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The lone abortion provider in Mississippi is in danger of being shut down in a little over a week. They are being flooded with calls from people desperate to get the health care they need before it’s too late. Already, many people in Mississippi must travel out of state to get a safe, legal abortion. This requires driving for hours, possibly staying overnight, and finding someone to take care of their children (61% of people who get abortions already have at least one child).
Now’s the time for that famous southern hospitality. Mississippians need help accessing abortion. They may not have transportation, a place to stay, or child care. If you can provide any of these things, even just a ride to the clinic or a couch to sleep on for a night, please contact the Abortion Assistance Blog. Here are some of the clinics people will be visiting:
New Woman All Women Health Care, Birmingham
Planned Parenthood, Birmingham
Planned Parenthood, Mobile
West Alabama Women’s Center, Tuscaloosa
Planned Parenthood, Fayetteville
Planned Parenthood, Little Rock
Little Rock Family Planning Services (only clinic that provides abortions after 8 weeks)
All Women’s Health Center, Inc., Gainesville
Bread & Roses Women’s Health Center, Gainesville
North Florida Women’s Health & Counseling Service, Tallahassee
Causeway Medical Clinic, Metairie, New Orleans
Hope Medical Group for Women, Shreveport
Planned Parenthood, Knoxville
Planned Parenthood, Nashville
The Women’s Center, Nashville
Volunteer Women’s Medical Clinic, Knoxville
If you live near any of these clinics, or have a place to stay along the journey from Mississippi, you could be the one to help someone in need access a safe, legal abortion. Please contact the Abortion Assistance Blog, and make a difference in someone’s life.
Virginia is now the 8th state with forced ultrasounds before abortion. When it passed its law, it joined Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Texas has the harshest forced ultrasound law currently in effect. As Andrea Grimes reported,
“Texas has the most extreme law that’s being enforced right now,” says the Center For Reproductive Rights’ Julie Rikelman, the lead attorney on the CRR’s lawsuit filed against the Texas legislation. Despite the sympathetic leanings of a federal district judge who initially ruled on the case, the suit has more or less been stalled by a vehemently anti-choice Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied the CRR’s requested injunction against enforcement last month. Now, that means that all aspects of the law—mandated ultrasounds, 24-hour waiting periods, and forced speech—are now in full force in Texas.
Oklahoma’s forced ultrasound bill, which was similar to TX’s, was struck down by a federal court recently.
North Carolina, which also has passed a harsh TX-style forced ultrasound bill, is unable to enforce their law pending a court decision.
Pennsylvania’s forced ultrasound bill is officially kaput, at least for this year.
And, as Robin Marty reports, Iowa:
What is the difference between a traffic light camera and a mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasound? One is a violation of privacy, according to Iowa legislators.
Can you guess which?
The Iowa legislature is considering banning traffic cameras due to “privacy concerns.” And those who are arguing for the ban are the same who think all women should be forced to undergo forced ultrasounds prior to an abortion.
These laws will affect all those with the ability to become pregnant.
While Texas is only state currently forcing people to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds, Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, AND VIRGINIA all have forced ultrasounds before an abortion.
Oklahoma and North Carolina have passed similar laws to the one in Texas but they are not being enforced due to pending court decisions.
Number of Providers: 8 providers as of 2008
Percentage of counties without a provider: 93% of counties in Alabama did not have an abortion provider in 2008; 61% of people seeking abortions in Alabama lived in these counties.
Abortion Restrictions in Alabama as of 2011:
- Parental Consent
- 24-hour waiting period, including state-mandated counseling aimed at discouraging abortion 24 hours prior to getting the abortion
- Public funding only for rape, incest, or life endangerment
Abortion rates in Alabama are lower than the national average.
- Alabama has laws on the books that would ban abortion if Roe v. Wade were overturned and abortion rights were given back to the states.
- Alabama law requires that a person be given mandatory counseling 24 hours prior to receiving abortion. This counseling refers to the fetus as “unborn child” and is made to discourage an abortion by providing enlarged photos of the gestational development of a fetus, a list of adoption agencies and other assistance groups, and the person must be offered the opportunity to be given this information a second time via video presentation.
- Alabama restricts funding to state organizations or employees that promote abortion services.
- Alabama requires parental consent for people under the age of 18 who have never been married or emancipated by a court of law.
- Alabama does not allow state funding to be used towards abortions for poor people who are eligible for/on state medical assistance for general health care unless the life of the pregnant person is at risk, the pregnant person was raped, or a victim of incest.
- Alabama requires abortion providers to get a special medical license not required of other M.Ds if they perform a certain amount of abortion procedures a month for two months out of the year or if they advertise abortion services. If they do not obtain this extra license they can have criminal penalties brought against them for operating without a medical license.
- Alabama only allows doctors who are licensed by the state of Alabama to perform abortion procedures. These doctors must be able to perform ultrasounds and have at least 12 months of experience in gynecological surgery.
- Any and all abortion clincs in the state must have a board certified OB/Gyn as the medical director.
- Alabama covers reproductive health care services for low-income ciswomen (ciswomen between the ages of 19 and 55 that fall below 133% of the poverty line) but this assistance will expire in September 2011.*
- Alabama allows people to obtain abortion post-viability if two physicians determine it is necessary to prevent impairment of major bodily function of the pregnant person, but this definition does NOT take into account the mental health of the pregnant person and is a very narrow definition.
*As far as my research has shown, this only covers cis-women but someone else can correct me if they discover otherwise.
*This post was made in the summer of 2011 and because of the political climate of 2011 it may be inaccurate because there are so many abortion bills being considered in various states that the laws might have been altered at some point. Information for the laws listed for this state were compiled from its NARAL Pro-Choice profile and summarized but it might not be an exhaustive list of all of the laws in this state. If you find an inaccuracy, please message me so I can correct it.
That’s real life Handmaids Tale stuff and it should scare the hell out of women everywhere. Sure, console yourself that it’s only those “bad girls” who use drugs. But once you start criminalizing stillbirths and miscarriages, it leads in only one direction: women having to justify to the state one of nature’s most common and personal events. And who gets to define what’s criminal and what isn’t? If this fetishization of the “humanity” of the fetus over the humanity of the vessel in which its incubated (i.e. a “woman”) is allowed to continue, every person who has undergone a miscarriage or stillbirth must understand that they could be questioned about everything they did during pregnancy, not just drug use. After all, perhaps they didn’t “eat right” or stayed out too late or fell down — who knows what kind of “negligence” caused the miscarriage? Certainly, depending on the law to use common sense in these situations is foolish because the very fact they are doing this much proves their malevolent intent.
This is a new thing. Even in the barbaric past, it was accepted that miscarriage it was a natural act. Nobody knows what causes them — they happen to the cleanest living people and some of the most degenerate carry their pregnancies to term. Some things just happen in life and this is one of them."
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