HB 2 went into partial effect in 2013 and forced patients to endure a mandatory delay of 24 hours before their abortion procedure. It also required abortion clinics to undergo costly renovations to become ambulatory surgical centers (ASC). If the Supreme Court doesn’t intervene in this case, it is estimated that these restrictions will leave Texas with only 9 clinics for more than five million women of reproductive age.
During her statements, Rep. Brenda Lawrence called the hearing “exhausting” and “insulting” and reiterated that Planned Parenthood receives reimbursement for services to Medicaid patients and explained that if there weren’t Medicaid patients going to Planned Parenthood, there would not be reimbursements. Later, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman expressed confusion over the purpose of the hearing, whether it was about the videos or the federal funding.
As a biracial black woman who has had an abortion, I find any implication that health clinics in black neighborhoods exist in order to push abortions on unwitting black women wildly offensive. To use factually incorrect rhetoric to render our healthcare needs and experiences irrelevant is an affront to our dignity.
Rather than posting racist billboards in New York and throughout the South proclaiming a ‘mother’s womb to be the most dangerous place for a Black child’, anti-abortion advocates could support our efforts to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, and end the wage gap that takes Black women 19 months to earn what White men earn in twelve. They could help us increase access to prenatal care and well-baby check up visits to decrease the maternal and infant mortality rate.
Sharing my story has been a freeing and empowering experience that I wouldn’t change for a minute. But being a biracial black woman who tells the world about her abortion brings on a litany of racist and sexist epithets that take their toll on my emotional and mental well-being.
For the past four years I have shared my abortion story with thousands of people; from cab drivers and rally attendees, to abortion patients who stayed at my home while traveling for their abortion and people on the Internet. It’s a weird feeling to talk about my abortion, a deeply personal experience, with strangers, but it’s actually quite comforting.
Last week, an anti-abortion organization, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a heavily edited nine minute video of a three hour lunchtime meeting with Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola claiming to have “proof” that the organization was harvesting fetal organs and selling them for profit.
On Saturday, 23-year-old Kenlissa Jones of Albany, Georgia was arrested and held without bond at the Dougherty County jail on charges of “malice murder” and “possession of a dangerous drug” for self-inducing her own abortion.
When someone decides to have an abortion, one of the problems they have to solve is how to pay for it. For a lucky few, insurance plans cover their abortions, but the vast majority, 57 percent, are forced to pay out of pocket, whether they have insurance or not.
On May 31, 2009, while serving as an usher at his church, abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot in the head by an anti-abortion activist.