Abortion providers prey on communities of color. That has been the talking point that has fired the anti-abortion movement for decades, while some groups tout birth control and abortion as a eugenics plot and others grabbing a civil rights movement mantle for themselves. But is there any fact behind that claim? No, apparently. According to new research, abortion clinics actually aren’t more prevalent in minority communities.
“About six in 10 abortion providers are located in neighborhoods where more than half of residents are White,” writes Ebony Magazine, citing new statistics from Guttmacher Institute. “Fewer than one in 10 abortion providers are located in neighborhoods where more than half of residents are Black. Some 13% of abortion providers are located in neighborhoods where more than half of residents are Hispanic.”
Unsurprisingly, the anti-abortion movement is rejecting the data. “Pro-life groups do not accept such data, saying other data show that minority communities are targeted,” reports the Washington Times, adding that one anti-abortion group claims their own figures stating 79 percent of Planned Parenthood clinics are in minority neighborhoods are “rock solid.”
Of course, both sides could technically be right, since not all abortion providers are part of Planned Parenthood, and not all Planned Parenthoods provide abortions, meaning both sides are talking about two different sets of data.
In Missouri, the governor vetoed the state’s new 72 hour waiting period prior to an abortion, and the legislature is not pleased. Especially not bill sponsor State Sen. David Sater, who is trying to gather the support to override Governor Nixon’s veto. “I firmly believe that most Missourians do not think three days is too much time to decide whether to bring a child into this world,” said the bill’s sponsor to the local news. If so, that’s news to the people of Missouri. In recent polling, 80 percent of the respondents said they have concerns about lengthening the waiting period to 72 hours.
Whether or not the veto is overridden, just getting a veto in the first place is fantastic news and signals a shift in the political battle over abortion restrictions. I explain why at Talking Points Memo.
Political candidates are still reeling from the Hobby Lobby decision in the Supreme Court, with the Massachusetts Republican governor candidate stepping in it when he said he really didn’t think it would affect women in the state. He has now changed his tune, claiming he never meant that he was anti-birth control access. Over at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick discusses how this term’s Supreme Court rulings turned into a literal “men’s team vs. women’s team,” and the women’s team lost. Chicago’s mayor considers a ballot amendment to protect birth control access, and Senate Democrats at the Hill are drafting a bill as well.
Abortion opponents are using lawsuits to scare states and cities out of enforcing clinic buffer zones in the wake of another recent Supreme Court ruling. So does this mean anti-abortion protesters are getting bolder? Could be, if California is any indication, where protesters got into a physical skirmish in Orange County as they picketed an abortion provider’s home. Also, in Portland, Maine, protesters are back outside the door at Planned Parenthood, telling women they are “murdering their babies.”
Anti-abortion activists in Ohio are hitting the national media up with their story about being “violently attacked” on the streets while touting graphic abortion posters. What they aren’t mentioning is that the mother of the woman who attacked them reached out to ask them to go gently on her daughter, explaining that she is autistic and that ”[autistic people] feel so much that they don’t know how to filter out things so they just act.”
It’s been over a year since North Carolina passed a bill to write new regulations for abortion providers, and so far nothing has been written. Now that the only clinic in the state that could definitely have stayed open regardless of the new rules that are drafted has been closed, expect to see regulations suddenly hurried up. Meanwhile, Alabama activists are fighting to raise the funds to get pregnant people to new clinics now that the Huntsville clinic, the only provider in northern Alabama, is closed temporarily. The doctors at the Wisconsin clinic being held open during legal challenges admit they’d like to retire but can’t, because there is no one to take over.
With clinics disappearing left and right, some are considering taking abortion back into their own hands, and underground, just like in the days prior to the Roe v. Wade decision.
A Tennessee woman becomes the first to be charged under the state’s new drug law that jails women who test positive for amphetamine use when they give birth, and a Texas woman is in danger of a stillbirth because the jail she is in won’t provider her with her needed methadone dose.
Finally, a “feminist provider” discusses why patients need autonomy in healthcare and access, and a must read on what it is like to tell your abortion story. And in good news, states are passing slightly less anti-abortion restrictions than in the past few years. Of course, that could be because there is so little left still to restrict.
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