Abortion Bans Increase the Need for Survivor Support

The best thing that we as physicians can do is to believe women, holding their hands and offering our unconditional support as we guide them through the pain and connect them to the healthcare resources that suit their best interests. This includes access to safe, legal abortion, a narrow avenue for recourse that recent and current GOP candidates threaten to narrow further.

But I am one doctor. There is only so much that I can do. I cannot single-handedly change our society.

The Anti-Abortion Movement Is in Crisis Communications Mode

The anti-choice movement’s decision to focus their messaging on crisis pregnancy centers—both in the streets of Washington and the halls of Congress—in response to mounting evidence that abortion bans cause women severe harms reflects the movement’s longtime public relations strategy for navigating political obstacles and bad publicity. With daily reports of horrific abortion-ban injuries, polls repeatedly showing that most Americans oppose abortion bans, and the political reality that abortion rights have won in every state where they’ve been on the ballot, anti-abortion strategists are not eager to remind the public of their plans to criminalize all abortion, or of the consequences.

Six Anti-Abortion Extremists Found Guilty of Conspiring and Blockading Tennessee Clinic

On Tuesday, Jan. 30, a federal jury in Nashville found six defendants guilty of conspiring to violate the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act for blockading a Nashville-area clinic and intimidating patients and clinic employees.

In just two hours, a jury selected from Tennessee—the heart of the Bible Belt—returned a verdict against a group of extremists associated with Operation Save America, a national anti-abortion group, for obstructing the employee and patient entrances of carafem abortion clinic for almost three hours on March 5, 2021.

How the Anti-Abortion Movement Weaponizes Language

With misleading and anti-scientific phrases like “pro-life,” “late-term abortions” and “abortion up until the point of birth,” anti-abortion advocates prey on the public’s lack of familiarity with medical terminology and stoke emotional responses in order to demonize abortion care and those who seek and provide it.

These phrases cause tremendous harm, and the media outlets covering this language without a check are amplifying the damage. Those in need of abortion care are forced to navigate the stigma and lies forced on them by the preponderance of misinformation and bias when making their healthcare decisions.

Inside an Abortion Clinic Invasion

At 9:05 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, a group of anti-abortion extremists from at least six states forced their way into the Washington Surgi-Clinic, a facility that provides abortion care in Washington, D.C.

This article reveals, for the first time, how a violent clinic invasion was planned and executed. It is based on testimony by Davis, forensic analysis by FBI agents of the defendants’ social media and cell phone records, footage obtained from the clinic’s security cameras and responding police officers’ body cameras, as well as the extremists’ own Facebook livestream of what they interchangeably called a “lock-and-block” and a “rescue” (a term coined by anti-abortion extremists to mean physically preventing women from obtaining abortion care). (This article originally appears in the Winter 2024 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get issues delivered straight to your mailbox!)

Right-Wing Hubris Puts Ideology Over Medical Expertise—And Women Suffer

Texas anti-abortion lawmakers’ decisions enforce inferior medical care that harms women, prioritizing personal belief over evidence-based medicine and codifying misogyny into standard of care. The most recent decision by the Fifth Circuit, which allows denial of an emergency abortion to a critically ill pregnant patient, highlights the chilling truth that the life of the mother is not, in fact, a priority in the eyes of the law.

As physicians, we can follow neither our ethics nor appropriate standard of care if uninformed politicians flagrantly disrespect our training. If they can undermine our careful decision-making with brute force and no medical qualifications, then what is the point of our expertise?

An Open Letter to Women’s Magazine Editors: It’s Time to Save Reproductive Rights

Right-wing politicians like Ron DeSantis are ranting about the “woke” media, yet most women’s sites today stick to “traditional” female topics: beauty, shopping, fashion, shopping, relationship issues and more shopping.

Perusing the happy headlines featured on women’s media sites, their readers would have no idea that abortion bans have demolished the rights of women in 21 states, nor that the maternal mortality rate has spiked in those states. Are women’s digital media site editors living in a Barbieland bubble?

It’s Time to Recognize Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare Providers as Human Rights Defenders

“You need to stop this work. We know where your children go to school.”

Around the world, frontline reproductive healthcare workers are facing physical and verbal abuse, public shaming and humiliation, both in-person and online, harassment, legal threats, death threats, sexual assault and rapes—simply for doing their jobs. Yet, many of those who commit acts of violence against SRHR workers, or those who publicly incite antagonism, largely escape accountability for the consequences of their actions. Enough is enough.

Do Pregnant Women Have the Same Rights Under the Law as Everyone Else?

Feminists often say that abortion bans make women second-class citizens. And it’s true: Abortion bans strip from pregnant women the basic right to bodily autonomy, which other people enjoy. This is true for any abortion ban. But this concept—that banning abortion puts pregnant women in a different class from “regular” people—is particularly apparent in laws that do not allow for a full range of emergency care to preserve a pregnant woman’s health. These laws put fetal life ahead of maternal life, and render women little more than fetus-sustaining objects.

In the coming months, the same Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade will now be asked to answer the question: Are pregnant women full people under the law?

Punish, Torture, Kill: The Reality of Pregnancy in ‘Pro-Life’ America

In Ohio, a grand jury is deciding whether to charge Brittany Watts—a woman who went to the hospital twice for care when she was miscarrying, was sent home twice, and miscarried in her bathroom. She could face jail time for “abuse of a corpse,” because fetal parts were found clogged in her toilet. Watts’ case is a chilling preview of what could come: Miscarriage criminalized in myriad ways. And now, the Fifth Circuit is holding that emergency rooms do not have to provide life-saving abortions—further ensuring that women with dangerous miscarriages will simply be sent home and left to manage on their own.

At the heart of the ‘pro-life’ movement is the idea that women are put on this earth for subservience. And so this is the plan: Force women to carry pregnancies against their will.