In the three months since Roe was overturned, the right of women and girls to have an abortion has been stripped away by the state and state lawmakers, almost as if they were seeking to outdo one another in their cruelty.
This moment cries out for a movement of women and everyone who cares about justice in the street time and again, with the determination and commitment to fight for LEGAL ABORTION ON DEMAND & WITHOUT APOLOGY NATIONWIDE & EVERYWHERE!
Read this. Get it out and use it to organize others to raise the Green Bandanna for abortion rights in the streets and everywhere.
1. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, millions of women and girls across the country lost access to abortion overnight. Nearly one-third of women of childbearing age – approximately 20 million – now cannot get an abortion in the state in which they live. 1
2. Abortion is illegal in thirteen states; Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia. In Texas and Alabama, a conviction for providing an abortion carries up to a life sentence. 2
3. Eight states have laws criminalizing abortion that are currently not being enforced only due to temporary court orders blocking them. The outcome will ultimately be decided by federal courts, where 25% of judges now serving were appointed by Trump and the Supreme Court with its fascist super-majority. 3
4. Sixty-six clinics across 15 states have been forced to stop offering abortions. Prior to June 24, these 15 states had a total of 79 clinics that provided abortion care. As of October 2, that number had dropped to 13, and all of them are located in Georgia. This means there are no providers currently offering abortions in 14 of the 15 states. 4
5. Some clinics bordering states where abortion is banned have seen an increase in patients of 40% or more. Women have been forced to wait weeks for an appointment when even a day can mean falling outside of state-mandated limits. Women in Texas must travel up to 300 – 400 miles. These burdens fall hardest on low-income women and girls, and people of color. 5
6. Medication abortions face growing restrictions. Twenty-nine states have passed laws mandating that it be prescribed only by a physician and not by other health providers who would ordinarily prescribe medications. Although the FDA allows medication abortion to be prescribed telemedically, 19 states require the pills to be taken in the physical presence of a doctor. 6
7. In states where abortion is legal, women still face strict gestational time limits in 16 states, waiting periods in 14 states, and parental consent laws in 7 states. 7
8. Senator Lindsey Graham proposed a national abortion ban after 15 weeks. Catholics for Life has filed a petition to the Christian fascist-dominated Supreme Court asking it to ban abortion nationwide on the basis of the “Constitutional rights of the fetus.” If either of these efforts (or something similar) prevails, abortion will be outlawed nationwide. In 2019 Texas lawmakers considered whether to make abortion a capital offense for women and abortion providers. The bill did not succeed, but the demand that any abortion is considered an act of murder is gaining strength. 8
9. Already women are being denied essential – potentially life-saving–medically necessary treatment due to anti-abortion laws. Hospitals have denied cancer and other kinds of treatment to pregnant women out of fear of being prosecuted for harming the fetus. 9
10) Women who are hemorrhaging and miscarrying have been denied miscarriage management, and sent home to bleed out, risking infection or even death. Since the Texas ban was enacted, Dallas hospitals have seen the incidence of dangerous complications to miscarriages rise to 57%, nearly double the 33% incidence when miscarriages are treated immediately. The stage is set for deaths like that of Savita Halapannavar, who died in an Irish hospital pleading for treatment for her miscarriage. 10
11) Women are being denied their prescriptions for methotrexate to treat serious illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis and cancer because it is also used in high doses to treat ectopic pregnancy. Out of fear of prosecution, some doctors have begun to cut women off their medications. A pharmacist in Texas refused to fill the prescription of an 8-year-old girl with juvenile arthritis, saying “Females of possible childbearing potential have to have a diagnosis on hard copy with state abortion laws.” Untreated, these illnesses can cause disability and permanent organ damage; five million people in the US depend on methotrexate. 11
12) El Salvador, with its total abortion ban, shows where this nightmare can lead. Complete criminalization of abortion and miscarriages. Women are serving 30 years for the “murder” of a fetus, even for miscarriages. Their vaginas are subject to a police search. When the draconian law was challenged in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, El Salvador was defended by a branch of the American Center for Law and Justice (once headed by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow) with the support of 15 US anti-abortion organizations. 12
13) The US is one of only four countries that have gone backward on abortion rights in the past 25 years – the others are Poland, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. In other countries, abortion rights have expanded, especially in places like Argentina and others in Latin America where women and others have risen up boldly and unstoppably to demand abortion rights. 13
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