Enemies of abortion, supporters plan the next moves after Roe’s reversal

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (AP) – A Texas group that helps women pay for abortions stopped its efforts Saturday while assessing their legal risk under a strict state ban. Mississippi’s only abortion clinic continued to care for patients while waiting for a 10-day notice that would trigger the ban. Elected officials across the country have vowed to take steps to protect women’s access to reproductive health care, and the enemies of abortion have vowed to take the fight to new scenarios.

A day after the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade ended the constitutional right to abortion, emotional protests and prayer vigils resolved as several states enacted bans and both supporters and opponents of the right to abortion mapped out their next steps.

In Texas, Cathy Torres, head of the Frontera Fund, a group that helps pay for abortions, said there is a lot of fear and confusion in the Rio Grande Valley, near the U.S.-Mexico border, where many people are in the country. without legality. permission.

That includes how the state’s abortion law will be enforced, which prohibits the procedure from conception. Under the law, people who help patients have abortions can be fined and doctors who practice them could face life imprisonment.

“We are a fund led by people of color, who will be criminalized first,” Torres said, adding that abortion funds like yours that have paused operations are hoping to find a way to restart safely. “We really need to keep that in mind and understand the risk.”

Tyler Harden, director of Mississippi’s Planned Parenthood Southeast, said he spent Friday and Saturday making sure people with upcoming appointments at the state’s only abortion clinic, which appeared in the Supreme Court case but are not affiliated with Planned Parenthood, know which they do not have to cancel immediately. Abortions can still be performed up to 10 days after the state attorney general issues a mandatory administrative notice.

Mississippi will ban the procedure except for pregnancies that endanger the woman’s life or those caused by reported violations to law enforcement. Republican Speaker of the Mississippi House Philip Gunn said during a news conference on Friday that he would oppose adding an exception to incest. “I think life starts at conception,” Gunn said.

Harden said he has been providing information on funds that help people travel out of state to have abortions. Many in Mississippi already did so before sentencing, but that will be harder now that abortions have ended in neighboring states like Alabama. Right now, Florida is the closest “safe haven” state, but Harden said, “We know it may not be like that for much longer.”

At the National Right to Life convention in Atlanta, a leader of the anti-abortion group warned attendees Saturday that the Supreme Court decision marks “a time of great possibility and a time of great danger.”

Randall O’Bannon, the organization’s director of education and research, encouraged activists to celebrate their victories but to stay focused and keep working on the issue. Specifically, he called the medication taken to cause the abortion.

“With Roe headed for the garbage of history and states gaining the power to limit abortions, this is where the battle will unfold in the coming years,” O’Bannon said. “The new modern threat is a chemical or medical abortion with pills ordered online and shipped directly to a woman’s home.”

Protests erupted for the second day in cities across the country, from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City and Jackson, Mississippi.

At the Los Angeles rally, one of several in California, hundreds of people marched through downtown carrying placards with slogans such as “my body, my choice” and “abort the court.”

Turnout was lower in Oklahoma City, where about 15 protesters gathered outside the Capitol. Oklahoma is one of 11 states where there are no providers offering abortions, and in May passed the country’s strictest abortion law.

“I’ve been through a wave of emotions in the last 24 hours. … It’s annoying, it’s angry, it’s hard to put together everything I’m feeling right now,” said Marie Adams, 45, who had two miscarriages due to ectopic pregnancies. in which a fertilized egg cannot survive.She called the problem “very personal to me.”

“Half the population of the United States has just lost a fundamental right,” Adams said. “We have to talk and talk loud.”

Callie Pruett, who offered to accompany patients to West Virginia’s only abortion clinic before she stopped offering the procedure after Friday’s ruling, said she plans to work on voter registration in hopes of electing officials to support the rights of women. abortion. The executive director of Appalachians for Appalachia added that her organization will also apply for grants to help patients access abortion care, even out of state.

“We have to create networks of people who are willing to take people to Maryland or DC,” Pruett said. “That kind of local action requires an organization at a level we haven’t seen in almost 50 years.”

Her West Virginia partner Sarah MacKenzie, 25, said she is motivated to fight for access to abortion in memory of her mother, Denise Clegg, a passionate reproductive health advocate who worked for years at the state clinic as a nurse practitioner and died unexpectedly in May. MacKenzie plans to attend the protests in the capital, Charleston, and donate to a local abortion fund.

“I would be absolutely devastated. I was very scared that this would happen, I wanted to stop it,” Mackenzie said, adding, “I will do everything in my power to make sure this is reversed.”

The Supreme Court ruling is likely to lead to a ban on abortion in about half of the states.

Since the decision, clinics have stopped performing abortions in Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Women considering abortion had already been dealing with the near-total ban in Oklahoma and a ban after about six weeks in Texas.

In Ohio, a ban on most abortions from the first detectable fetal heartbeat became law when a federal judge dissolved an order that had kept the measure on hold for nearly three years.

Another law with limited exceptions was enacted in Utah by Friday’s ruling. The Planned Parenthood Association of Utah filed a lawsuit against her in a state court and said it would apply for a temporary restraining order, arguing it violates the state constitution.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, where abortion remains legal, has signed an executive order that protects people seeking or performing abortions in their state from facing legal consequences in other states. Walz also pledged to reject extradition requests from any defendant to commit acts related to reproductive health other than criminal offenses in Minnesota.

“My office has been and will continue to be a firewall against legislation that would reverse reproductive freedom,” he said.

In Fargo, North Dakota, the state’s only abortion provider faces a 30-day window before it has to close and plans to move across the river to Minnesota. Red River Women’s Clinic owner Tammi Kromenaker said Saturday she got a spot in Moorhead and that an online fundraiser to support the move reported more than half a million dollars in less than three days.

Republicans have tried to downplay their illusion of winning their decades-long struggle to overthrow Roe, aware that the ruling could energize the Democratic base, especially women in the suburbs. Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said she expects opponents of abortion to turn up in large numbers this fall.

But Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, said Saturday he believes the issue will energize independents and hopes to translate anger over Roe’s disappearance into votes.

“Every time you take in half the people of Wisconsin and turn them into second-class citizens,” Evers said, “I have to believe there’s going to be a reaction to that.”

Enemies of abortion, supporters plan the next moves after Roe’s reversal

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