If RBG’s death made you panic, you’re late.


wonder when the IUD tweets are going to start,” I texted to a friend on Sept. 18, the night that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died. The phenomenon, which was recently covered by Marie Solis at Jezebel, distinctly marks the Trump era; the tweets happened after he was elected, during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, and they’re happening now that President Trump has nominated conservative federal judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

People who consider themselves pro-choice send a frenzy of posts with one main message: “Go and get an IUD! Our abortion rights are about to be snatched away! We now live in Gilead!”

But this type of reaction falsely implies that everyone in the United States currently has access to affordable reproductive healthcare and that everyone has access to legal and safe abortion care. But, uh, they don’t.

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Consider this: If people were relying on an 87-year old woman with pancreatic cancer to stay alive, at least for a couple more months, in order to hold on to the rights afforded by Roe v Wade, what does that say about the state of reproductive rights in the first place?

I’m not trying to discount the seriousness of what President Trump and a Supreme Court packed with his nominees could do. But let’s be real. Your ability to get an abortion depends on your race, class, and zip code, even though, yeah, the practice is technically legal under Roe v Wade. But state laws push abortion access out of reach for poor people and people of color. Abortion rights activists have been sounding the alarm on the damaging consequences of these restrictions for years.

The crisis isn’t lurking in the shadows, waiting for Barrett to sit on the highest court of the land before it launches an attack. It’s already here.

Just take a look at the way reproductive rights are currently being restricted…

us health abortion politics court
Pro-choice activists outside of the Supreme Court, March 2020.


Public Health Insurance Doesn’t Cover Most Abortion

Passed three years after Roe in 1976, the Hyde Amendment blocks any public health insurance from covering abortion except in life-threatening cases or if the pregnancy is a result of sexual assault. This means that if you get your healthcare through Medicaid, the military, or the federal government, you can’t get abortion care covered, says Sarah Christopherson, Policy Advocacy Director for the National Women’s Health Network. This disproportionately affects poor people and women of color, says Candace Gibson, Associate Director of Government Relations for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice. “In many ways, Hyde was the original abortion ban for many in our communities, making care completely inaccessible to them,” she says.

TRAP Laws Put Unessential Restrictions on Abortion Providers

The Targeted Restrictions of Abortion Providers laws make it super hard for abortion clinics to open or operate in so many states. Alabama has one that blocks clinics from being located within 2000 feet of public schools. North Carolina has another that says that the air temperature in procedure rooms has to be between 70 and 76 degrees. Texas passed a law that required abortion providers to have the ability to admit their patients to a hospital at least 30 miles away. Even though that law was eventually blocked by the Supreme Court, the damage was already done—the number of clinics dropped from around 40 to from 20 during the time that the law was in effect.

And obviously, having fewer clinics means that people who need abortions have to travel longer distances and pay more to cover transportation and time off work, making abortion care basically impossible for them.

Outright Abortion Bans Are 100 Percent a Thing

In November, Louisiana citizens will vote on an amendment that would declare there’s no right to abortion in their state’s constitution. West VirginiaTennessee, and Alabama have already passed similar laws. They don’t immediately impact abortion access, but they could help defend future abortion bans in those states. According to Christopherson, anti-abortion activists passed these Hail Mary laws, even though they know they’ll be challenged, with the hope that they can force courts to rule on laws that chip away at Roe.

Telemedicine Access Is Often Blocked

In 32 states, abortion providers can meet with patients remotely, mail them pills for a medication abortion, and then follow up with them afterwards to see how they’re doing. According to Christopherson, more people are interested in using telemedicine as their preferred abortion method right now because of the pandemic. Some people also prefer the remote option because they don’t have to travel hours to go to a clinic or deal with the harassers outside of them. But right now, access to this abortion method is in danger—the Supreme Court could rule on a case that challenges this soon, and if they say it’s unconstitutional, millions of people will lose access to a safe abortion.

Some States Will Prosecute You for Feticide

Feticide laws are meant to protect pregnant people and their fetuses from assault, but anti-abortion groups use them as a way of giving a fetus the same rights as a human being. As a result, these laws end up criminalizing pregnant people while also disproportionately affecting people of color, according to legal analyses of these cases. In 2015, Kenlissia Jones, a Black woman, faced charges for delivering a stillborn child after a social worker told police that she had taken medication for an abortion. In 2018, Latice Fisher, a Black woman, was also charged for delivering a stillborn after investigators discovered that she’d searched online for medication for an abortion. And in 2019, Marshae Jones, a Black woman, faced manslaughter charges when she miscarried after being shot in the stomach. This list of women who have been punished for ending their pregnancies could go on and on and on.

anti abortion and pro choice demonstration outside dr emily women's health center in bronx, ny
Pro Choice Demonstration Outside Dr Emily Women’s Health Center in Bronx, NY, March 2011.


So…what do we do now?

If these attacks and restrictions make you feel outraged (hi, same), here are a few things you can do RTFN.


Whether or not Roe is repealed, because abortion access is so patchy nationwide, we need a strong federal standard. Both Christopherson and Gibson mentioned the Women’s Health Protection Act—it’s currently in front of Congress right now, and if passed, it would secure the right to an abortion, no matter what state you live in.

The Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act is also very important, says Gibson. The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Cory Booker and would allow immigrants and undocumented people to enroll in Medicaid or buy insurance from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace.

And then there’s the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act, which would overturn the Hyde Amendment and make abortion affordable for millions of people.


There are abortion providers, care networks, and abortion funds that fight to bridge the gap between the legal right to an abortion and the actual reality of getting one. Donating to these instead of high-profile women’s healthcare orgs can ensure your $$ does directly to helping people gain access to abortion. The National Network of Abortion Funds has a list of orgs that provide financial aid to help people afford contraception and abortion services—you can donate to the one in your state. The National Abortion Federation and The Abortion Care Network both help to financially support providers across the country.


According to Gibson, “the battle for reproductive justice will not be won in the courts, but in our communities.” This means that we need to pay more attention to the local elections that have a great impact on our lives, not just the presidential one that happens every four years (though, yeah, pay attention to that one, too). Local legislators, judges, and officials have a lot of power to either restrict, or expand, reproductive rights. Read up on the candidates and where they stand on the issues before you head to the ballot box—so you can have a say in WTF is going on no matter who sits on the Supreme Court.

Source: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a34199511/abortion-crisis-restrictions/?fbclid=IwAR2N8mYU1LceM-W2yfaNjG0YqbCsJVCvfxAb7ZLQExK8bQsczrXEkFgrsII

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) speaks at a #StopTheBans rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on May 21, 2019.
Photo: Stephanie Kenner (Shutterstock)

As a Black woman, I’ve spent much of this year watching my own people suffer. Black women are grieving the loss of their fathers, mothers, and children in mounting numbers because of COVID-19. Black women are facing catastrophic job losses due to the pandemic. And we continue to watch our fathers, sons, brothers and daughters die at the hands of racist police.

I’ve been fighting for reproductive justice my entire adult life, and I know that the deep inequities exposed in the last several months stretch far beyond the crises of this moment. Black women have experienced racism and oppression in our health care and economic policies for decades, and this year’s combination of the pandemic with nationwide anti-racist uprisings have made it abundantly clear: the old days of maintaining the status quo are over. Enough is enough.

One status quo policy that must go is the Hyde Amendment, which has been in place for 44 years as of this month and has always disproportionately impacted Black women. For 44 years, this policy has denied insurance coverage for abortion for people struggling financially, who are more likely to be women of color. For 44 years, women of color have been denied the agency to decide their own futures simply because of how much money they have and how they get their health insurance.

If we want justice in our communities, equity in our health care system, and liberation and autonomy for all, ending abortion coverage bans like Hyde is a crucial starting point.

Lack of abortion coverage means too many women of color, who are more likely to struggle financially and more likely to seek abortion care, may be unable to afford the care they need to control their lives and plan their families and futures. Research has shown that when politicians restrict Medicaid coverage for abortion, they force one in four poor women on Medicaid to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.

The pandemic has laid bare long-existent, systemic disparities that have led to Black communities experiencing some of the highest rates of infections, deaths, and job loss. Black folks are nearly three times more likely to contract COVID-19, and Black pregnant women five times as likely as white women to be infected. Women of color comprise the majority of low-wage workers, and one survey found 55 percent of Black women have less than $200 in savings, while 48 percent of Black women are struggling to cover fundamental expenses like food and housing during the pandemic.

2020 must be the last year that the Hyde Amendment denies abortion coverage to people who are struggling. Years of leadership by women of color champions in Congress, young people, and Black women reproductive justice leaders—raising our voices and putting it all on the line to fight for justice in our communities—have resulted in the greatest momentum to end Hyde yet. Today, after years of organizing, not only does the majority of national voters support Medicaid coverage for abortion, a record number of elected officials in Congress have signed on to the EACH Woman Act, a bold piece of legislation that ensures each of us—however we get our health insurance—has abortion coverage.

Voters and politicians know that right now, amid a public health and economic crisis, health care coverage for all is an essential piece of the fight for racial justice. And now more than ever, that coverage must include abortion.

From being targeted by police violence, to being denied living wages and health care, to being unable to reach the abortion and reproductive care we need, all of these are rooted in systemic racism, oppression and state violence. There is no way forward without uprooting this status quo and ensuring everyone has the resources they need to parent, not parent, live, and thrive in safe and healthy communities. We can start by putting an end to Hyde and its harmful legacy once and for all.

Source: https://theglowup.theroot.com/ending-the-hyde-amendment-is-essential-to-achieving-jus-1845201244?fbclid=IwAR2UJiHJIM8KwXMYqF31-iBRbXjt0oHn1lhsbY7mVV9TV6M9_tmhbV1ic4U

QAnon isn’t just a threat to reproductive rights—it’s a threat to the integrity of our democracy.

QAnon memes live through hashtags like #SaveOurChildren.
Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

On January 7, 2018, Cheryl Sullenger, the senior vice president of the radical anti-choice protest group Operation Rescue, posted an entry on her organization’s website entitled, “These people are SICK!” #QAnon Takes on Planned Parenthood.” The post included a statement from Operation Rescue president Troy Newman thanking the anonymous chan poster “Q” for linking approvingly to a Republican-led congressional investigation into bogus allegations that Planned Parenthood trafficked in baby parts for profit. The investigation was sparked by an undercover operation by anti-choice activist David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress, a group Newman co-founded.

“We are grateful to Q and the Trump Administration for taking the evidence against Planned Parenthood seriously and bringing it to the attention of an audience that may otherwise never have been exposed to the truth,” Newman said. “We hope the QAnon exposure helps wake up Americans to the barbarity of abortion.” In other posts, Sullenger elaborated on the conspiracy theory that Planned Parenthood traffics in human organs with the political protection of liberal philanthropist George Soros.

Sullenger gave Q another shoutout after the conspiracy theorists linked to remarks by Susan Hirschmann, the executive director of the conservative Eagle Forum, presented during Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 1993 Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Hirschmann accuses Ginsburg of being in favor of child trafficking because of a report Ginsburg co-wrote for the federal government; she was hired to review the federal code and flag everything sexist. One obvious candidate was the Mann Act, also known as the White Slave Traffic Act, which criminalized taking women and girls (but not men or boys) across state lines for “immoral purpose” a catchall that punished consensual sex between adults. Sullenger falsely claimed, citing Hirshmann, that Ginsburg sought to lower the age of consent to 12 years in order to facilitate sex trafficking.

Sullenger’s Twitter feed is full of references to Qanon, and the door swings both ways: On February 20, Q linked to one of Sullenger’s tweet. She commemorates this milestone in her Twitter bio, listing herself as “Q’d #3848,” a reference to the number of the breakthrough Q post.

Anyone who spends time in right-wing spaces has seen the proliferation of QAnon memes and hashtags like #WWG1WGA, #TrustThePlan, and #SaveOurChildren. Most movement leaders prefer to tread carefully, though, reluctant to give a full-throated endorsement to an ideology the FBI has identified as a domestic terror threat.

It might seem odd that the president of a prominent anti-choice group would openly thank a fictional character at the heart of an explosive conspiracy theory. But it starts to make sense when you understand the history of anti-Clinton conspiracy theories and the role that the religious right has played in developing and disseminating them—and how it all connects to the anti-abortion movement.

A conspiracy theory goes mainstream

While it may be tempting to dismiss QAnon as the delusions of a radical fringe, Q is going mainstream. Awareness of the conspiracy theory has surged during the pandemic. An astonishing 56 percent of Republicans told Kos/Civiqs pollsters that QAnon is at least partly true. Only 13 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Democrats said the theory was completely false. At least 24 Q-friendly congressional candidates are on the ballot in November, and many more are running as write-in candidates. Most have no hope of winning, but Marjorie Taylor Greene is all but guaranteed to win her House race in Georgia’s 14th District, thanks in part to Trump’s endorsement.

To properly describe QAnon, one must paint a picture, ideally in the style of Rubens—full of lurid sex and graphic violence but styled to make base voyeurism feel like Christian virtue. QAnon’s is a maximalist aesthetic—more is always more. Here are the critical points: The three evil Houses of Rothschild, Soros, and Saud are the hidden motive forces of history. Beneath the Houses, but still awesomely powerful, is a cabal of celebrity cannibal pedophiles that controls Hollywood and the media. That celebrity cabal colludes with the Clintons, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, and the “deep state.”

There are more layers. Planned Parenthood trafficks in fetal tissue, under the protection of George Soros. Bill Gates wants to put that fetal tissue in a COVID-19 vaccine, even though the virus is a hoax, or possibly caused by 5G. As if that wasn’t horrific enough, antifa is setting forest fires on the West Coast, and Democratic officials are encouraging riots and scheming to steal the election.

Standing against these evil forces is Q, short for “Q-Clearance Patriot.” According to followers, Q is an intelligence official or a small group allied with Donald Trump in his war against the deep state and the cannibal pedophiles. Q has ostensibly been communicating with the faithful through cryptic posts on anonymous image boards: first 4chan, later 8chan, and finally 8kun. These missives, known as “Q-drops” are usually brief dispatches filled with rhetorical questions, meaningless strings of symbols, and clues for unraveling the conspiracy. Q promises that “the Storm,” in which Donald Trump will kill or imprison his enemies, is coming.

Q does not claim divine inspiration per se, but his prophecies are heavily laced with Christian scripture references. The Rothschild-Soros elements and the Hollywood cannibal pedophile elements sound a lot like the “blood libel,” the medieval antisemitic myth that Jews drain the blood of Christian children for ritual purposes, and the classic antisemitic text, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a bestselling early 20th-century forgery that was passed off as the secret machinations of a clique of Jewish leaders trying to take over the world.

After falsely predicting the imminent arrest of Hillary Clinton in 2017, Q took a turn for the cryptic, churning out strings of meaningless symbols, insinuating rhetorical questions, and B-movie references. These “crumbs” read like gibberish to the uninitiated and had to be decoded by legions of faithful researchers, known as “bakers.” Many bakers developed large audiences and offered their own divergent interpretations of what Q was really saying. In recent months, Q has reasserted control over the narrative, stoking fear about chaos, violence, and the left—in terms that leave little room for interpretation.

So, why is Operation Rescue hyping QAnon, which, judging by Q’s body of work, is only casually interested in abortion?

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Taking root in politics

Conspiracy theories have united the religious right and more mainstream Republicans ever since evangelists and D.C. think-tankers bonded over the particulars of Bill Clinton’s penis. These narratives are a tool that the religious right uses to mobilize support for the larger Republican political project. QAnon is also attracting a new and suggestible audience, who represent a recruiting opportunity for anti-choice organizers.

The religious right was a leading purveyor of anti-Clinton conspiracy theories in the 1990s—and QAnon is an anti-Clinton conspiracy theory on hallucinogens. “Hillary Clinton will be arrested between 7:45 AM – 8:30 AM EST on Monday,” claimed the very first Q-drop. QAnon grew out of Pizzagate, the baseless theory that Hillary Clinton and the chair of her 2016 presidential campaign, John Podesta, were running a child sex-trafficking ring out of Comet Ping Pong, a family restaurant in Washington D.C. A huge cast of Trump campaign staffers, family members, and hangers-on hyped Pizzagate in the final days before the election.

Social movements need shared narratives, stories that explain who the group is and what it wants. The anti-Clinton conspiracy theories that flourished throughout the ‘90s developed these key storylines through right-wing newsletters, documentaries, and talk radio. These myths illustrated what the right wing hated about Bill and Hillary Clinton: liberalism, self-indulgence, sexual deviance, and women’s liberation. In telling these stories, promoters of anti-Clinton conspiracy theories cast themselves as defenders of the traditional family, chastity, and tradition.

In April 1994, Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry (who has since left the group) launched the Loyal Opposition bus tour calling for Clinton’s impeachment. The tour visited seven Southern state capitals, where Terry gave speeches calling for investigations into the president’s crimes. These accusations—like the baseless claim that the Clintons murdered their close friend Vince Foster, who had died by suicide a year earlier—appeared that year in a video, The Clinton Chronicles, directed by the late evangelical filmmaker Patrick Matrisciana. The Chronicles popularized the concept of the “Clinton body count,” a list of people allegedly murdered by the first couple.

Some of the biggest names in the religious right lent their support to the Clinton conspiracy cause: Pat Robertson promoted Vince Foster conspiracies on the 700 Club, and Jerry Falwell distributed tens of thousands of copies of The Clinton Chronicles.

Jeremiah Films, Matrisciana’s production company, also distributes the documentary Baby Parts for Sale, which hypes the false concept of “live birth abortion.” Produced in 2001, the video features anti-choice activist Mark Crutcher, the man who pioneered the concept of “spies for life”—undercover activists infiltrating abortion clinics—and inspired Daleiden’s work. In 2002, Crutcher’s organization Life Dynamics Inc. accused Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation of “operating an illegal pedophile protection racket” based on stings in which a caller pretended to be a 13-year-old girl pregnant by a 22-year-old man.

Caryl Matrisciana, who was married to Patrick, was an evangelical architect of the Satanic Panic of the late ‘80s through the mid-’90s, a time when evangelicals, therapists, and unscrupulous journalists, including Geraldo Rivera, convinced Middle America that daycare centers were havens for satanic pedophiles. The blurb for Jeremiah Films’ 1991 documentary Doorways to Satan claims that “law enforcement agencies are unable to keep up with the increasing numbers of heinous, Satanically inspired crimes.”

During the Clinton years, the religious right also had plenty of support from mainstream Republican operatives in its bid to depict the president and the first lady as murderers for hire, drug smugglers, and worse. One of the leading establishment Republican operatives to promote the Clinton conspiracies was Floyd G. Brown, who is better known today for his racist “Willie Horton” campaign ad and his central role in the Citizens United Supreme Court case. In the ‘90s, Floyd edited the Clintonwatch newsletter, which trafficked in conspiracy theories.

Floyd went on to dominate Facebook with far-right fake news. His Western Journal site amassed more than 36 million readers and followers, and three-quarters of a billion shares, likes, and clicks on the social network, according to the New York Times.

Brown’s career illustrates the longstanding interdependence of mainstream Republican politics, right-wing media, and conspiracy theories. When Barack Obama ran for president, Brown produced a “birther” ad questioning whether Obama had been born in the United States. Brown also served on the board of Joseph Farah’s WorldNetDaily, which became a nexus of birtherism and other conspiracy theories. Like Trump confidante Christopher Ruddy of NewsMax, the fervidly anti-choice Joseph Farah made his name with Vince Foster conspiracy theories.

Many people remember Hillary Clinton denouncing a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” but few remember what she was actually talking about. She was referencing the findings of a 332-page White House report called “The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce,” which described how far-right think tanks popularized conspiracy theories that would otherwise be too sensational to get a hearing in prestigious national media outlets like the New York Times. Right-wing think tank operatives would germinate these stories, often in newsletters or magazines like the American Spectator. These tales would then migrate to indiscriminate online outlets like the Drudge Report. Sometimes they’d be picked up by the British tabloids, where Wall Street Journal editors got story ideas. Republican members of Congress would ultimately read the stories in the Journal and initiate investigations, which the newspapers of record would then happily cover.

Over a decade later, the Planned Parenthood sting came to prominence through a similar trajectory, with a few modern-day twists. The Center for Medical Progress distributed the footage and commentary online and stoked the phony controversy until it attracted mainstream media attention; congressional Republicans conferred mainstream credibility upon it by opening an investigation. Then, in 2018, a link to the investigation was distributed in a Q drop, imbuing it with mystical significance to the faithful. Trump also provides flashes of validation to the QAnon base, whether it’s retweeting the false claim that Joe Biden is a pedophile, or recently signing a “born alive” executive order that peddles in anti-choice tropes from the “baby parts” scandal.

Other anti-choice groups are also dabbling in conspiracy rhetoric. The extremist anti-abortion group Operation Save America refers to the coronavirus outbreak as “the Plandemic,” a nod to the discredited independent documentary that found an audience of millions through QAnon social media groups. OSA says it chose to hold an upcoming event in South Dakota because Gov. Kristi Noem stood up to “federal tyranny” and the “pandemic hoax” by refusing to shut down the state. OSA ties this to its “doctrine of the lesser magistrate,” which is an attempt to convince state and local officials, including sheriffs, to defy federal laws and Supreme Court rulings they deem immoral, including Roe v. Wade, gun laws, and gay rights legislation.

Kyle Grillot/AFP via Getty Images

Threat to our democracy

The FBI flagged QAnon and other fringe conspiracy theories as a domestic terrorism threat last year, warning that QAnon narratives “tacitly support or legitimize violent action.” Q doesn’t tell his followers to hurt people—he just accuses named individuals of heinous crimes, including pedophilia. Lurid tales about pedophiles legitimize violence in many people’s minds, people who are already primed to believe in them, just as anti-choice rhetoric about baby murder legitimizes violence against abortion providers.

One follower murdered his neighbor, a mob boss, then drew a large “Q” on his hand at a court hearing; another armed himself with 900 rounds of ammunition before blocking the Hoover Dam bypass bridge with his homemade armored car. An unemployed actor and wellness coach tried to burn down Comet Ping Pong in 2019. (Three years earlier, the restaurant had been the site of a Pizzagate-inspired armed raid by a man believing he was freeing trafficked children.) In August, a woman rammed in her car into vehicles she suspected were being driven by pedophiles. This month, armed vigilantes set up illegal road blocks and harassed journalists based on the rumor that antifa was setting forest fires. That’s all to say: Q-boosted rumors can get people with guns into the streets.

Operation Rescue and OSA are also openly trying to mobilize their followers: Operation Save America leader Jason Storms filmed himself in Kenosha, Wisconsin, extolling Kyle Rittenhouse as a hero just days after the teenager shot and killed two Black Lives Matter protesters. Operation Save America is still trying to convince sheriffs to make up their own laws.

With the election approaching, many Q supporters believe that Trump’s final battle between good and evil is at hand. With Trump refusing to commit to a peaceful transition of power and the Republican National Committee stepping up efforts to intimidate voters at the polls, the potential for violence is real.

The QAnon conspiracy is spreading throughout the right wing, and the anti-choice movement is no exception. The ideology has already driven people to commit acts of real-life violence. The history of anti-choice terrorism in this country shows what can happen when large numbers of people become convinced that they are defending innocents in a battle between pure good and ultimate evil.

QAnon is a powerful recruiting mechanism for the extreme right, seducing previously apolitical people into an emotionally charged ideology that validates any conspiratorial beliefs they already have and seeds new ones. QAnon isn’t just a threat to reproductive rights—it’s a threat to the integrity of our democracy. We can’t govern ourselves if we no longer inhabit the same reality.

Source: https://rewirenewsgroup.com/article/2020/09/29/how-dangerous-conspiracy-theories-like-qanon-find-a-home-in-anti-choice-politics/?fbclid=IwAR0rcTQheN2RMfKYOq1FRui6BqEwlbtvvSNBWr3UUTdYSs2UMwNb5bc379A

The justice was famously critical of the landmark decision and wanted more for women.

Jeffrey Markowitz/Getty

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wanted more for women.

While everyone has been screaming about Roe v. Wade since her death Friday night, it’s worth remembering that the beloved justice was famously critical of the landmark ruling, which was based on the right to privacy rather than a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. She was also frustrated that subsequent judicial decisions put the right to an abortion in the hands of lawmakers and (mostly male) physicians, rather than the women who needed care. Ginsburg, simply put, cut through the bullshit from the get-go; she would never be satisfied with anything less than complete, perfect equity.

We shouldn’t be, either.

In 2020, it’s not exactly novel to say that the Roe decision is terrible. Even though it has been canonized in the zeitgeist as shorthand for “legal right to abortion,” it’s pretty widely accepted that the decision is poorly constructed on weak doctrine, especially considering the historical heft of the thing. But Ginsburg was critical of the ruling before it was cool.

In fact, she was so reproachful of the court’s reasoning in Roe that a lecture she gave at New York University in 1992 alarmed the president of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), prompting her to call on senators, who were then considering Ginsburg’s nomination to the Supreme Court, to discern “whether Judge Ginsburg will protect a woman’s fundamental right to privacy, including the right to choose, under a strict scrutiny standard.” It’s almost comical now—the idea that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Notorious RBG herself, our patron saint of feminism, could possibly be anything less than pro-choice. But at the time, her words were radical. Even her allies weren’t sure what to make of them. “Measured motions seem to me right, in the main, for constitutional as well as common law adjudication,” she argued. “Doctrinal limbs too swiftly shaped, experience teaches, may prove unstable. The most prominent example in recent decades is Roe v. Wade.”

A couple beats later, she elaborated: “The idea of the woman in control of her destiny and her place in society was less prominent in the Roe decision itself, which coupled with the rights of the pregnant woman the free exercise of her physician’s medical judgment. The Roe decision might have been less of a storm center had it both homed in more precisely on the women’s equality dimension of the issue…”

She was never one to identify a problem without also bringing up a potential solution, or, in this case, a model for a one. In her 1993 Senate confirmation hearing, when she was asked about abortion and this lecture about Roe, she cited a case she argued in the 1970s for the ACLU, Capt. Susan Struck v. Secretary of DefenseIn the case, a female Air Force captain became pregnant while serving, and she was given the option to either terminate the pregnancy or lose her job. In her defense, Ginsburg argued that the Air Force’s decision violated the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment—after all, men were not forced to choose between procreation and military service. The other two key elements of Ginsburg’s argument were that the Air Force was violating Struck’s religious freedom—she was Catholic—and her liberty as established in the due process clause, because a woman’s choice is paramount to her freedom. (Ultimately, Struck’s discharge was waived, and the case did not make it up to the Supreme Court.) But as Ginsburg noted in ’93 and many times after, the Struck case could have established a real right to reproductive choice; it wasn’t that she thought Roe’s grounding in privacy rights was bad, per se, it was that it would be stronger if it also included the equal protection defense. In those Senate hearings, she put her thoughts on abortion this way: “This is something central to a woman’s life, to her dignity. It’s a decision that she must make for herself. And when Government controls that decision for her, she’s being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”

We like to boil Supreme Court justices down to their votes, using their positions to interpret their partisan leanings. But Ginsburg didn’t really think like that—her legal mind transcended party and expectation and milieu. For her, reproductive freedom was always about equality, the right women have to be respected in the world the same way that men are, which means the ability to make reproductive decisions on one’s own terms without fear of loss of income or job stability.

Ginsburg’s death now amplifies the threat to abortion access—and equality more fundamentally—to an ear-splitting degree. President Trump has already irrevocably reshaped the federal courts, stacking them with judges who value conservatism above the constitution and legal precedent. When the Supreme Court bench shifted further to the right after the retirement of Anthony Kennedy in 2018, there were two threads of hope left for abortion rights: precedent—particularly as laid out in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt—and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Without Ginsburg, there is little standing in the way of a new Supreme Court case that questions the legality of abortion access. Her death swings open a locked door for anti-abortion legal advocates to rush through—and they will. And so people who hold abortion rights dear will need to fight like hell. But we also need to remember what Ginsburg, who could not just accept the “win” of Roe, taught us. She had more foresight and legal aptitude than to simply be complacent with Roe; she wanted something stronger, a ruling that could withstand future challenges and that centered women’s agency and health above all else. So as we fight for Roe and for our rights, remember Roe is not the gold standard of abortion law. Our work will not be done in just saving Roe. It feels impossible right now, but perhaps opportunity will rise amid the chaos. And anyway, a woman’s work is really never done—so let’s make sure RBG’s was not in vain.

Source: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/09/ruth-bader-ginsburg-abortion-rights-roe/?fbclid=IwAR1ETaZRMVdDZOTV6v-w-ALOWy6DT_5WurleN05gYZr_BhEnBqJGbzJVrNo



Mark Humphrey/AP<br /> Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk speaks during a hearing for death row inmate Abu-Ali Abdur'Rahman Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. Abdur'Rahman, who was convicted of murder and is scheduled to be executed next April, claims that prosecutors' racially motivated dismissal of potential black jurors resulted in an unfair trial. A court order presented by Funk at the hearing will convert Abdur'Rahman's death sentence to a sentence of life in prison if approved by the judge. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/AP) — Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk said he won’t enforce Tennessee’s abortion law that requires women undergoing drug-induced abortions to be informed that the procedure can be reversed.

According to federal court documents filed on Wednesday, Funk called the law unconstitutional and said, “the criminal law must not be used by the State to exercise control over a woman’s body.”

“As long as I am the elected District Attorney for the 20th Judicial District, I will not prosecute any woman who chooses to have a medical procedure to terminate a pregnancy or any medical doctor who performs this procedure at the request of their patient. Further, I will not prosecute or sanction an abortion provider who states, verbally and/or in writing disagreement with the disclosures required by the Legislature which are subject to this lawsuit,” Funk said in the filing.

The state’s abortion law – one of the nation’s most restrictive – focuses mainly on banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is about six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant.

However, also tucked in the 38-page law is a requirement that doctors must inform women that drug-induced abortions may be halted halfway. Medical groups say the claim isn’t backed up by science and there is little information about the reversal procedure’s safety.

Those who fail to comply with the law, which doesn’t go into effect until Oct. 1, will face a Class E felony, punishable by up to six years in prison.

In August, abortion rights groups sued in effort to prevent that requirement from being implemented. Funk and other district attorneys were named in the suit because they prosecute criminal cases.

Gov. Bill Lee has promised to do “whatever it takes in court” to defend the law.

The group Tennessee Right to Life responded to General Funk’s decision with the following statement:

“We are disappointed that General Funk is failing to uphold his elected duty to prosecute violations of the laws of Tennessee. Women deserve to know every option available to them and, if abortionists are violating the law by not informing their patients of the abortion pill reversal method, then district attorneys across the state should be ready and willing to enforce this law and prosecute those providers. After all, pro-choice should mean getting a choice in the first place.”

Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee executive director released the following statement:

“We are pleased that General Funk is exercising his discretion as a prosecutor and declining to prosecute abortion regulations. However, the attorney general, Governor Lee, state legislators and other officials continue to relentlessly attack abortion providers. The bottom line is that this unconstitutional law forces physicians to provide false and misleading information to their patients and it needs to be struck down.”

Helping to cover costs, driving the pregnant person to the appointment, and bringing them food and other comforts should be the minimum a partner offers to someone who chooses or needs an abortion.

Abortions can be an affirming act between two people on the same trajectory, communicating and caring for one another, especially when the partner centers the pregnant person’s experience and needs.

Tributes from abortion rights advocates are pouring in to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her long career fighting for reproductive rights and autonomy. Notably missing in those tributes have been the voices of cis men whose lives have been undoubtedly made better in part by Ginsburg’s advocacy—and it’s reflective of a larger problem.

Because it’s no secret: When it comes to abortion, the pregnant party worries about their health while the partner responsible for the pregnancy, usually a cis man, seems to be mysteriously absent from the conversation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women in their twenties accounted for the majority of abortions from 2007 to 2016. But no such data exists about the partners—mostly cis men—responsible for these terminated pregnancies. (Most doctors, after all, agree it’s impossible to get pregnant without the help of a sperm.)

So, what about the millennial men who have been involved in some of these abortions? They’re not just invisible specters behind the data points assigned to the women and nonbinary and trans people who get abortions. Or, at least, they shouldn’t be.

Still, most of the cis men I spoke with did not want to go on the record about their experiences with abortion.

“I’m embarrassed we were in that situation,” one said. Another said it wasn’t his story to tell. A few want children of their own and were sensitive about their partner having an abortion in the first place.

I spoke to one man who did not want his name shared; we’ll call him Jack. Three of Jack’s partners had abortions between 2012 and 2015. In 2012, Jack was 26 years old.

The first two partners didn’t tell him they were pregnant until after terminating their pregnancies through medication abortions, an early stage option. This isn’t uncommon, according to Jaime Coffino, a clinical psychologist at New York Anxiety Treatment Center and research fellow at New York University.

“Some pregnant women are afraid to tell their partners or other significant people in their life (e.g., family, friends, etc.) about having an abortion,” Coffino said. “Reasons for this include feeling like they are a burden, being scared of negative judgment, or being nervous that they would have to go into detail about their decision.”

Similarly, Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, an OB-GYN and abortion provider in Texas (as well as a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health), reiterated what should be a given: The decision to get an abortion is not one made lightly.

“When someone chooses to have an abortion or decides they need an abortion,” Moayedi said, it “is a moment in their life where they’re really taking stock of their life. They’re really taking an inventory of who they are, where they are, who they want to be, and where they want to go.”

This may be why relationships might end after an abortion or why the pregnant person might decide not to notify their partner: They don’t think that person can provide adequate support and care.

“It’s often a moment where people might be thinking about the relationships that they’re in [and] the person that they’re with,” Moayedi said. “And if they want to even be with that person or not.”

Coffino agrees, saying, “I’ve had patients who expressed that having an abortion is a very isolating experience. Some patients did not feel comfortable telling their friends or family about the abortion and only had their partner and therapist (me) to rely on for support. In these examples, it is particularly important for their partner to be supportive.”

The form of support varies depending on the needs of the individual. According to Moayedi, “Listening and creating an open space for listening and just hearing a pregnant person is critical for partners.” Just as different people have different ways of communicating, they also have different means of handling trauma—and an abortion can be a trauma for some.

“There are hormone fluctuations that occur both pre- and post-abortion that can affect mood,” Coffino said. “These hormonal shifts can cause sadness, anxiety, and even depression in some patients. There are also patients that experience grief associated with the abortion. It is important for a partner to be patient, communicate gently, and offer support.”

As for Jack and his last partner, he drove her to the clinic and paid for the abortion. Afterward, they got sandwiches and then ended the relationship. It may seem trivial, but Moayedi believes this type of support—helping to cover costs, driving the pregnant person to the appointment, and bringing them food and other comforts—should be the minimum a partner does, even if the future of the relationship isn’t viable.

Abortions don’t always result in the dissolution of a relationship. It can be an affirming act between two people on the same trajectory, communicating and caring for one another, especially when the partner centers the pregnant person’s experience and needs.

Sam, a woman from Brooklyn, New York, who only wanted to be identified by her first name, had an abortion in 2008 at age 21. She had known her partner for a while, but their relationship had just begun a month or two before.

“We were relying heavily on the pull-out method,” Sam said. “He also didn’t pressure me into doing anything—into getting an abortion. He was just like, ‘Whatever you want to do.’”

When it came time for the abortion, Sam opted for a medication abortion, believing it would be less invasive. Her partner stayed with her throughout the process.

“And he was really wonderful,” Sam said. “He took me to Planned Parenthood. Before that, we went to Two Boots pizza, right next door.” Their relationship continued for about six months. Their breakup had nothing to do with the pregnancy; in fact, the two remain friends nearly 13 years later.

“For some people, it really solidif[ies] their relationship,” Moayedi said. “People realize that they do deeply love the person they’re with. And that person is really showing up for them in that moment.”

Source: https://rewirenewsgroup.com/article/2020/09/25/unsure-about-supporting-your-partners-abortion-heres-how-you-can-help/

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump pay their respects to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she lies in repose at the Supreme Court. Cheryl Diaz Meyer for NPR

President Trump was met by shouts of “vote him out” and “honor her wish” as he paid his respects on Thursday to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her body is lying in repose for a second day at the Supreme Court.

Trump, wearing a black mask, was silent as he stood next to the flag-draped coffin at the top of the Supreme Court’s steps.

Demonstrators standing across the street from the court booed Trump as he emerged from the building and then began chanting at him to honor Ginsburg’s dying wish that she not be replaced “until a new president is installed.”


As with any other form of health care, the experiences of 20 people who have had medication abortions are unique to each person.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, or anyone else for that matter, cannot ignore the stories of those who have had medication abortions.
Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images

It should come as no surprise that in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic that has killed nearly 200,000 Americans and caused the financial ruin of countless more, Republican senators would continue to attack access to abortion care. It’s even less surprising that they’re hanging their attacks on outright lies.

On September 1, a group of 20 GOP senators, led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, signed a letter to the Food and Drug Administration asking the agency to ban medication abortion from public use. In the letter, the senators described Mifeprix—otherwise known as mifepristone, one of two medications used to terminate a pregnancy by blocking the pregnancy hormone progesterone then triggering contractions to expel the pregnancy from the body—as an “imminent hazard to the public health” that “poses a significant threat of danger.”

Studies have shown that medication abortion is not only extremely effective, but undeniably safe. It is certainly much safer than childbirth—in a country with the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed nation, a pregnant person in the United States is 14 times more likely to die in childbirth than due to an abortion complication. And it is certainly far from astonishing that even though the vast majority of Americans support legal access to abortion care—including 55 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of voters who supported Trump in 2016—anti-abortion Republicans are ignoring the will of the people in favor of their tireless pursuit of government-sanctioned forced birth.

Each experience, as with any other form of health care, was unique to the person having it. But they all have a few things in common: The people are thankful they had the ability to have their abortion at home, they knew it was the right decision, and they do not regret their choice to have a medication abortion when they wanted and needed it.

Here are their stories:

Natasha Lynn, 32, Chicago

It was 2017, and I was 28. I had been dating my partner for about half a year at that point. I made an appointment at Planned Parenthood to get an IUD, as I was terrified of what could happen to my reproductive rights as Trump was taking office. At every IUD appointment the nurse will do a pregnancy test as a requirement before the procedure. I don’t think I can express how utterly devastated and shocked I was when the nurse came back saying my test was positive. I immediately burst into tears, and the level of anxiety that came over me was unlike anything I had felt before. I had decided at a young age that I did not want children, and as things got more serious with the person I was dating at the time, he confided that he did not want them either.

I was six weeks along so I had only a short amount of time I could still get the medication abortion. Luckily, I have a very strong support group—my friends and my partner helped me quickly make the necessary appointments and get the funds together for the medication abortion. My mother, who has always been open and told me about the several abortions she has had to have in her life, and aunt drove me to the appointment.

I was given a pill to take in the office, and then an additional prescription to take the next day. I was given a list of precautions and things to watch for, but honestly I felt fine! I ordered pizza and went to see a horror movie with a close friend that evening. The second day I took the second pill, and my partner came over with a heating pad and what he thought would be helpful supplies. He sat with me through it all until I was tucked in to sleep.

Three years later and we are now married and very happily childless.

Phylicia Davis, 34, Nashville, Tennessee

I was 33, and I was five weeks along in my pregnancy. I had just moved to Nashville from the Bahamas because of Hurricane Dorian. I told the guy I was seeing that I was pregnant, and he told me he supported any decision I decided to make. I went online and found different places that offered low-cost to free abortion help. I went to the Hope Clinic [a crisis pregnancy center] first and they gave me a pregnancy test and ultrasound. Sadly they don’t offer abortions but abortion alternatives. So I went to Google again because I remember seeing the name of a place called Carafem. They had positive reviews and excellent customer service.

The appointment-making process was so simple and effortless. I went there on two separate occasions. The first appointment was to take a pregnancy test and discuss any questions and concerns I had about a medical abortion. I was very nervous about the process because I’ve only had a surgical abortion in the past.

The date of the second appointment came, and my anxiety level was sky-high. The guy who got me pregnant was there every step of the way with support. The doctor gave me a pill to take in the office and some pills to take at home. They gave me a care package with pain pills, a heating pad, and various other things. Everything I needed was in the package, including a Carafem journal to document my procedure at home. I left the appointment feeling anxious but calm because I knew this was what’s best at this point in our relationship. He took me home and told me to call if I needed anything.

I took the pills that night around 7; it took about two hours I think for it [to] start. I had to insert them vaginally. I also was in bed during the whole process. I felt some cramps and a little pressure. The pain, for me, was bearable. I went back to my Carafem journal to make sure my process was on track. I was lying in bed and I felt like I leaked through my pad so I went to check. And while checking is when the clots started to pass. It took a few hours for the big pieces to pass, but once they did, the pain was virtually gone.

The next morning, my pregnancy symptoms were virtually gone. I was able to make breakfast and tend to my children normally. My anxiety was gone—I felt confident that I followed through with my decision.

Alexandria, 28, Los Angeles

I was 25 when the rape took place. I still feel weird calling it “rape,” because at the time, I just knew I was very uncomfortable. I was scheduled to go into work at 8 a.m., but I totally thought I was supposed to be in at 5 a.m. Rather than sleep in my car (I thought that was scary because it was still dark), I texted a “good friend” and asked if I could sleep on his couch since he lived a few blocks away.

I was very tired and instantly fell asleep when I hit his couch. I remember falling deep into sleep and then being woken up by someone pulling my pants down. I said stop; I made it clear this wasn’t what I wanted.

It all gets pretty hazy from there. I think subconsciously that was my way of coping—just trying to forget. This friend is someone that I had sex with maybe twice prior to the incident, but both of us gave consent those other times. I think it’s important that I mention this: I had not given any consent to have sex, for him to touch me, for him to take off my clothes, nothing of that nature that day. I remember being so sleepy and pushing his hands away. I am only 5 feet tall—he is 6-foot-3. I was never scared he was going to kill me or anything, but that day I became paralyzed with fear and confusion. I couldn’t wrap my head around a “friend” doing this. It all just happened.

I remember saying, “Just let me know when you’re done.” I remember feeling uncomfortable and being in pain. I don’t know the correct terminology, but my walls were dry, and it felt like the inside of my vagina was being clawed apart.

I didn’t feel like a human, I felt like an object—especially after he came inside me. Again, no consent to do that either. I ran out so quickly and went to work as if nothing had happened. I didn’t want anyone to know or run the risk of someone telling me it’s not rape because we had had sex before. As soon as work was over, I went to buy a knock-off version of Plan B. I took this generic brand seven to nine hours after it happened.

Seven weeks later, I [found] out I was pregnant. By the time I found out, I had already turned 26 and had just been kicked off my parents’ insurance. I was scared that my paperwork that I submitted for new insurance would be denied. Luckily for me, it wasn’t. I went into Planned Parenthood and asked to have an abortion.

Everyone was very polite and made me feel comfortable. The sensitivity the staff had brought me to tears. It was every detail, from explaining the billing, to just walking in to make an appointment and coming back days later to go through with an abortion—everyone was beyond polite and nonjudgmental. The general atmosphere in the room, the nurses calling me mija (a term of endearment in my Mexican culture), the doctor using “English” instead of medical terminology that I probably wouldn’t understand—everything. My parents did not know at the time, so I was alone. I was scared walking in, but the staff took care of me.

I wanted to do a medication abortion because I wanted to be with my loved ones or at least in the comfort of my home. I wanted to be around my parents and feel safe, even if they didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t want to do surgery because I honestly couldn’t think of a lie to cover it up. I was also just terrified.

I had my abortion at home, in my living room with my two best friends. I felt safe. I felt like all the bad shit that happened to me couldn’t reach me. I never underestimate the power of human interactions. Leaving Planned Parenthood, going home to loved ones, I felt untouchable.

Taylor S., 34, St. Louis

I was 30 years old when I had my abortion. I took a pregnancy test at home in November, which came back positive, and scheduled an appointment at Planned Parenthood to confirm the pregnancy and discuss options. I was seven weeks along when I terminated my pregnancy by having a medication abortion. In the state of Missouri, there is the 72-hour mandatory waiting period between when you consent to having an abortion and the procedure.

It wasn’t a walk in the park: lots of cramping and bleeding, just like a really heavy, hard period. Luckily, the pain and anti-nausea meds they prescribed helped a lot. I basically spent the weekend in bed, but towards the end of it, felt fine. I didn’t experience any complications, pretty much went through what I expected to happen—and everything had been explained to me and from what I’d read about what would happen—happened. I feel so grateful to [have] had the option to have the medication abortion.

I think when it was all said and done, I felt a huge amount of relief, but also I think a part of me will always wonder if I did the right thing. I’m like 98 percent sure I did, there’s just that still little pesky 2 percent that wonders what my life would be like if I’d decided to have it. But [I’m] incredibly thankful that I had the choice, and that I made it on my own, without any interference from anyone, which is how it should be.


[PHOTO: Pro-choice activists rally for Planned Parenthood]

Michael Thomas/Getty Images

Melissa, 37, Chicago


I was 31 at the time, and I was six weeks along when I discovered the pregnancy, seven when I had the abortion. I was in a new relationship with a man I already knew was my person (we are now married!), but we were barely two months into our relationship when I got pregnant. Not only was I unsure at the time that I ever wanted to have kids, but I knew that this early in a new relationship, when I also wasn’t in the most financially secure place, it absolutely was not the right moment.

I was panicked, of course, when I discovered the pregnancy, but I never once wavered on the decision. And my partner’s support and cool, steadying hand was, to me, the first indication that we had the chops to make it through the hard stuff.

So, strangely enough, it ended up being a wonderful early test for us. Because I live in a major city, calling a clinic to schedule the procedure was incredibly easy, and I did not have to wait long to go in. The privilege of that is not lost on me, and neither is the fact that I had access to both the resources to pay for it and a supportive partner to hold my hand through the entire experience.

Michelle, 25, Albuquerque, New Mexico

I remember this time period in my life as clear as day. It was June 2017, and the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was sitting on my restroom bench in complete shock. Why the shock? Because I was on birth control and had taken Plan B. Although I had strived for A-pluses all my life, this plus sign, on this test, was not one I wanted to see. I was 21 years old and in nursing school. This was the absolute worst time to be pregnant, for me at least. I was also in an unstable, toxic, and difficult romantic relationship at the time, and I was scared.

After proving I was pregnant, my abortion was scheduled for July 17, 2017. I was eight weeks along. To this day, I still have the ultrasound photo with my little baby on it. I keep this photo on my nightstand and talk to the baby as if he or she can hear me. This might be creepy, but if you know me as a person, this would all make sense.

I was very impressed with Planned Parenthood—they did everything professionally during my appointment, and one of the most important aspects is [that] not one of the medical staff judged me. Having one of my friends with me also helped. This day was long and the night was even longer because of how much pain I was in, both mentally and physically. Since I had some regret shortly after (which is completely normal, by the way), I didn’t take the pain medication as they prescribed, so I experienced everything natural.

A whole year went by and I experienced a range of emotions. I thought about the baby every day, I thought about if I made the right decision, and I was so angry with [my partner at the time for] not being there for me during the most challenging times of my life. It still hurts me to think about the apology I never received from him, but it has been three years and I am finally able to wish good for him.

I want to say I truly do not regret my decision. I am grateful I had the ability to have an abortion in my own home, with privacy. Medication abortion allows you to feel every emotion in a space of your own and is less invasive than a surgical abortion. I knew this route was right for me, and I am lucky to have had this experience. My abortion has changed me in many ways—it has made me resilient, thankful, and stronger.

Anonymous, 33, New York

I was 25 [and] eight weeks along. I went to Planned Parenthood for care. I took the second pill at home.

The major takeaways I come back to are: The shock of taking a pregnancy test that is actually positive. Being grateful [that] the guy I was with and I were on the same page. [We] both weren’t ready to be parents, [and] both agreed it was ultimately my choice what to do. The amount of time I spent on the phone with my health insurance company gathering info. [It was] a lot of time [and I’m] unsure if this was necessary honestly, because Planned Parenthood offers so much financial support. But I didn’t have the money at the time to carry a heavy medical expense. The coverage was high and in my favor, [but I] can’t remember the percentage. The care I got at Planned Parenthood that day, and every day since, was outstanding: The nurses, doctors, people at the front desk were all extremely patient and informative and respectful. I felt really prepared and informed after I took the first pill there and got home.

I was living in Washington D.C., at the time and the center downtown was a magnet for anti-abortion protesters: You had to go through the gauntlet to get in and out, [and it’s] still one of the strangest experiences I have had. People were touching me and followed me—super intrusive. I had to wait some time to get an appointment, a few weeks I think, and it made me glad that I took action when I did. I was operating under this “hurry up” cloud because I didn’t want to miss the window of time where I still had control over my body.

Things started pretty quickly after taking the second pill. [The] pain lasted for an hour and then started to subside enough that I ended up napping. It hurt for sure, but it was manageable. No lasting or residual pain or discomfort. Bleeding afterward, but they told me that would happen and it was comparable to a medium period bleed.

Anonymous, 33, San Antonio

Last September, I was traveling for work when I realized my period was over a week late. When I returned home to San Antonio, I went straight to [grocery store] HEB and bought a pregnancy test. I tested positive and called my husband. We had been married six weeks, lived in different states because of our work, and had seen each other once since our wedding, which is when I got pregnant. I told him the news, and we promptly agreed that it was my decision, and we both knew that [by] having an abortion I’d be making the best choice for myself, my career, and our family. I was 32, and it was my first pregnancy.

My next call was to Planned Parenthood. I took the first appointment available, which was five days later. When the doctor examined me, they told me that I was six weeks and one day pregnant. I made a follow-up appointment for a medication abortion because I thought it would be less invasive than a surgical one. By Texas law, the doctor was not allowed to make a recommendation, which made me feel like I might be making the wrong choice. The doctor at Planned Parenthood was kind and patient. I’m in my 30s, I donate to Planned Parenthood, and I work in Democratic campaigns, and the entire process was so bizarre, even for me.

By Texas law, the patient is required to view the sonogram. After I agreed to a medication abortion, I was required to listen to a litany of unscientific warnings, some of which only apply to surgical abortion. The doctor did a great job explaining to me what was required by state law versus what was accepted medical information. I understand the politics around reproductive rights, but I cannot imagine how scared and confused I might [have been] if I were younger or had less exposure to the movement for reproductive justice. I had to schedule a second appointment to get the abortion pill. That visit was really quick and easy, and by that time my husband was in town and he went with me.

There were right-to-life protesters outside of the clinic both times, but the building felt very safe and secure. I filled my prescription at the CVS pharmacy near my house. It was a Friday, and I took the first pill then and the second on Saturday. We had breakfast tacos, I took the pill, and we hung out watching movies in bed. After a couple of hours, I felt cramping and started bleeding really heavily.

Leah Handley, Detroit

I found out I was pregnant on December 29, 2019, which was one day after my sister and father’s birthday. We had gone to the DIA [museum] the day before, and I knew something was wrong with my body because I was very nauseous and had extremely tender breasts. I took the pregnancy test the next day at my parents’ house, and it came back positive. I am in a three-year-long committed relationship with my partner, Louie, and we have no children and do not really plan on having them. I immediately called him and told him, and the next sentence out of my mouth was how I was on the Planned Parenthood website to schedule the abortion, as we had discussed we would do if we ever found ourselves in this situation.

Their earliest appointment was January 2, in Ann Arbor, which is about two hours away from my house. We spent New Year’s Eve with our friends, and I carried this secret with me for five days, with only Louie and my sister knowing. When I had my appointment, I found out I was between five and six weeks pregnant. They asked if I wanted to see the ultrasound, and I started to cry and said I didn’t know. I’m very grateful to the nurse at Planned Parenthood because she printed it out for me and put it in a sealed envelope. I have it in my jewelry box now. They also let me know that I had a benign tumor in my uterus that I would not have known about had I not gone there. It cost me about $500 out of pocket because I did not have any insurance at the time, though I don’t think it would have covered it anyway even if I did. Louie and I paid it together.

That day, they gave me the first pill, which ends the pregnancy. I cried harder than I ever have. I told the life inside of me that I was so sorry, and that I loved it so much, and that I would not have been able to give it the life it deserved and that I was doing this out of love. I swallowed the pill and went home. When I woke up the next day, my body knew I was no longer carrying a viable pregnancy. That was hard. Two days later, I drove to my boyfriend’s house and took the second set of pills there. My parents still do not know to this day.

The experience was traumatic. I know that I have a low pain tolerance, but I did not expect the level of pain I had in my wildest nightmares. The Motrin 800 did not work. I began to bleed and cramp about an hour after I inserted the pills vaginally, and was almost immediately in so much pain that I was throwing up and blacking out. I made Louie drive to the nearest urgent care, and it was closed when we got there. He then drove to the next one he found online, with me screaming and writhing in pain in the passenger’s seat.

I entered the urgent care and gave the front desk a pamphlet I was given at Planned Parenthood describing the medication I took, and was ushered back into a room. I was crying and telling the doctor (a young girl, about my age) that I was sorry and to please not judge me and to please just help me. I’m not religious, but this woman had to have been sent by the universe to me. I will be forever grateful for her kindness and her care. I told her I didn’t have insurance, I couldn’t afford anything. I just wanted the pain to stop. She charged me the absolute bare minimum she could, $100, and wrote me a prescription for a higher pain medication. She hugged me. I will never forget that she hugged me and told me that I would be OK. We filled my prescription at a CVS, and I took the pills in the car. The rest of the day is a blur to me of changing pads, fitful sleep, and pain.

But I am grateful that I was able to choose to do this, no matter how much it hurt me physically or emotionally. It was the right decision. I made this choice and went through this experience out of an overwhelming love for the cluster of cells that was inside of me, the cluster of cells I would not be able to provide with the life it deserved.

Kayla Ballenger, 26, Atlanta

I had my medication abortion in 2016, when I was 22 years old and in my last year at the University of North Georgia. I was fortunate enough to find out early on that I was pregnant and knew immediately that I needed to have an abortion. Even though I personally drove a good friend of mine to an abortion clinic in Atlanta when we were in high school, I still had little knowledge about what resources were available for me because growing up in the South, abortion was never an option talked about and is considered murder in my family.

There was a lot of fear put in me through propaganda in scripture and church, and I decided to seek services at Planned Parenthood because I knew they are well-known and knew I could trust them to take care of me. I actually had never even heard of a medication abortion until I called to make an appointment and the receptionist said I could have one if I turned out to be less than nine weeks along in gestation. I chose to go that route because I was scared of surgery and I knew I needed to be discrete between having a full-time school schedule, work, and my roommates having no knowledge that I was pregnant.

Taking the medication was simple, [but] the whole process beforehand was pretty traumatic. I sat for at least four hours in the office waiting while a preacher with a megaphone shouted across the parking lot praying that all of us inside would change our minds about our decisions. I was also forced to watch a video about the dangers of having an abortion, and the ultrasound technician used a condom on the wand when performing the ultrasound, which has made sex difficult for me now because of the mental correlation. It was convenient though, to be able to pass the pregnancy at home where I could curl up in my bed. I was so relieved the next morning because I was able to get up and go to class.

Unfortunately I ended up needing a blood transfusion and a D&C three months later after being told I had an incomplete miscarriage and seeking out help but doctors not taking me seriously until then. But I wouldn’t change anything. I was able to graduate and have a very successful career specializing in geospatial technology.

Robin Marty/Flickr

Marissa, 27, Los Angeles


I was 21 years old at the time and had been dating my boyfriend for a few years. I was off birth control because I had tried it before and didn’t like the side effects. I didn’t think I could get pregnant because that’s kind of the mindset of a lot of young girls that get pregnant their first time: “That wouldn’t happen to me.” Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky.

I was two weeks late getting my period and told my boyfriend about it. He drove me to Walgreens, where I took a pregnancy test in the bathroom. He waited in the car while I texted him from the bathroom. I sat in the stall waiting for the test to change colors or do anything. The symbol finally popped up, and I’m not sure if I read it wrong or I just didn’t want to believe it. The test looked as if it was blurring between a plus sign and negative sign. I texted him a photo and said maybe it’s wrong and it’s negative. He assured me that it was positive and I was probably pregnant. I felt sick to my stomach.

The following day I made an appointment at Planned Parenthood to get a second test. “You’re pregnant,” the woman told me. This time it was real. I asked her what my options were, and she told me I was lucky that I was early on and “caught it early” so I was able to take a single pill for the abortion. I was relieved that it was that simple.

They gave me the pill and told me it would just feel like a heavy period but [that] I wasn’t allowed to wear tampons like I normally do, pads only. I took the pill and went home and laid down and waited for something to happen. Throughout the following weeks I bled profusely. The lady wasn’t lying—it was a very heavy period. I went back for a checkup after a couple weeks, and they assured me that I was fine and the abortion was a success. They also gave me birth control and condoms.

I was extremely relieved the process was so easy and that the staff at Planned Parenthood made me feel so welcome and not judged or like a terrible person. I had great health insurance under my mother, however I was terrified of going to my regular doctor for fear of her finding out. From then on, I frequented Planned Parenthood for reproductive and preventative services because my mom is incredibly conservative and didn’t even know that I was having sex.

Planned Parenthood provided me everything and all services completely free of charge. I truly do not know what I would have done or where I would be without the access I had to Planned Parenthood and abortion services. At the time, I was living at my mom’s apartment and sharing a room with my sister. My boyfriend was living in a tiny two-bedroom apartment with his parents and three siblings. There was no way that we would have been able to support a child, let alone ourselves, at the time.

Since then, we broke up, I graduated college, found a great job in the field I studied, and moved to Los Angeles and have a wonderful career and lovely new partner. I probably would have had to drop out of college and would definitely not have the career and financial stability I have now. I sometimes reflect on that experience and think, “Wow, I could have a 6-year-old right now, and I would’ve been stuck with that guy forever and living at my mom’s.” I’m so thankful that is not my situation. I’ve now been on birth control for several years and am much more careful.

Melanie Corrales, 21, Oakland, California

I was 19 at the time [and] had just left my hometown for college [for] more opportunities for my future.

I met a guy my first week here at the job I started. He took me to meet his family over Thanksgiving and I had forgotten my birth control and that’s how I got pregnant. I had missed my period in December but was in denial about being pregnant, as I had risked my luck before and had gotten lucky. I went home for Christmas and the first thing my aunt, who pretty much raised me, asked was, “Are you pregnant?” I’m not sure how she knew, but since I still hadn’t gotten my period, I decided to take a pregnancy test and it was an immediate positive.

It was overwhelming because I have huge goals about being a midwife and making sure women of color are receiving proper reproductive care. My partner and I were definitely not in a place to have a child and we were both on the same page about that.

As soon as I found out, I immediately made an appointment online with Planned Parenthood for the day after I returned. My partner drove me and sat with me in the waiting room until it was my turn. I was called in, and my vitals were taken like any regular medical appointment. I never felt any judgement or shame at all throughout my experience. They brought me to my room and someone came and asked me a lot of questions, made sure this is what I wanted, and educated me on the process. They then did an internal ultrasound to see how far along I was and that it was a normal and single pregnancy. I was ten weeks along. She let me keep a picture of the ultrasound, which was special to me because I would’ve loved to have been able to keep the baby, but we were not in a place to care for a child.

After the exam, the nurse practitioner took me to her office and explained the whole procedure to me. I was to take some pills there with her, and in 24 hours, I was to take four more at home. She explained exactly what would happen, that I would feel cramping, maybe experience nausea and vomiting, and then bleeding. She sent me home with instructions with visuals and explained if I experienced anything abnormal, to come back. I paid absolutely nothing. About an hour later I did begin to feel nausea and threw up maybe once or twice, I don’t really remember.

The next day I took the next round of pills in my room with my partner and just stayed in bed. To be 100 percent honest I was prepared for the worst, and it was definitely not that bad. The cramping was like a period, and there was a lot of bleeding, but I was expecting a lot more. I was never a heavy bleeder, so I would classify the bleeding as just a very heavy period.

A few days later, while I was at work, the remains came out just like the nurse practitioner said it would. It literally looked like a huge clot—no face, no eyes, no arms and legs. I bled for, at most, a week. About a week or so later I went back for my follow-up. They made sure everything came out and were very pushy about me leaving there with birth control. At first I didn’t want it, but they were very insistent and I gave in (got the Nexplanon), which I am thankful for because although I had a pleasant experience, it was not something I would want to go through again.

I also want to mention that I am still with my partner and being able to choose what was right for us at that precise moment was such a privilege, and we are forever grateful we had the control of what was going to happen in our lives.

Amanda Kelly, 30, Charlotte, North Carolina

I was 28 years old when the pregnancy test I took was positive. It looked defective, so I peed on two more. I went to the store and bought more tests because the disbelief was that strong. I cried on my bathroom floor for a couple of hours.

I never wanted kids. I’m married, great job, and I was looking to buy a house. In much respect, I was ready as any adult could be, but it’s just not what I wanted. I found the number for an abortion clinic called A Preferred Women’s Health Center of Charlotte to see what my options were and the protocol to take. The pill was cheaper and seemed easier, so I went for it. Only after I had an entire plan did I inform my husband.

The clinic had a counselor call me a few days before the appointment. She provided general information about the abortion and other options I’m sure, but I was sick from my pregnancy and too overwhelmed to really remember the consultation. My appointment was at 9 a.m., but I arrived at 8:30 a.m. in the morning on December 1, 2017. As we drove up, I could see people dressed as old English carolers. I thought they looked so cute, and being unfamiliar with the area, I assumed there was a theater hall nearby. It turned out to be pro-life protesters. They were harmful and ruthless after their coy attempts to persuade didn’t work. Kind women with rainbow umbrellas escorted my husband and me into the building where other women were waiting.

Six of us were sent to a room where we waited for a couple of hours, during which time we began to share the story that brought us here. One was a 45-year-old woman who was done having kids, she was a nurse. Another had found out she was pregnant after being dumped by her ex, and since she already had a daughter she didn’t want to add to her situation. Another was 20 and attended a Catholic school, so she was terrified of them finding out. She was dating an older man who was well established in Charlotte and convinced her having a baby would be throwing [away] her life. Another was also young and in college. She had been dating a boy in secret because her family disapproved of him. She felt too young and wasn’t ready. The last woman had been seeing a man who turned out to have a whole secret family. Needless to say, she wanted to remove herself as much as possible from that drama.

They became my tribe, the only women in the world who understood how I felt. No one in my life could identify with my situation, and here I had five women who became my greatest blessing, my sisters.

I was the first to receive instructions, my abortion pill, and pain medicine—after 24 hours, take the pill, the medicine, and ride it out, basically. I turned to the women before I left. Hardly able to hide my emotion, I thanked them for their compassion and for their presence. Still to this day I think of them and wish nothing but happiness and love for them.

Deseree L., 31, Long Beach, California

My first abortion I was 28 and was finishing up my second year of graduate school. I had been feeling off, not at all like myself for a few weeks but could not place what was going on. My period was late, but I attributed it to being extremely stressed between working full-time, going to school full-time, and thinking about how I will be adding an internship to my already chaotic schedule in the next few months.

I decided on an impromptu solo trip to Portland during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend to get my mind off things. I remember becoming more and more concerned about my ever elusive period throughout the trip, but I had cramps on and off, so I thought it was only a matter of time. On the plane ride back to L.A. I had an epiphany of sorts and became 100 percent certain I was pregnant. My roommate picked me up from the airport and I had her drive me to the nearest Rite-Aid so I could purchase a pregnancy test. As soon as I got home I took the test and got a positive result.

I cried and cried. I cried because I was angry. I do not want children, I had been careful, and I had this ridiculous notion of “this isn’t supposed to happen to me.” I don’t know what made me think I was so special—things happen all the time, and it just so happened that this time it was happening to me. There was no doubt or second guesses about what I would do next: I started seeking out abortion options.

I called the first place that came to mind, Planned Parenthood. I called to make an appointment for the next day, but the only available appointment within 24 hours was in San Diego, which was ridiculously far from me. I opted for the next available appointment in the greater L.A. area, which was in about three to four days. I was so miserable, sick, and anxious while waiting for the day of my appointment.

I called my mom the day before my appointment to let her know what was going on and to applaud her for having three children because I was absolutely miserable. She was supportive and even considered getting on a plane to be here for me, but I told her to stop being dramatic and I would let her know when it was all over.

I went to my appointment alone. I had a vaginal ultrasound done; I was about nine weeks along, which was absolutely insane to me as I had only started to feel weird/off about two weeks prior. They asked me if I wanted to see the ultrasound or get a copy of it; I said no. They were not great with that because I totally saw the monitor from where I was lying. I was still in time to have a medication abortion, so I opted for that option because at the time the thought of a D&C seemed terrifying to me. I’ve taken Plan B before, what was the difference, right? (Disclaimer: It’s very different, y’all!)

After the pregnancy confirmation and discussion of my abortion options, they gave me antibiotics and mifepristone, which I took at the clinic. I was then provided with a prescription for ibuprofen and given a small envelope containing four misoprostol pills, which I was to take 24 hours later by placing them on my gums and allowing them to dissolve. Before I left, I was also given a bunch of informational documents and a follow-up appointment a week later.

To my dismay I found myself in a similar situation a year and a half later. I was a month away from turning 30, I had finished graduate school, and I still did not want children. I still don’t.

This time I realized much sooner and did not panic. I went through my insurance provider and was linked to a local clinic. The second time I was about four weeks along and opted for the medication abortion again. This time the process went much smoother, was a lot less painful, and was over much quicker. At the follow-up appointment for my second abortion I opted for an IUD, since condoms and birth control pills were doing me no favors.


[Photo: Person holding glass of water and pill in hand.


Alli Reyes, 23, Denver


When I had my medical abortion I was 19 years old, unemployed, and going to school. I had it at around seven weeks along in the pregnancy. I had gotten pregnant by an emotionally abusive boyfriend that I had finally cut ties with just days earlier. Unfortunately/fortunately for me, I became aware of my pregnancy before even having missed a period as a friend had left a drugstore pregnancy test at my apartment, and never having needed to use one, did it solely for the experience of “peeing on the stick.” Shocked, I immediately went to my local Planned Parenthood to get a real test done, knowing already that if it was true I would plan to get an abortion.

After a month and change of struggling with my abuser attempting to guilt me into keeping [the pregnancy and] holding the money over my head, I eventually relented and told my mother, who was an amazing and nonjudgmental support for me throughout the process. I got everything scheduled/done through Planned Parenthood, and had the actual abortion safely at home.

I have always loved Planned Parenthood for their dedication to providing access to sexual health care to anyone who needs it, but after my experience, I credit them with quite literally saving my life in a way.

I have never felt an ounce of guilt for my decision, aside from the societally induced shame in speaking [about] it openly. I am incredibly grateful to have had the support and resources to have had access to it, and have quite a feisty fire in my heart to support others who share my experience, regardless of the circumstances of their unique situation, as well as anyone who currently finds themselves at that crossroads, and those who will at some point down their timeline. I have so much love and admiration for them all, whoever and wherever they are, because it is one hell of a shared human experience.

Taryn Swopes, 30, El Paso, Texas

The first time, I was 18 when I found out I was seven weeks along. I had just graduated high school and was getting ready to start my undergrad for civil engineering. My boyfriend at the time was getting ready to go off to the Air Force and get stationed who-knows-where. I made the decision not to risk the distraction in achieving my undergrad while doing it alone (it was a young relationship [and I] didn’t know if he would stick around). I went to a local women’s reproductive facility to fill out/pay for it and had to wait the 72 hours to actually receive the pill set, which was nerve-wracking. I was sure I wanted to go through with it, and waiting only made my partner more unsure. I took the pills at my house that weekend and spent the weekend alone.

The second time, I was 23 [and] also seven weeks along and was about to graduate college this time. My longer-term boyfriend, who would become my husband a year later and my ex-husband a year or so after that, took me to the same clinic to get the pill set. Same 72-hour waiting period, but I was older and knew what to expect, so it was just inconvenient more than anything. I had the abortion at my house, alone again, but this time because I was sure I wanted to go through the experience alone. I slept it off and got back to my normal studies by the following Monday.

The experience to get the pills was frustrating because there were protesters outside, and the process requires you go once to apply and pay and then once more to receive the pills. Even though I was confident in my decision, it was uncomfortable to have strangers yell at you. This clinic also took care of other reproductive needs for women, so I can’t imagine how difficult it was for those women to walk into that clinic getting yelled at for something they actually had no relation to.

However, it is so much more private and time-convenient than in a hospital. I was able to have both of mine basically in secret. The actual feeling of the medication abortion was physically uncomfortable. It was the most intense set of cramps I’ve ever had. I thought I would pass out the first time to be honest. However, I would take that pain and privacy over a surgical abortion any day. It allowed me to go through the process privately (for better or worse). It was so helpful when I was younger because I myself didn’t know how I felt about it or how others would perceive my decision.

Looking back and forward, I don’t regret either and am glad I made the best choice for myself in both instances. It brings me comfort to know it is an option available to women who are unsure that they want a family, can’t commit to one at the moment, or simply don’t want that for their life track. Knowing my own personality and habits, I made the best decision for me, and having a clinic in my city that offered medication abortions helped provide me the access to the type of journey I wanted to take personally and for my care.

Anonymous, 29, Pasadena, California

I have had two medication abortions. The first was when I was 24 years old and I was seven weeks pregnant. I had been dating the father for a little under a year and wasn’t sure I was ready to have a child with him. I had a surgical abortion a few years prior and knew that I didn’t want to go through that again. My significant other had taken me to the clinic as he supported me in my choice to terminate the pregnancy. He was not excited that I wanted an abortion, but he was fully supportive of my decision. I took the pill used to terminate the pregnancy at the clinic and returned back to his house afterwards. It was the weekend of the Fourth of July and I had spent the whole day in bed and in pain.

The second time I had a medication abortion was when I was 27, just a year after having my first son. I was not ready for another child, so my significant other and I decided together to have another abortion. This time I was apprehensive of going through with it, as I felt that maybe we could make it work. Mind you, my significant other was the same man I had the previous abortion with and the father to my son. He had been incredibly supportive and understanding of our situation, but he brought up many logical reasons as to why we could not go through with this pregnancy and I agreed. Again, he took me to the nearby clinic and I took the pill there. He brought me back home and I recovered in our own bed.

Ashley Romans, 36, Colorado Springs, Colorado

When I was 34 years old I found out I was pregnant. I had just started medicine for an autoimmune disease I have been dealing with for 14 years. I knew my body could not go through being pregnant again, and I couldn’t care for a baby on top of my two other children. My husband went through our insurance company to find the most affordable option for having an abortion. Our local Planned Parenthood offers both surgical and medical. I was six weeks along by the time I had found out I was pregnant. I would have been 13 weeks by the time I could have made an appointment for a surgical [abortion]. Because they were booked so far out, on top of the tremendous cost difference, l choose a medical abortion instead of surgical.

I am glad I did it that way, though. I was home. My sister was able to come to stay with my kids so my husband could be with me at Planned Parenthood for the appointment to get the first medicine and stay the next couple of days to help keep the kids busy.

I remember being scared because by the time I was able to get that appointment, I was almost ten weeks and I thought I’d end up having to go back in case something went wrong. The Planned Parenthood staff was amazing and gave me so much information and listened to me, so after my nerves calmed down I was glad to be going through the process at home. I was able to think and be comfortable in my own bed. Even though there was a lot of getting up and down to the bathroom, it was OK because I was with my family and able to change clothes or move if I was able. I was glad to be able to be home and go over my choice in my own way. It made me so thankful to be able to choose, even though it meant not adding to my family.

I would choose the same option again. I was able to wait until the kids were in bed to go through the first hours, which were the most painful. I was able to watch whatever I wanted or try to sleep. Once it was over, I felt and still do feel relief and peace with the process.

Michelle V., 32, San Francisco

I was in my second semester in college when I found out that I was pregnant. I took two at-home pregnancy tests, then made an appointment with New Generation Health Clinic to figure out my options. I was six weeks in and had just missed my period, even though I was on birth control pills. I had to find a way to deal with this pregnancy with the support of my high school boyfriend and the free programs San Francisco offered. As a desperate and clinically depressed young woman, I knew that I was not ready to be a mother. As a teenager, I was not ready to be a parent.

I took my first round of the medication at home. I had already been feeling under the weather, but shortly after taking the pills, I became very nauseous and threw up. Unfortunately, this meant that not enough medication had gone into my system, so the abortion process started but I was not sure if it had finished. The second round was also taken at home, and that one ended up doing what it was intended to do. I broke down and cried in the bathroom, with the support of my boyfriend.

The whole process was emotionally draining. I chose medicine over the in-office procedure because I thought it would be more secretive and I would be more in control. I felt like it would be more comfortable at home, and I ended up being about to let out the emotions that I was being overwhelmed by.

Anonymous, 30, Puerto Rico

My medication abortion happened when I was 29 years old. I was six weeks pregnant, and I had no idea. The pregnancy test that I took never came [back] positive or negative, so I got a blood test, and that’s when I found out I was pregnant. My symptoms were very light, only my breast felt tender, and I was very sleepy. I never thought I was that far along.

My pregnancy also happened [at] the beginning of COVID-19. Puerto Rico had at the moment the strictest lockdown. I could only go out certain days of the week and for emergencies. The clinics [were] only open three hours Monday through Friday. My parents had no idea that I was pregnant, so I scheduled my appointments for the days I went out for groceries—since the lines were so long, I had a good excuse about my timeline.

I was given the pills at the Planned Parenthood office of Santa Rosa, Bayamón. The staff over there is amazing, the most caring and sweet nurses. They treat you like family. I’m so glad I had them for support. I ended up buying them a box of Krispy Kreme during my many visits.

The doctor gave me a pill at the office and said to take four other pills under my tongue in 24 to 48 hours. I locked myself in the bathroom in my parents’ house and did what I was told. I got extremely nauseous after 15 minutes, and unfortunately I threw up some of the pills. They still did their job—they [stopped] the pregnancy. I started feeling horrible cramps for two hours, and the next day I was bleeding like crazy. I spent two weeks bleeding but no cramps—it was very similar to a heavy period. I had to wear the Always maxi pads and I would change them in three to four hours because I was bleeding that bad.

After two weeks, I had to visit Planned Parenthood again. The doctor told me that the pills [stopped] the pregnancy, but that I still had all of the tissue inside of me and my hemoglobin levels were too low and I was probably having internal bleeding for the last two weeks. He decided to do the [procedural] abortion after that.

I paid initially for the whole pill process: $300. That cover[ed] the [procedural] abortion as well. I only paid $40 for my follow-up visit that day. The doctor put local anesthesia and the process was about five minutes; it was a bit painful and uncomfortable, but it stop[ped] my internal bleeding almost immediately. The nurse was so caring and sweet because I was alone during all of this process. She would caress my hair, ask me very gently to stop crying, and she even help[ed] me clean up. After that I got two pills for the pain and had to sit on a couch. My [blood] pressure got very low and I almost fainted, [but] again the nurse was there to take care of me. After an hour of being stable, they let me go.

I hope this helps other women in this situation, and during COVID. It’s extremely sad and difficult to do this process alone, but they will feel a great relief after getting it done, especially with everything going on in the world. I couldn’t imagine myself with a baby due in a few months, living with my parents, having no job due to COVID and the “baby daddy” being the most disgusting human being that ever came to this world. I’m glad I have options for a safe and legal abortion in this little island.

Source: https://rewirenewsgroup.com/article/2020/09/24/meet-the-abortion-patients-calling-out-ted-cruz-on-his-abortion-lies/?fbclid=IwAR0M60Kv53l0FLj5rhJBGJil_D4zBBbsZvzLgtVoTLMTj3NT6JgvFt1EEv8

“The fate of our rights, our freedoms, our health care, our bodies, our lives, and our country depend on what happens over the coming months.”

Reproductive rights advocates mourned the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, and promised to honor her by continuing the fight for safe, legal and accessible abortion care.

“Justice Ginsburg committed her life to protecting the rights, freedoms, and health of women, men, and people across the country … Tonight we honor that legacy, but tomorrow, we’re going to need to get to work to preserve the ideals she spent her life’s work defending,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement Friday. “Because this is not an understatement: The fate of our rights, our freedoms, our health care, our bodies, our lives, and our country depend on what happens over the coming months.”

Ilyse Hogue, president of the group NARAL Pro-Choice America, told HuffPost that her organization also plans to honor Ginsburg’s legacy by continuing to fight for everything she believed in.

“We must fight like hell to prevent Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, and Senate Republicans from stealing yet another Supreme Court seat,” Hogue said. “They have been chomping at the bit waiting for this moment, and their end goal ― to end the legal right to abortion in this country ― flies in the face of the values of a vast majority of Americans: that politicians have no place in personal decisions about pregnancy.”

With Ginsburg’s death, the country is almost certainly staring down a national referendum on the landmark Roe v. Wade case. The Roberts Court has avoided major decisions on abortion rights, but many analysts believe the conservative majority has been prepping for a more dramatic reversal of a woman’s right to choose. Replacing Ginsburg with a conservative justice would leave supporters of abortion rights badly outnumbered on the high court.

Just hours after news of Ginsburg’s death broke, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced he would move forward with filling the late justice’s seat before the presidential election in November, despite resistance from the left.

McGill Johnson said it would be “an absolute slap in the face” to millions of Americans if McConnell and the Trump administration replaced Ginsburg with a nominee who would “undo her life’s work and take away the rights and freedoms for which she fought so hard.”

Tonight we honor that legacy, but tomorrow, we’re going to need to get to work to preserve the ideals she spent her life’s work defending.Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Many reproductive rights advocates reacted to Ginsburg’s death with stark assessments of the stakes for millions of women.

The country knew that the Trump administration would do everything in its power to turn the balance of the Supreme Court firmly against abortion rights, said Destiny Lopez, co-director of the pro-choice organization All* Above All. Now, she said, we’re seeing the full consequences of an anti-choice administration.

“We frankly face the threat of abortion care being dismantled even more aggressively and systemically, and I think there’s a real threat now of women and their health care providers being arrested and sent to jail,” Lopez told HuffPost. “Their agenda is clear now, and it is to outlaw abortion in this country. This is the signal that abortion care could really become unavailable in our lifetime.”

Monica Simpson, the executive director of SisterSong, a reproductive justice organization working to amplify the voices of indigenous women and women of color, said she’s tired ― tired of the multilayered assault on civil rights that 2020 has brought, and tired of the onslaught of attacks on abortion care. She’s trying to be optimistic, she said, but she has little faith in the systems in place meant to correct these issues.

Ginsburg “was a voice for us in the highest court in the land,” Simpson told HuffPost. “The court that has ruled on two abortion cases in the past four years, with more surely in the pipeline. The court where men like Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas sit ― men who have blatantly condemned abortion. A court that now has an empty seat that could be filled by a president who is responsible for almost 200,000 people dying of COVID-19 because he puts himself before the lives of others.”

But Robin Marty, a former reporter and current communications director for the Yellowhammer Fund, a group advocating reproductive justice in the South, said she hopes there will be a silver lining to Ginsburg’s death.

“Antonin Scalia’s death was the catalyst that drove Christian conservatives to the polls in 2016 and nabbed Trump his surprise Electoral College win,” Marty told HuffPost. “The odds were that even had she stayed on the bench into 2021 and was replaced by another progressive, there were still enough votes to overturn Roe.”

“With Ginsburg’s death, I’m hopeful that maybe this will galvanize progressives in the same way,” she added. “I can’t help but feel like if it does, that’s a legacy that would make her proud.”

Source: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/abortion-rights-groups-ruth-bader-ginsburg-death_n_5f657222c5b6b9795b10bd0c?fbclid=IwAR0bNahO0hBEjoOsKqdpUTO6f0AiP4dBw32Y4knplZX0y-CBNZSmDDJRXl4

None of the five possible choices to join the Supreme Court are good.

Barbara Lagoa is one of the frontrunners to take Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Only one day after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Donald Trump announced that a “woman would be in first place” to replace her and that the “choice of a woman I would say would certainly be appropriate.”

Here are five possible choices—none of them are good.

Amy Coney Barrett

Amy Coney Barrett was a finalist for the Supreme Court seat that went to Brett Kavanaugh. Coney Barrett never practiced law; instead she taught at Notre Dame Law School for 15 years before Trump named her to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. She clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and thinks a legal career is “but a means to an end … and that end is building the Kingdom of God.”

Barrett has belonged to anti-choice faculty and church groups, and she believes abortion is “always immoral.” In short, though she has said she’d respect precedent, she’s willing to radically undermine abortion rights.

Allison Jones Rushing

Allison Jones Rushing ascended to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals at just 37 years old. If named to the Supreme Court, it’s conceivable she could serve nearly 50 years. Like Coney Barrett, she’s inexperienced, having tried only four cases to verdict or judgment, and none of those as the lead attorney. Her real qualifications are ideological. She interned for the anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice Alliance Defending Freedom and thinks the Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, which undid the Defense of Marriage Act, was wrongly decided.

Like Coney Barrett, Rushing is terrible on reproductive health issues, having voted to bar Title X funds from going to health-care organizations that perform abortions or provide abortion referrals.

Allison Eid

Allison Eid replaced Justice Neil Gorsuch on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals after serving on the Colorado Supreme Court. Her record reflects a long history of pushing conservative causes. While in Colorado, she argued in favor of tax dollars financing religious schools and would have exempted religious entities that receive state tax dollars from paying taxes. Since joining the Tenth Circuit, she blocked an excessive force lawsuit against a police officer who shot an unarmed man while he was running away from gunfire.

If Eid joins the Supreme Court, she would be a reliably partisan vote.

Sarah Pitlyk

Sarah Pitlyk, who sits on the U.S. District Court in St. Louis, was rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association because she has never tried a case, examined a witness, taken a deposition, or argued a motion. Rather, Pitlyk has spent most of her time working to undermine reproductive health rights. She helped write an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, calling abortion “intrinsically immoral.”

Pitlyk helped defend David Daleiden, who illegally recorded videos of Planned Parenthood employees as part of a lengthy smear campaign. Her anti-abortion activism is also deeply racist, with a focus on race-selective abortion bans that trade on the stereotype that abortion clinics target women of color.

Barbara Lagoa

Barbara Lagoa was appointed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019 after spending over a decade in the Florida state courts. Like all of Trump’s picks, she’s a member of the Federalist Society. During her time on the Florida courts, Lagoa, a Cuban American, racked up a lengthy record of siding with employers against employees, banks against borrowers, and the rich against the poor. She took that attitude to the 11th Circuit, where earlier this month she joined the majority in upholding Florida’s modern-day poll tax, which bans those who have completed their felony sentences from voting if they still owe fines or costs.

Source: https://rewire.news/article/2020/09/21/meet-the-five-trump-judges-who-could-replace-ruth-bader-ginsburg/?fbclid=IwAR2vs_NWYSKIJUDK12RCIbBSaE7JICdpn7XRydG9Bz0D8Ziq2pt7xAgNbMw