’s at high risk for a life-threatening infection. While Amanda and Josh’s baby – they named her Willow – was sure to die, she still had a heartbeat, and so doctors said that under Texas law, they were unable to terminate the pregnancy.

“My doctor said, ‘Well, right now we just have to wait, because we can’t induce labor, even though you’re 100% for sure going to lose your baby,’ ” Amanda said. “[The doctors] were unable to do their own jobs because of the way that the laws are written in Texas.”

Texas law allows for abortion if the mother “has a life-threatening physical condition aggravated, caused by, or arising from a pregnancy that places the female at risk of death or poses a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function.”

But Texas lawmakers haven’t spelled out exactly what that means, and a doctor found to be in violation of the law can face loss of their medical license and a possible life sentence in prison.

“They’re extremely vague,” said Katie Keith, director of the Health Policy and Law Initiative at Georgetown University Law Center. “They don’t spell out exactly the situations when an abortion can be provided.”

In September, CNN reached out to 28 Texas legislators who sponsored anti-abortion legislation, asking them for their response to CNN stories about the woman in Houston and the woman in central Texas.

Only one legislator responded.

“Like any other law, there are unintended consequences. We do not want to see any unintended consequences; if we do, it is our responsibility as legislators to fix those flaws,” wrote state Sen. Eddie Lucio, who will be leaving the Senate at the end of the year.

The Zurawskis participated in an ad for Beto O’Rourke’s unsuccessful Texas gubernatorial campaign.

Going downhill very fast

After her water broke, Amanda’s doctors sent her home and told her to watch for signs of infection, and that only when she was “considered sick enough that my life was at risk” would they terminate the pregnancy, Amanda said.

“My doctor said it could take hours, it could take days, it could take weeks,” she remembers.

Once they heard “hours,” they decided there was no time to travel to another state for an abortion.

“The nearest ‘sanctuary’ state is at least an eight-hour drive,” Amanda wrote in an online essay on The Meteor. “Developing sepsis – which can kill quickly – in a car in the middle of the West Texas desert, or 30,000 feet above the ground, is a death sentence.”

So they waited it out in Texas.

On August 26, three days after her water broke, Amanda found herself shivering in the Texas heat.

“We were having a heat wave, I think it was 105 degrees that day, and I was freezing cold, and I was shaking, my teeth were chattering. I was trying to tell Josh that I didn’t feel good, and my teeth were chattering so hard that I could not even get the sentence out,” she said.

Josh was shocked by his wife’s condition.

“To see in a matter of maybe five minutes, for her to go from a normal temperature to the condition she was in was really, really scary,” he said. “Very quickly, she went downhill very, very fast. She was in a state I’ve never seen her in.”

Josh rushed his wife to the hospital. Her temperature was 102 degrees. She was too weak to walk on her own.

Her temperature went up to 103 degrees. Finally, Amanda was sick enough that the doctors felt legally safe to terminate the pregnancy, she said.

‘I was really scared I was going to lose her’

But Amanda was so sick that antibiotics wouldn’t stop the bacterial infection raging through her body. A blood transfusion didn’t cure her, either.

About 12 hours after her pregnancy was terminated, doctors and nurses flooded her room.

“There’s a lot of commotion, and I said, ‘what’s going on?’ and they said, ‘we’re moving you to the ICU,’ and I said, ‘why?’ and they said, ‘you’re developing symptoms of sepsis,’ ” she said.

Sepsis, the body’s extreme response to an infection, is a life-threatening medical emergency.

Amanda’s blood pressure plummeted. Her platelets dropped. She doesn’t remember much from that time.

But Josh does.

“It was really scary to see Amanda crash,” he said. “I was really scared I was going to lose her.”

Family members flew in from across the country because they feared it would be the last time they would see Amanda.

Doctors inserted an intravenous line near her heart to deliver antibiotics and medication to stabilize her blood pressure. Finally, Amanda turned the corner and survived.

‘These barbaric laws’

But her medical ordeal isn’t over.

Amanda’s uterus suffered scarring from the infection, and she may not be able to have more children. She had a surgery recently to fix the scarring, but it’s unclear whether it will be successful.

That leaves the Zurawskis scared – and furious that they might never have a family because of a Texas law.

“[This] didn’t have to happen,” Amanda said. “That’s what’s so infuriating about all of this, is that we didn’t have to – we shouldn’t have had to – go through all of this trauma.”

The Zurawskis say the politicians who voted for the anti-abortion law call themselves “pro-life” – but they don’t see it that way.

“Amanda almost died. That’s not pro-life. Amanda will have challenges in the future having more kids. That’s not pro-life,” Josh said.

“Nothing about [this] feels pro-life,” his wife added.

In many ways, Amanda feels fortunate. She wonders whether she’d be alive today if it weren’t for her husband, who rushed her to the hospital and made sure she got the best care possible. And they have good jobs with good health insurance and they live in a big city with high quality health care.

“All of these things I had going for me, and still, this was the outcome,” she said.

She and Josh worry about women in rural areas, or poor women, or young, single mothers in states like Texas. What would happen to them, considering what happened to Amanda?

“These barbaric laws prevented her from getting any amount of health care when she needed it, until it was at a life-threatening moment,” Josh said.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/16/health/abortion-texas-sepsis/index.html

While Kentucky voted against barring abortion protections in the state constitution, the battle over access will still play out in the Kentucky Supreme Court. Cage Rivera/Rewire News Group

Kentucky’s attorney general filed a motion asking the Kentucky Supreme Court to ignore Amendment 2’s outcome.

Pro-abortion referendums won big in the midterm elections last week, but we want to bring your attention to an anti-abortion ballot measure that didn’t win in Kentucky: Amendment 2.

That’s right, Kentucky voters rejected an amendment that would have prevented the state constitution from protecting the right to abortion, giving local providers and pregnant people cover should they need it.

GIF of a map of the United States zooming into Kentucky, with the text "State Spotlight: Kentucky" written to the right.
GIF by Cage Rivera

And they might—under the newly drawn legislative maps, which Democrats are challenging in court, Republicans maintained their hold over the Kentucky legislature and governor’s office (which isn’t up for election until next year). It’s a reminder that voters’ rights are reproductive rights.

But the abortion referendum underscored one simple fact: Kentuckians support the right to abortion—even if much of other media doesn’t report that more than half of all Kentuckians support the right to access care.

Perhaps that has something to do with why Joe Fischer, an anti-abortion state representative, lost a bid for the Kentucky Supreme Court to incumbent Justice Michelle Keller after positioning himself as a partisan candidate for a “nonpartisan” position.

Tomorrow, the Kentucky Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a challenge to the state’s trigger ban, a total abortion ban, and six-week ban brought by EMW Women’s Surgical Center. (Remember this fight?)

Former Fallout Villain of the Week and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is back to say screw what the voters want, we’re banning abortion anyway—or something like that. In a statement, he announced that his office filed a motion to explain to the state’s highest court why the will of the people should have no bearing in the case’s outcome.

“While this result is disappointing, it does not change our belief that there is no right to abortion hidden in the Kentucky Constitution and that the regulation of abortion policy is a matter that belongs to our elected representatives in the General Assembly,” Cameron said in the statement.

How long can lawmakers in Kentucky and other red states get away with overriding the will of the people to restrict their reproductive rights? Only time will tell.

Source: https://rewirenewsgroup.com/2022/11/14/abortion-wins-in-kentucky-but-the-state-doesnt-care-about-the-will-of-the-people/

Providers, researchers, and advocates from the Abortion on Our Own Terms campaign are showing their support of advance provision of abortion pills. Austen Risolvato/Rewire News Group illustration

“The FDA, itself, acknowledges that people can safely use abortion pills prescribed after a telehealth appointment.”

Two weeks ago, I wrote in this space about what I see as a misstep on abortion access by the Biden administration, namely efforts by the Food and Drug Administration to curb advance provision of abortion pills. Well, today, I have an exclusive update for y’all.

Abortion providers are clapping back.

In an open letter to the FDA first sent to Rewire News Group, providers have made it clear to the Biden administration that advance provision of abortion pills is quite simply good medicine.

“Abortion pills are safe and effective, and we should be making it easier to get them in the hands of people who want them,” the letter states. “The FDA, itself, acknowledges that people can safely use abortion pills prescribed after a telehealth appointment, so why shouldn’t we have the option to have abortion pills on hand in case we need them?”

We are in the throes of an escalating human rights crisis thanks to the Supreme Court, and if the midterm elections proved anything, it is that protecting abortion rights and access is more popular than ever. Democrats and the Biden administration have one really good shot to immediately tackle the harm that conservatives and the Supreme Court have unleashed. Why would they squander that chance with half-measures and narrow-minded thinking?

It’s because of abortion stigma—and the providers’ letter to the FDA says as much:

Criticism of advance provision of abortion pills by clinicians—who are offering evidenced-based health care options—is yet another example of regulators treating abortion differently from other types of health care.

My hope is that White House officials, with the midterm election results fresh on their minds, take this letter in the spirit it was intended and back away from critiquing the advance provision of abortion pills.

Source: https://rewirenewsgroup.com/2022/11/17/exclusive-abortion-providers-push-back-on-the-president/

(GETTY)

A fear of an unwanted, even dangerous pregnancy is kind of a mood killer, sex therapists told VICE News.

In Missouri, a couple of non-monogamous women have stopped inviting partners with penises into their bedroom, because they’re too worried that one of them will get pregnant and be unable to end the pregnancy.

Some Floridians are having less penetrative sex or cutting down on sex entirely—including among couples.

A few polyamorous people in Wisconsin are even asking potential partners to have a vasectomy before sex.

Roe v. Wade’s overturning is, arguably, the greatest earthquake in Americans’ sex lives in generations. And these accounts, recounted to VICE News from sex therapists across the country, are just a snapshot of how the overturning is already rewriting people’s approach to sex, dating, and intimacy writ large. 

“This alarm bell is above all of our beds right now,” said Dr. Justin Garcia, the executive director of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and a scientific advisor at Match.

The fear of an unintended or even dangerous pregnancy that ties your life to a less-than-ideal partner is making it difficult for people to not only want to head to the bedroom, but to even have a good time once they’re there. In a survey of 5,000-plus single Americans, conducted by Match and released Tuesday, nearly 80 percent of singles of reproductive age also said that the end of Roe has changed their sex life, with 20 percent saying they’re more hesitant to have sex at all. Gen Z respondents were particularly nervous: 27 percent said that they’re more hesitant about sex now. 

Thirteen percent said that they’re more hesitant to date. Given that there are more than 75 million single people in the United States, according to Match, Roe could have changed the dating habits of almost 10 million people.

Sex therapists are now hearing many of the same sentiments, they told VICE News, although not everybody is responding the same way. The degree to which clients feel affected varies by their gender, demographics, and geography. Therapists in the abortion-haven states of New York and California, for example, said their clients remained relatively unconcerned about Roe’s impact on their own lives. People with the ability to have babies, particularly single people, tend to be more worried than people who don’t.

Sex therapist Lexx Brown-James treats clients in Missouri, which has banned abortion, and Pennsylvania, which has not. She’s noticed a difference in how often people in Missouri bring up Roe, compared to those in Pennsylvania. 

“I literally just had a client this week who’s polyamorous and is like, ‘Nobody wants to get pregnant. We have to be on with our birth control, because none of us in this relationship and none of our metas—our partners of our partners—want to usher in a new baby,’” Brown-James said. “Some type of barrier method is super important for her right now. And I hear that more from, I will say, the Missouri folks than I do from the Pennsylvania folks.”

Black and queer people are also feeling extra cautious, Brown-James said. The national maternal mortality rate among non-Hispanic Black women is almost three times the rate among white women. “Often, my clients say, ‘What hope do I have of possibly surviving this process?’” Brown-James said. “And that’s really scary, because it’s factually sound.”

Having these kinds of life-altering concerns hanging over a bedroom, let alone the fear of pregnancy, is something of a mood-killer. Almost every sex therapist who spoke to VICE News said that their clients felt like the decision had ripped away control of their bodies, which can lead to a struggle to get aroused. It’s simply not fun to have sex if you’re feeling crushed by consequences. 

“Sex is one of the most vulnerable things that you can do with another person, if not the most vulnerable,” said Madelyn Esposito-Smith, a sex therapist in Wisconsin, where nearly all abortions are now banned. “Eroticism is less reachable when there’s a sense of fear, a sense of trepidation. They can’t stay in the moment and experience pleasure and mindfulness and eroticism if their brain is thinking about, ‘I could die from this. I could have a baby with this person. Do I want to have a baby with this person?’ It’s hard to stay present and be erotic and connected with your body if there’s fear of how that behavior will result in in pregnancy.”

All of Esposito-Smith’s clients are now grappling with this problem, including men, she said. She anticipates that the orgasm gap—the gulf between how often men and women orgasm—will stay the same, given how fraught ejaculating now is and how much that may weigh on people with penises. 

However, Garcia, of the Kinsey Institute, believes it will widen.

“If it’s going to have any effect that’s going to be widening and potentially severe,” Garcia said. “There’s some old studies that with young women, condom use is associated with slightly higher orgasm than non-condom use, in terms of recent sexual events. The thought being that it might be because you’re not as worried. So if you’re in a worried state, you can’t focus on the sexual event.”

A quarter of respondents to the Match survey said that they plan to use condoms more often. The shift in contraceptive habits is perhaps unsurprising, since Americans have a history of changing their birth control based on political events. After all, when former President Donald Trump won the 2016 election, IUD installations surged by more than 20 percent. (An IUD is a long-acting and reversible contraceptive that’s implanted behind the cervix and can last for years.) In the days after Roe’s June overturning, searches for terms like “IUD,” “Plan B,” and “contraception” all spiked. 

Doctors and patients have also recently reported rising interest in more permanent forms of birth control, like vasectomies and tubal ligations. One doctor in Wisconsin told VICE News that, in the last seven years, she had tied the tubes of just one patient who wanted the procedure for contraceptive reasons. In the two months after the Roe decision, the doctor performed tubal ligations on four patients who simply did not want to have kids.

But the quality and quantity of post-Roe sex is far harder to track, given all the subjectivity, shame, and secrecy embedded in sex. In fact, the relationship between people’s sexual activities and the availability of abortion has long been under-researched and poorly understood.

“Which is a little bit strange, when you think about it. Abortion has to be preceded by a pregnancy, and most pregnancies are the result of sex,” said Dr. Katrina Kimport, a sociologist at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, which is part of the University of California, San Francisco. “So it is in some ways just a very strange phenomenon that our research, social, and political conversations about abortion have such a small engagement, if any, with thinking about sex and sexuality.”

Kimport has studied this gap and found that people, including scholars, tend to think about abortion as a standalone occurrence, rather than a domino that falls after a chain of events that includes sex. “It’s interrelated with sex and sexuality,” Kimport said. “But because of the way we talk about and think about abortion, it’s almost impossible to have a conversation about how it’s interrelated.”

This bizarre disconnect is likely due, in part, to the fact that sexual education in the United States is chiefly concerned with preventing sex itself. Thirty-nine states require that information about abstinence be taught in sex ed, while only 20 states mandate that students learn about contraception, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks restrictions on reproductive rights. Twenty-nine states also require that abstinence be “stressed” during sex education classes. Pregnancy is then framed as a failure, a sign that you didn’t live up to the standards set by some of your earliest teachers and mentors in life

One of the few ways that people do connect abortion and their own sexuality, Kimport said, is by believing that abortion as a refusal to accept the consequences of having sex. Kimport has previously interviewed people who considered but didn’t obtain an abortion—not because they wanted to have a baby, but because they felt that doing so would be abdicating their responsibility.

“The people I interviewed didn’t say and that responsibility also falls to my partner in that sex act. Most of the people I talked to were continuing this pregnancy without the support of the man involved,” Kimport said. “So we have a very selective and very gendered version of who is responsible in the event of an unexpected pregnancy. And it’s a story that overrides somebody’s personal desire about whether or not they want to have a baby.”

There are signs that people are changing the stories they tell themselves and their partners about how their political stance on abortion dovetails with their sex lives. Two out of three single women will not date someone who doesn’t share their views on abortion, the Match survey found. After Roe’s overturning, Tinder let users add the words “pro-choice” to their profile. People are also now four to five times more likely to mention “abortion” in their profile.

“We also scraped bios for mentions like pro-choice, abortion, vasectomy,” said Stephanie Danzi, Tinder’s senior vice president of global marketing. “We’ve seen an incredibly huge spike across all of those. This is clearly something that’s very, very important to daters. And we’re seeing that really across both men and women across the entire U.S.”

Sex therapist Marissa Nelson’s clients in Washington, D.C., are now being more open about having had past abortions, she said. One woman, in particular, has now been able to talk more candidly about how her abortion made her resist sex and pleasure with her husband. She hadn’t realized that she still felt resentment over the abortion. (In a study of more than 600 women who underwent abortions, 99 percent said that having the procedure was the right choice five years afterward. The most common emotion among these women was relief, but reckoning with the aftermath of an abortion can still be an emotional rollercoaster.)

“We compartmentalize intimacy, we compartmentalize sexuality. And something like this decision happens and boom, it’s in the forefront again. And everybody’s coming to it from their different perspective,” Nelson said. “What does this mean for my sexuality? What does this mean for what I want my future to be like? What is the impact of this on my relationship?”

Source: https://www.vice.com/en/article/dy7e4x/abortion-rights-sex-life

As we’ve seen in Idaho and Florida, expect more public university systems in red states to start being tentative, worried, and self-censored when talking about reproductive rights. Cage Rivera/Rewire News Group illustration

Seeking to control what can be taught at public universities—including abortion—is dystopian and grim. It’s what conservatives have always wanted.

With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, conservatives scored a victory decades in the making: controlling pregnant people’s bodies. They’re not satisfied with just that, though. The next step is to control any speech they don’t like.

Just as ever-shifting abortion bans leave people unsure as to the laws that govern them, there’s now a distinct lack of clarity as to what can and can’t be said—and what can and can’t be taught—in schools.

Witness the dual speech and behavior controversy that has roiled the University of Idaho. In 2021, the state passed the “No Public Funds for Abortion” law, prohibiting public university employees from “counseling in favor of abortion.” That’s painfully vague, but definitely inhibits speech. For instance, can you talk about ectopic pregnancies in a biology class without implying abortion? Things got even more opaque following the reversal of Roe in June, when Idaho’s near-total abortion ban kicked in. The university provided guidance to employees that they could now face felony charges if they provided birth control to students.

Two weeks later, everything got reversed. Sort of. University President Scott Green complained that the memo issued to employees “quickly took on a life of its own with misinformation.” He then proceeded to, ostensibly, reassure employees, but those reassurances were vague. To his credit, Green made clear that the university can continue to offer birth control, but he didn’t directly address whether people could or could not “counsel in favor” of abortion. All he really said was that current academic freedom policies had not been changed and that the university cannot and does not prosecute people.

Neither of those reassurances gets at the heart of the issue: Can employees talk about abortion without running afoul of state law?

A similar story is unfolding at the state university system in Florida. The University of Florida may be hiring Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) to be its president. Sasse is a big fan of “religious liberty” when it comes to dismantling the line between church and state, so his hiring likely doesn’t bode well for a university already under siege by conservative elected officials. The state recently asserted in a court document that curriculum and in-class instruction are government speech—not individual speech—and therefore it can regulate what public university teachers say.

The document was filed in a lawsuit regarding the constitutionality of the state’s “Stop WOKE Act,” which at root prohibits professors from teaching about the country’s pernicious history of racism. The state even tried to extend these speech restrictions to private companies, but that got tossed out by a federal court.

Seeking to control what people teach at public universities is impossibly dystopian and grim. It’s also the logical endpoint of what conservatives have wanted forever: public money free from the conditions that used to go along with taking public money—that religious institutions shouldn’t be funded with taxpayer dollars and groups that receive public money shouldn’t be able to discriminate.

Dismantling that line between church and state and enshrining bigotry into law has been quite a successful project of religious conservatives. They prevailed in an Iowa case where a student group at a public university, taking public dollars, excluded a gay student from leadership and won in court. They scored their biggest victory this past Supreme Court term in Carson v. Makin: The justices ruled that K-12 private religious schools can get public tuition money. And it’s just this sort of thing that allows a Christian K-12 school in Florida to take $1.6 million in public money while having a policy that they will expel LGBTQ students.

Conservatives have always embraced schools like Bob Jones University and Liberty University that completely control their students’ behavior and speech. The former went up to the Supreme Court in 1983 to fight for the right to receive IRS tax-exempt status while maintaining a policy of only admitting white students. The university lost. Bob Jones University also banned interracial dating until 2000.

Rolling back abortion rights is just the latest weapon in the religious right’s ever-growing arsenal. When you control what people can do, it’s just a short hop to controlling what they can say. When bans prohibit “aiding or abetting” an abortion, such as that in Texas SB 8, it directly leads to controlling speech. For example, can you donate to an abortion fund if you live in Texas? In theory, that should never be restricted. Donating money is free speech and is therefore protected under Citizens United v. FEC and is one of the sacred tenets of modern conservatism.

But modern conservatism has become very comfortable with “free speech for me, but not for thee,” and they’ve captured enough of the federal courts that they’ll continue to get their way. Meanwhile, expect more public university systems in red states to start being tentative, worried, and self-censored when talking about reproductive rights or racial justice. Idaho and Florida may have started this trend, but it certainly won’t end there.

Source: https://rewirenewsgroup.com/2022/10/18/abortion-bans-are-creating-free-speech-battle-in-schools/

MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES), LAUREN BOEBERT (JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES), AND JIM JORDAN (JEFF SWENSEN/GETTY IMAGES)

Including a self-described “pro-life extremist” and a Jan. 6 attendee who referred to abortion as “genocide.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene,  Jim Jordan, and the rest of the most extreme GOP members of the U.S. House are going to have some new far-right friends joining them when the 118th Congress is sworn in in January—even as the Republican Party itself appears to have severely underperformed its expectations for the midterms.

The House was still up for grabs as of Wednesday morning. But while several of the party’s far-right candidates flailed in swing districts, the GOP was guaranteed to pick up a few extremists in safer districts. 

There’s a self-described “pro-life extremist” from Florida, a Tennessee mayor who said conservatives were in a “spiritual war” against liberals, and a Jan. 6 marcher from Wisconsin who flipped a Democratic-held seat Tuesday. And if the GOP does ultimately take the House of Representatives, they’re all likely to play a big role in charting the path of the next Congress.

Andy Ogles, the mayor of Maury County, Tennessee, won in that state’s 5th congressional district, a formerly Democratic seat that was carved up by the supermajority GOP legislature in redistricting. In an interview in September, months after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, Ogles waved off concerns about rape and incest exceptions to abortion bans as a “red herring.”

“Statistically, those are not even part of the conversation,” Ogles told local TV station WKRN. “That is a red herring used by [the] left and radicals to try and taint the conversation.” He’s wrong: In 2017, there were nearly 4,500 pregnancies in children under the age of 15, nearly half of which ended in abortion, according to the abortion think tank the Guttmacher Institute

After the self-described “most conservative mayor in Tennessee” won his primary, Ogles compared the ongoing political debate in the country to a “war.” 

“We’re at war. This is a political war, a cultural war, and it’s a spiritual war,” Ogles told his supporters after winning the primary. “And as we go forward, we’ve got to get back to honoring God and country.”

Ogles’ opponent, state Sen. Heidi Campbell, referenced the remarks in her concession speech Tuesday. “Despite what congressman-elect Ogles says, we are not at war,” Campbell said. “We are in this together.”

Anna Paulina Luna also won in Florida’s redrawn 13th Congressional District. Luna is an Air Force veteran who later worked at the right-wing youth organization Turning Point USA, and she’s appeared on talk shows hosted by far-right figures including election-denying MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to the Washington Post

Luna was also endorsed by Greene; last week, Luna—who is a Christian—told Jewish Insider that Greene’s endorsement of her specifically meant Greene couldn’t be antisemitic. (Greene has compared COVID-19 mask mandates to the Holocaust and blamed California’s tragic Camp Fire on Rothschild-funded “space solar generators.”) 

“MTG did endorse me, and I was raised as a Messianic Jew by my father,” Luna told Jewish Insider. “I am also a small fraction Ashkenazi. If she were antisemitic, why did she endorse me?” 

Luna’s opponent, Democrat Eric Lynn, released an ad in August with clips showing Luna describing herself as a “pro-life extremist” and claiming that “obviously, I believe the election was stolen.” Luna told the Post that she was mocking an attempt by Lynn to “stereotype” her, and said her opponent is “lying about me and my positions to distract from the fact that he’s just another liberal rubber stamp for the reckless Biden/Pelosi agenda.”

Luna ultimately won easily, as Florida was the only state where a Republican “red wave” truly materialized. Rep. Jim Banks, an Indiana Republican who chairs the right-wing Republican Study Committee, said Tuesday night that Luna was a “rising star” and he was “thrilled to have her [in] Washington.” 

And in Wisconsin, Derrick Van Orden, a former Navy SEAL who narrowly lost in the same district in 2020, won an open seat against state Sen. Brad Pfaff Tuesday. Van Orden traveled to D.C. for former President Donald Trump’s “Save America” rally on Jan. 6—which later led to the Capitol riot—and Pfaff made Van Orden’s involvement in the rally a key component of his campaign message. 

Van Orden has said he did not enter to Capitol building on Jan. 6 and wrote in an op-ed after the attempted insurrection that he went to D.C. that day “for meetings and to stand for the integrity of our electoral system as a citizen and at the behest of my neighbors here in Western Wisconsin.”

After that trip Van Orden reimbursed himself with donor money for $4,000 in transportation and lodging expenses for himself, his wife, and a campaign staffer, the Daily Beast reported last year. In September, the Federal Election Commission dismissed a complaint alleging that Van Orden’s use of the campaign funds was unlawful. 

“The only people I’ve heard during this entire campaign [talk about him marching on Jan. 6]…I’ve heard Brad Pfaff bring this up, and activist journalists,” Van Orden told Spectrum News last week. “That’s it.”

During the 2020 campaign, Van Orden referred to abortion as “genocide.” Van Orden was winning by more than 13,000 votes when the AP called the race Wednesday. 

More than 160 election deniers on the ballot for federal or statewide office won their races Tuesday, while more than 85 were projected to lose, according to the Washington Post. Several far-right Republican hopefuls for Congress, furthermore, lost extremely winnable races against liberal and moderate Democrats.

In a Raleigh-area North Carolina district, 26-year-old Bo Hines lost to Democratic state Sen. Wiley Nickel. Hines, a Trump-endorsed election denier and former GOP political staffer, proposed last month that victims of rape and incest who are seeking abortions should go through “a community-level review process outside the jurisdiction of the federal government,” according to WRAL. 

Former Trump assistant press secretary Karoline Leavitt also lost, to Rep. Chris Pappas, in her race for one of New Hampshire’s two congressional districts. Leavitt, who at 25 years old would have been the youngest person ever elected to Congress, has appeared on Bannon’s radio show multiple times and said during a primary debate that she was the only candidate in the race who believed that “the 2020 election was undoubtedly stolen from President Trump.”   During the general election, she said that she “recognizes that President Biden was certified.”

Pappas easily won his third term, as expected Republican gains in the Northeast largely fell flat. 

Rep. Mayra Flores, an Elon Musk-endorsed, QAnon-adjacent Republican who flipped a seat in a special election earlier this year, lost to Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez. Flores conceded on Tuesday that the “RED WAVE did not happen,” and blamed conservative voters for “staying home.” She did hint, however, that she mayshe’ll mount another run for office in two years.

And Virginia Democratic Rep. Allison Spanberger prevailed Tuesday against Yesli Vega, a Republican cop endorsed by Trump. 

Vega  suggested during a campaign stop earlier this year that it was unlikely rape victims could become pregnant as a result of their assaults, falsely saying that the body rejects it “because it’s not something that’s happening organically,” according to Axios. This claim has no scientific basis

In Washington state, the race between former CIA paramilitary officer and Green Beret Joe Kent and Democrat Marie Glusenkamp Perez was too close to call Wednesday, as the state is likely to take several days to finish counting mail-in ballots. Kent has repeatedly referred to people arrested for rioting on Jan. 6 “political prisoners,” and said during a debate last month that he would back Lindsey Graham’s proposed federal abortion ban, though he dismissed the bill as “performative.” 

And in a race that wasn’t remotely considered competitive in Colorado, Rep. Lauren Boebert is on the precipice of falling in an enormous upset to Aspen City Council member Adam Frisch. With 90 percent of the vote counted, Frisch maintained a slim 3,500-vote lead Wednesday morning.  

Asked at her victory party if she would accept the result if she loses, Boebert “walked away without answering,” according to Colorado Newsline.

Source: https://www.vice.com/en/article/4ax5z3/midterms-far-right-wins

PEOPLE CAST THEIR BALLOTS ON NOVEMBER 8, 2022 IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN. (PHOTO BY BRANDON BELL / GETTY IMAGES)

In the midterm elections on Tuesday, Michigan will become one of the first states to vote on abortion since the Roe’s overturning.

DETROIT — There was just one day left to vote to enshrine abortion rights in the Michigan state constitution, and staffers at a local abortion clinic wanted to make sure patients knew it.

“YES ON PROP 3: RESTORE ROE IN MICHIGAN,” blared one sign, hung beneath the flat-screen TV in one waiting room of Northland Family Planning, where visitors were sure to see it. Every patient was handed a clipboard with a brochure describing Proposition 3, the ballot measure to protect abortion rights. Multiple staffers were even decked out in orange and purple, the colors of the Proposition 3 campaign. The clinic manager’s glasses were purple, her purple shirt read “Reproductive Freedom for All,” and her purple hair was pinned back with two orange butterfly pins.

In the midterm elections on Tuesday, Michigan will become one of the first states to vote on abortion since the Roe’s overturning. Although abortion is currently legal in Michigan, the state still has a 1931 abortion ban on the books, and abortion rights supporters and foes have spent the past several months locked in a legal battle over whether to bring that ban back to life. Without protections in the state constitution, that ban could take effect, or the Republicans who currently control the state legislature could try to pass a new one.

“In the past, I’ve really never heard patients ask about the laws or what’s going to happen three months from now,” said the manager, Sarah F. (For privacy reasons, VICE News is not publishing her last name.) But that all changed after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade this summer. “There’s been a lot more people asking about the proposition and what’s going to happen here if the proposition doesn’t pass,” Sarah added.

After Roe’s overturning, much of the Midwest banned abortion. If Michigan joins those states and its abortion clinics are forced to go dark, Midwestern abortion seekers will have to travel further and likely pay more money for the procedure—if they can get one at all. 

“I can’t even imagine it. I really can’t. Especially after all of this time and devoting our lives to this,” said Tania, who has worked at Northland Family Planning, which has three clinics in the Detroit area, since 1994. (VICE News is also not publishing her last name.) “It just seems really unreal.”

Northland was practically besieged by patients right after Roe fell. The clinics started seeing roughly double the number of patients they had seen during the Roe era; staffers pulled 13-hour days. At one point during the legal ping-ponging over the 1931 ban, Tania said, Northland Family Planning had to close one of their clinics for a day, because it wasn’t clear whether providers could perform the procedure without being prosecuted

Despite working in this field for almost three decades, Tania had never seen anything like it before.

“Just really awful, sad stories about people trying to get from here to there with no money. People who don’t have cars, they’re like, ‘How am I going to get from Cleveland to Detroit?’” Tania recalled. “If we had to turn patients away—which we did have to do, when we had 30 patients and we knew we were going to be here all night—I mean, we just cannot do it all. And we cried with the patients.” 

That onslaught eased after abortion rights supporters in Ohio secured a court order to suspend the state’s six-week abortion ban. Although 26 states are ultimately expected to outlaw abortion, many red and purple states will likely spend months, if not years, litigating and legislating over whether the procedure should be legal. Those fights will likely come down to whether state constitutions include abortion protections; while Proposition 3 is one of the country’s most high-profile abortion ballot initiatives this year, it’s almost certainly far from the last.

The ballot measure was in the works long before the Supreme Court even took the case that its conservative majority would use to overturn Roe. The ACLU of Michigan first started looking into the possibility of adding abortion rights to the state constitution way back in 2019, said Bonsitu Kitaba, the organization’s deputy legal director. But there’s no doubt that the overturning upended the race. 

Julie Falbaum, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based canvasser for the Proposition 3 campaign, said that before a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe leaked in May, she used to have to explain the ballot measure to people. “And after the leak, people were looking for me,” she said. 

The first Saturday after the leak, Falbaum said she started collecting signatures at a farmer’s market. People lined up to sign up, she said. 

In order to get the midterms ballot, the Proposition 3 campaign needed to gather 425,059 valid signatures. They turned in 750,000. 

On Monday, the day before the midterm elections, Kitaba and Falbaum trekked back and forth across a quiet Ann Arbor neighborhood to knock on doors. Many of the front lawns were already littered with orange and purple signs urging people to “vote yes” on Proposition 3. “Vote no” signs were practically nonexistent. “This house is secure!” one smiley man told the canvassers, reassuring them that the voters inside planned to support them.

“I never thought we’d actually see that get reversed. Like it was just something that always felt like it was there,” Kevin Yanos, a 27-year-old “yes” voter, told VICE News of Roe. “Also, as a male, I don’t feel like it’s really my decision to make those calls, right?”

Yanos also dismissed abortion foes’ argument—as seen on a few “vote no” signs—that Proposition 3 is “too complex, too extreme.” “I just thought that was ridiculous,” he said.

One Northland Family Planning clinic seemed busy but far from overrun on Monday, with a handful of patients watching TV silently in the clinic’s two waiting rooms and staffers regularly pulling them into side rooms for consultations. Like in many abortion clinics, the walls were covered in inspirational art, from the classic “You Can Do It!” Rosie the Riveter poster to an edgier “Big Uterus Energy” sticker. 

Yet, despite the productive hum of the clinic, the providers spoke openly about the toll that Roe’s overturning, the threat of the 1931 ban, and the uncertainty of the election has taken on them. 

“I’ve never felt like this before, never, never,” Tania said. “Just all of this weight.” 

“It’s been comparable to a constant ache that hasn’t gone away for our patients, for ourselves, for our families, for women or pregnant people everywhere. It’s been life-changing,” said Jackie Davis, the manager of another Northland Family Planning location. “Because not only are we mourning, we’re mourning for our patients and it’s—it’s a lot.”

“That’s just too much to wrap my mind around right now, if that doesn’t pass,” Sarah said of the ballot measure. Her hands sometimes shook as she spoke. “If it doesn’t pass, we’ll be able to still provide care. But I honestly haven’t thought too much past if it doesn’t, because I just—I mentally can’t handle that right now.”

Abortion rights supporters are cautiously optimistic about their chances of winning. Nancy Northrup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, told VICE News that she was feeling “bullish.” Tania promised that, even if they lose in the midterms, they’ll continue to fight the 1931 ban in the courts.

All three providers said they weren’t sure what they would do if Michigan banned abortion. They are all Michigan natives, with families in the state, but they are now weighing the possibility that they might have to move out of the state if they want to continue providing abortions. 

After Davis took the job at Northland Family Planning, some of her family stopped speaking to her. In response, Davis had a burning bridge tattooed on her arm, complete with a matchbox emblazoned with the outline of a coat hanger. She now has no less than three coat hanger tattoos, including one on her middle finger. “It’s on my middle finger for a specific reason,” she laughed.

“We just have to be here today. We’re living for today. We’re taking care of patients today,” Davis said. “And what happens tomorrow, happens tomorrow. You’ve got to try to compartmentalize those feelings, because it would just take you over—the fear.”

Source: https://www.vice.com/en/article/m7gkmp/abortion-rights-supporters-are-feeling-cautiously-optimistic-in-michigan

The upcoming midterm elections will affect abortion access in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. Cage Rivera/Rewire News Group

The upcoming midterm elections hold high stakes for abortion access in the Keystone State.

This week, we’ll take you to one of the major battleground states for abortion access and reproductive rights in the post-Roe era: Pennsylvania, where the political landscape is poised to shift after the midterm elections this November.

Last Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case in which advocates are seeking to establish protections for abortion under the state constitution. A law dating back to 1982 prevents Medicaid funding from being used for abortions, and providers are arguing that it violates the Keystone State’s Equal Rights Amendment.

“Not allowing Medicaid to pay for abortion is essentially an abortion ban for those already overwhelmingly living in poverty or disabled and it would only serve to further this economic and wealth divide,” Kelly Davis, executive director of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, said in a press conference following the arguments.

The Medicaid fight isn’t the only battle abortion advocates face in Pennsylvania. This summer, Republican lawmakers in the state House and Senate approved an anti-abortion amendment, which needs to be approved by the state legislature a second time before voters decide whether it gets added to the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, the state’s abortion clinics have been reporting an increase in out-of-state patients, from next door in Ohio to as far as Texas, seeking reproductive health care.

“We really have been able to meet the demand, but we are seeing an increase, and we know that the demand is going to continue to grow,” Melissa Reed, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Keystone, told WHYY.

Advocates and providers are preparing for all outcomes, even as they seek to expand telehealth options and access to medication abortion. With the election just over a week away, the future of abortion access in Pennsylvania hinges on the gubernatorial and legislative races, in addition to a major U.S. congressional race that will help determine the national landscape.

Source: https://rewirenewsgroup.com/2022/10/31/pennsylvania-inches-closer-toward-restricting-abortion-access/

LIUDMILA CHERNETSKA/GETTY IMAGES

The biggest leaps in requests for help came from states that have outlawed most abortions.

In the months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the number of Americans asking one organization for help ending their pregnancies at home nearly tripled, according to a study released Tuesday.

Conducted by researchers from the University of Texas, Austin, the study examined requests for abortion-inducing pills sent to Aid Access, an organization that mails the pills across the country. The study found that before Roe was overturned, Aid Access received an average of roughly 82 requests per day, according to data from 30 states. After a Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe leaked in May, that average spiked to 137. 

Finally, after Roe was overturned in late June and as at least 13 states implemented near-total abortion bans, the average number of daily requests shot up to about 214.

“This is a real increase driven by state policy,” said Abigail Aiken, the lead author on the study. “I think that’s quite clear from the results. There’s definitely a correlation just by the numbers. But then when you look at people’s actual reasons, they’re actually telling you, yes, this is because of those laws.”

The biggest leaps in requests for help came from people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, and Oklahoma—all states that have outlawed most abortions. In requests from people living in states with abortion bans, just under a third said that they wanted to induce their own abortions due to “current abortion restrictions.” 

The data from Aid Access is only a snapshot of the rapidly shifting landscape of abortion. Although Aid Access may be the most well-known source of abortion-inducing pills, it is far from the only one. People can still access telemedicine abortion services in states where the procedure remains legal, and they can order pills from international pharmacies in states where it is not. Abortion clinics may also offer both medication abortions, which rely on the same drugs often used by people who self-manage their abortions using pills, or surgical abortions. 

But the Aid Access data remains the best source of insight into people’s approach to self-managing their abortions, according to Aiken. (The definition of what constitutes a “self-managed abortion” can be a bit fuzzy, but it can generally be defined as an abortion that takes place outside of the formal U.S. healthcare system—and under that definition, Aid Access would qualify.)

Over the last four months, there have been 10,570 fewer legal abortions compared to estimates made before the end of Roe, according to data published this week by Five Thirty Eight

Aiken was not surprised by the increase in requests to Aid Access. Having tracked those requests for years, Aiken has found requests often spike when access to abortion clinics is cut off. After Texas passed a law in September 2021 that banned abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy, Texans’ requests for help rose by 1,180 percent. During the height of coronavirus lockdowns, when it became extremely difficult to access clinics and some states even moved to temporarily shutter them, the rate of requests for help increased by 27 percent.

Expects have widely declared that self-managing an abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy can be safe, but it’s not without legal risk, especially in the post-Roe United States. Although self-managing your abortion is only explicitly illegal in a handful of states, prosecutors who are determined to go after you for doing so will likely find a statute that’s pliable enough to fit the supposed crime, according to experts from the organization If/When/How, which advocates for people’s right to self-manage abortions.  

At least 61 people across 26 states faced criminal consequences linked to alleged self-managed abortions between 2000 and 2020, If/When/How found.

A significant number of people who wanted help from Aid Access said that they wanted to take the pills at home, rather than go to a clinic, out of a desire for privacy, Aiken said. But while some people may simply be choosing to self-manage an abortion because they prefer it, they may also feel too ashamed to go to a clinic.

“When you make something illegal, it’s now something bad, and people feel that stigma,” Aiken said. “This internalized feeling that you’re doing something wrong can also lead people to wish for privacy.”

Source: https://www.vice.com/en/article/3ad4vj/abortion-pills-surge