Climate change continues to cause fatal flooding and heatwaves that are devastating the U.S. while the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022—legislation that would put $369 billion towards climate action and clean energy—is still on a tenuous path to passage. This bill would reduce carbon emissions roughly 40 percent by 2030 and mitigate the most devastating impacts of the climate crisis, such as life-threatening illnesses and housing and job instability—all of which affect the health of pregnant people.
The Dobbs decision is falling hard on young and low-income women, who don’t have the resources to travel out of state to obtain abortion healthcare. But an often-overlooked population especially hard hit is incarcerated women and girls, and those on probation and parole.
Close to 900,000 women and girls are under the control of federal, state and local carceral systems in the U.S. Prisons in states banning abortion can entirely block incarcerated pregnant women and girls from seeking abortion healthcare out of state and can even block those on probation and parole from traveling out of state to obtain abortions.
“We felt it our responsibility to depict the war on Black women’s bodies raging in this conservative state,” said Katori Hall, creator of Starz’s P-Valley.
In response to the overturn of Roe, the Biden administration highlighted the role of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which states that any hospital receiving Medicare funds must screen and stabilize patients for emergency medical conditions regardless of whether or not a patient could pay. In a post-Roe world, if a physician believes a pregnant patient has an emergency medical condition as defined by EMTALA and that an abortion is necessary, the physician must provide that treatment even where state law contravenes.
By challenging EMTALA, Texas is signaling that it is okay with patient dumping—especially when those patients are pregnant.
On Aug. 2, Kansas voters will decide whether or not to amend the Kansas Constitution to explicitly state that nothing in it creates a right to abortion. If passed, the amendment would allow the state legislature to pass laws banning and restricting abortion. The activists behind the amendment are attempting to overturn a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court decision that protected a woman’s access to abortion.
If anti-abortion extremists are successful in passing the constitutional amendment in Kansas, millions of Americans will be left in an abortion desert.
In the wake of Dobbs, people living in states with abortion bans are finding creative ways to access abortion healthcare. For people living along the U.S. southern border, there’s a new option: Telefem—a telehealth abortion provider based in Mexico City that mails abortion pills to secure pickup locations along the U.S.–Mexico border for $150. Ms. magazine spoke with Telefem director and midwife Paula Rita Rivera about how Telefem works and why they began offering services to people from the United States.
“I want to say to the women out there: We are here for you! Don’t be afraid. We are with you till the end.”
A troop of Girl Scouts visited the Capitol to see the promise of America and instead watched their fundamental constitutional right to abortion healthcare get stripped away from them.
Since the overturn of Roe, states now have further jurisdiction to prosecute women in cases of illegal abortions, miscarriages and many other instances of so-called child abuse—something they’ve been doing for years, especially to low-income women and women of color.
National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) has launched a resource guide for prosecutors, police, healthcare providers and welfare workers alike in protecting pregnant women. “Now is not the time to give up,” said NAPW. “The opportunities for potential allyship, collaboration and solidarity are numerous.”
Many are calling on the Biden administration to declare a public health emergency for abortion in response to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. Ms. spoke with leading reproductive health law scholar and Temple law professor Rachel Rebouché about the strengths and limitations of a public health emergency declaration for increasing access to abortion healthcare.
“Nothing is going to change without intervention. We don’t have a statute. We don’t have constitutional protection. But the federal government is not powerless on the issue of abortion, and so what are the tools at its disposal?”
U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. But day after day, we stay vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching, and we refuse to go back.
This week: State courts come for abortion care services and close crucial clinics; Biden signs an executive order aimed at protecting abortion rights; six states pass anti-LGBTQ bills one day after Pride Month; and more.