Abortion & COVID-19: August Update

While the COVID-19 pandemic is unfortunately far from over in the United States, many of the COVID-19 motivated abortion restrictions have been defeated, overturned, or rendered obsolete by states reopening. While the use of COVID-19 as an excuse to restrict access to reproductive care was a clear violation of people’s right to access care and autonomy to make healthcare decisions, it did teach us a few things about what a post-Roe world might look like. Below are some pieces that reflect on the lessons we have learned in the last 6 months during the era of abortion during COVID-19. 

Protestors did not stop harassing patients going to clinics and at times showed up in greater numbers. Wondering how a lack of social distancing fits in a “pro-life” ideology? Us too…

  • The Fight to Protect Abortion Access Amid the Pandemic

    The Intercept | Jordan Smith | June 15, 2020

    This article describes the series of events that has occurred in the realm of abortion restrictions since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in March. It discusses how new restrictions in addition to increasing numbers of protestors at clinics who are not using appropriate precautions, such as masks, has galvanized people across the nation to speak out against further restricting abortion access.
  • Abortion Clinic Protests Are Still Happening in the Pandemic: ‘They Accost Patients Face to Face’

    Vice | Carter Sherman | May 26, 2020

    This piece discusses the challenges faced by an abortion clinic in Michigan due to increased protestor presence during the pandemic. These increased numbers have created patient safety issues not only in regards to increased risk of disease transmission, but also due to the aggressive actions of protestors and changing police practices during “shelter in place” orders.

How the state became the perpetrator of reproductive coercion:

Abortion during COVID-19 is showing us what a post-Roe world looks like and confirmed that, unfortunately, many people are already living that world

  • The Coronavirus Pandemic Gave Us a Look at a Post- Roe v. Wade World

    Teen Vogue | Jennifer Dalven | June 12, 2020

    In this Op Ed, Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, discusses how COVID has shown us what a post-Roe world might look like. While many of the restrictions we saw in the early days of the pandemic are no longer in place, she urges people to act now before we see more intensive abortion restrictions resurface.

So… what are some takeaways from this new era of abortion restrictions? 

  • The Covid Crisis Reveals the Need to Abolish Abortion Restrictions

    The Nation | Renee Bracey Sherman | July 15, 2020

    The state of abortion care during this pandemic has highlighted the importance of keeping abortion care accessible and ensuring that people are not criminalized for accessing basic reproductive care. In order to maintain adequate access to abortion care, abortion restrictions must be abolished.

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