FM: Abortion Updates
23 June 2022
This week felt heavier than last week. We all know we every day is one closer to some truly scary times, but each day until then is still a day when people can get their abortions, folks who work in abortion care still have jobs, and advocates and legal systems can prepare for what’s to come.
I just finished reading the book “Scarlet A,” and I highly recommend it for everyone. Even if you find yourself well-versed on common narratives and counterarguments, legal scholar and bioethicist Katie Watson offers brilliant and accessible language to engage in discussion with everyday people as well as professional colleagues in the legal and health professions. In this twitter thread I offer some of my favorite quotes from the text, if you’re looking for a quick guide:
Now on to the latest.
Where to donate TODAY:
Morgan Nuzzo, CNM is one of the few midwives who is trained in and provides all-trimester abortions. She is partnering with physician Diane Horvath to open a clinic in Maryland called Partners in Abortion Care that will serve countless surrounding states as well as support the national need for abortion once Roe is overturned. They need funds NOW to get to renovating the space and opening the clinic ASAP, and they will likely begin seeing patients this fall. You may have read about their work recently, whether in their feature in Time entitled, “New Abortion Clinics Are Opening Near Borders and Airports to Stretch Access as Far as It Will Go,” or in The Washington Post where Morgan wrote an op-ed entitled “Why we are opening a new abortion clinic in Maryland,” or featured in an article in FiveThirtyEight entitled “What It’s Like To Open An Abortion Clinic Right Now,”
More about the team you’re funding:
They were successful in raising $250k in start-up costs, and have increased their fundraising goal to now focus on (1) hiring staff, (2) purchasing supplies and medical equipment, and (3) reducing patient fees.
From their page:
When people are able to access abortion care with dignity, in a safe and supportive environment, they thrive – leading to healthier families and stronger communities.
Abortion access is under attack, but people still need care
In June, the Supreme Court of the United States is expected to announce a decision that will radically change abortion access. At minimum, states will be able to ban abortion as early as 15 weeks of pregnancy. At worst, as many as 26 states are likely to ban abortion entirely.
Independent clinics, who are unaffiliated with Planned Parenthood, make up the majority of clinics providing abortion care after 15 weeks in the US.
These “indie clinics” have been closing at an alarming rate. Over the last few years, 74% of the clinics that closed provided care after the first trimester—care that millions of people in the country are about to lose access to in their home states. This is critical healthcare, but it depends on a specialized infrastructure that is crumbling.
What can be done?
We need clinics in friendly places that can both serve their communities and be a safe harbor for abortion seekers who need to travel from hostile states across the country.
We need independent clinics that are:
- Near major transportation hubs
- Ready to work closely with abortion funds and practical support organizations
- Willing and able to provide safe, patient-centered abortion care to everyone who needs it
And that’s why we’re opening a new clinic in Maryland, one of the southernmost states where abortion access will be protected. This means we’ll be able to serve patients from the Southeast, where care will largely be unavailable. Existing clinics in the mid-Atlantic region already have a five-week waiting period, and demand is growing.
Why us? We are an OB/GYN and a certified nurse-midwife with more than two decades of abortion care experience between us. We have dedicated our careers to ensuring people in need have access to the best care possible. We are excited and ready to open the only women-owned and operated, all-trimester abortion clinic in the United States.
First, from the FiveThirtyEight article I mentioned above, see a visual representation about why opening a clinic is both hard and important:
Next, clinic appointments are being affected right the fuck now, even though abortion is still a constitutional right in anticipation of that ending at any moment. Read this Jezebel piece, “Abortion Clinics Have Already Stopped Scheduling Appointments in Multiple States,” which opens by saying “South Dakota’s only abortion clinic performed its last abortion on Monday.”
Finally, follow ReproJobs for attention to the abortion care workforce, many of whom will soon face unemployment, read this article by Garnet Henderson entitled “Who will protect abortion providers?” about the extreme violence to come for abortion providers and the lack of protection in place for this essential scope of work, and plan to attend an online and/or in-person Stop The Bleed training - East Tennessee Harm Reduction is offering an online program for free if you reach out to them @ email@example.com.
Swag to support:
The Missouri Abortion Fund merch is freaking fantastic. My dear friend Mary gifted me the shirt “fund abortion not police” which is still available. I’ve just purchased “Abortion is a moral good” to wear when I’m at Hope Clinic in July for a training and then again later this year on campus at Saint Louis University this fall. Love their merch, support their work, and donate directly to the Missouri Abortion Fund here.
Not the clearest picture, but here’s me standing in front of a bullshit “pride CPD car” (#keepcopsoutofpride) in my “fund abortion not police” Missouri Abortion Fund shirt.
Stephanie (Feminist Midwife)