Hard to Believe It's Only Tuesday: Abortion Access Chaos
Here's what happened in abortion news + takes this week.
Here’s another edition of Hard to Believe It’s Only Tuesday, a weekly roundup of the top headlines, tweets, takes, and more in abortion news. This issue is jam-packed with content in the wake of last week’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
The big takeaway: abortion access is in flux day-by-day, sometimes minute-by-minute, in geographies where trigger bans and other abortion restrictions are being challenged in the courts, creating chaos for providers and patients.
The Top Headlines
A number of state/lower courts have blocked abortion bans and restrictions, including some trigger bans, since last week’s ruling in Dobbs. It’s not clear how many of these blocks will remain in place or for how long, and the uncertainty of access to care wreaks havoc on the lives of patients, providers, and clinic staff.
“Facebook and Instagram remove posts offering abortion pills to women facing lack of access” (AP) — An AP reporter’s Facebook post offering to ship abortion pills was immediately removed by the platform, while the platform left up almost-identical posts offering to ship guns or marijuana.
“34 Senate Democrats urge Biden to take action on abortion” (NYT) and “Biden official vows action on abortion following ‘despicable’ ruling” (WaPo) — Definitely holding my breath on this, 100000% certain it will pay off!
“‘This is not over’: Biden tries to galvanize voters after abortion ruling” — (NYT) The most powerful man on earth would love to protect your right to abortion, just as soon as you vote hard about it!
“Pence: ‘We must not rest’ until abortion is outlawed in every state” (Politico) — Speaking of political promises that are actually likely to pay off 😬
“Advocates in the 13 trigger law states refuse to give up post-Roe” (NPR) — Everything is a misery and being resilient is exhausting, but some slices of hope here.
“In Texas, state-funded crisis pregnancy centers gave medical misinformation to NBC News producers seeking counseling” (NBC News) — Taxpayer funding for anti-abortion groups — religious-based crisis pregnancy centers that exist to dissuade people from getting abortions — has been on the rise for years, with the AP estimating that $89 million was doled out in the latest fiscal year alone.
“Adolescents faced obstacles getting abortions. The Supreme Court just made it harder” (NPR) — Un-fun fact: one of the first ways the anti-abortion movement (with plenty of help from “pro-choice” politicians who thought it politically palatable) made successful inroads into curbing abortion access was by going after young people’s access to abortion.
“In states that allow abortion for rape and incest, finding a doctor may prove impossible” (Politico) — It’s almost like the point is to terrorize patients and providers into allowing the government to force people to stay pregnant against their will no matter what.
“Majority of Americans think Supreme Court overturning Roe was more about politics than law” (PBS) — And more from a new poll from PBS/NPR.
Finding these abortion news roundups useful? Subscribe to Get Hard To Believe It’s Only Tuesday in your inbox every week:
Sociologist and repro demographer Amanda Stevenson of UC Boulder tweets a thread introducing her latest work looking at rising maternal mortality rates in the absence of abortion access. It is most sobering: “We estimate that ending abortion in the US would lead to a 24% increase overall in maternal death just because abortion is so much safer than staying pregnant. The estimated increase for non-Hispanic Black people is even higher: a 39% in the number of maternal deaths.”
Abortion storytelling org We Testify’s founder/ED Renee Bracey Sherman tweets about the challenges she faced getting the repro movement to take abortion storytelling seriously: “Creating a cultural movement of abortion storytelling didn’t happen by chance. It was work. It was long nights and tears. It was lots of calls with orgs to hold them accountable for how they treated us. It was arguments with “allies” who just don’t listen to leaders of color.”
The National Network of Abortion Funds tweets a thread on how you can support them today — and how to keep their lines of communication open for folks who need abortion.
We Testify re-ups their useful, clear, and timely comic on self-managed abortion using medication.
Legal expert David Cohen tweets a thread on efforts abortion-friendlier geographies have been making to protect access.
West Alabama Women’s Center’s Robin Marty tweets a thread on how the tumult of abortion rulings causes chaos for patients and providers: “When the legality of abortion in a state changes day by day and week by week, it can be VERY difficult to translate that into actual appointments for patients. If you are a clinic with a staff doctor and/or full time staff it’s a logistical nightmare.”
Journalist Melissa Gira Grant connects the dots (again) between anti-trafficking and anti-abortion organizing.
Journalist Tina Vasquez points out — again — that the barriers to abortion care now faced by pregnant people across the country have been in place for undocumented folks for a long time.This has been the reality of undocumented women in the U.S. for years. Undocumented women in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley face Border Patrol checkpoints and risk deportation if they travel for abortion care. https://t.co/25gRTZzOtN
Wendy is PRO CHOICEⓂ️Ⓜ️ #MeidasMighty OG @Meidas_WendyThey want checkpoints at state borders for women in America
Texas-based abortion provider Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi in Mother Jones: “Even prior to SB 8 abortion restrictions, Texas required us to delay care in accordance with the mandated 24-hour period, the proper state-mandated consent, state mandated-propaganda, the requirement that the same provider performs the ultrasound and the abortion, minor consent laws—all of those things have worked to delay lifesaving interventions for pregnant people. The law makes it seem like medicine can be objective. The reality is that medicine is not a science at all, right? No person’s body is an algorithm that follows a direct course. Medicine is an art that is informed by science. We have patterns that we understand through observation and experimentation, but still, people are not machines. Each body is unique.”
Rebecca Traister in New York on the reproductive rights movement’s historic failure to embrace abortion storytelling (see the Tweets section for more): “This isn’t just some soft, sad problem of experiences unshared. It’s been a serious tactical error. The comparative absence of mainstream storytelling about what abortion was like under Roe — not only about the many kinds of abortions that took place but also about the ones that were impeded by the Hyde Amendment and restrictive laws at the state level — left millions unaware how incomplete Roe had been, and how effective the encroaching anti-abortion forces on the right had become at eroding it.”
The Fuck are We Supposed to Do About It?
Texas: sign and share Avow Texas’ petition demanding county district attorneys pledge not to prosecute people for providing abortions, or because of a pregnancy outcome.
For lawyers: National Advocates for Pregnant Women is hosting a CLE webinar on pregnancy criminalization and the law on July 20th.
From your wallet: Donate to support abortion funds; this link distributes your donation to 90+ funds around the country.
From your wallet: Donate to support independent abortion providers.
Anywhere: Buy one of @PrisonCulture’s shirts supporting the West Alabama Women’s Center.
Anywhere: Request a copy of Rosie’s Zine to learn more about Rosie Jimenez, the Texan, college student, and single mom who died in 1977 after having an unsafe abortion when she wasn’t able to afford clinical care thanks to bans on abortion coverage. The zine supports efforts to expand insurance coverage for abortion care.
Anywhere: The Third Wave Fund is taking applications until July 5th for their Mobilize Power Fund, “a rapid response fund that resources gender justice organizations to adapt or pivot their work when met with unanticipated, time-sensitive threats or opportunities in their movement building work and organizing conditions.”
Texas: Join the Texas Abortion Hype Squad
That’s all for this week. I’m sure I’ve missed something you’d like to see featured in this roundup, for I am but one woman with a computer and an abortion-news-induced drinking problem. Holler at me — email@example.com, or DM me on Twitter, and I’ll try to add follow-ups as I’m able.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to stay updated on the latest abortion news and action items: