Google search results for abortion services promote anti-abortion centers

When users seek facilities for the procedure, Google Maps often presents crisis pregnancy centers that discourage abortions

Google search results for abortion services promote anti-abortion centers

When users seek facilities for the procedure, Google Maps often presents crisis pregnancy centers that discourage abortions

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Let’s call the pro-lifers what they are: pro-death

On the 45th anniversary of Roe v Wade, its time to highlight a hidden truth: restricting abortion means more maternal deaths

Let’s call the pro-lifers what they are: pro-death

On the 45th anniversary of Roe v Wade, its time to highlight a hidden truth: restricting abortion means more maternal deaths

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This woman has recorded almost 300 abortion stories so others don’t have to feel alone

Melissa Madera was 17 years old when she found out she was pregnant. It was the summer of 1997, right before she was about to go off to college. She decided to have an abortion.

The process was lonely, she tells the Daily Dot, because she didn’t think she knew anyone else who had been through the procedure. Unfortunately, many who decide to terminate a pregnancy report isolation, in part because of the stigmas associated with abortion—women are supposed to be ashamed to have sex and not want to raise a child—that keep them silent.

However, the procedure is not only legal, it’s common. Nearly one in four U.S. women will have an abortion by age 45, according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute. And yet because abortion is so highly politicized—conservative states consistently introduce bills to restrict access to the procedure—there is a lack of accessible resources for people going through the process.

Seeking to fill that void while also finding a way to heal herself, Madera started the Abortion Diary podcast in 2013. Madera hoped that the podcast, in which people share their personal abortion stories, could help her meet others who had been through the same and create a vault of empathy and understanding.

 “We don’t get a lot of support in the process or after,” Madera tells the Daily Dot, “so listening to other people who have gone through this experience has been helpful for people to find support and community through the internet.”

Since starting her podcast four years ago, Madera has listened to and recorded 289 abortion stories. Madera’s work has taken her to 20 U.S. states, 10 European cities, Canada, the Dominican Republic, and Thailand—yes, she travels to all of these places to talk to the storytellers in person. She has spoken with people ages 18 to 85, offering a glimpse into the political and cultural climate at the time as well as the subject’s personal turmoil. “Each story has provided me with a different understanding and processing of my own experience,” she says.

For some, speaking to Madera was the first time they ever shared their story. Madera recounts to me when she met Amanda, a woman who contacted Madera 10 years after her abortion. “Out of nowhere, she starts crying, and there’s a pause, and she asks if everyone cries.” This reaction was striking, she says, because, “you don’t need to question your feelings. People need to have the space to process their feelings and know it’s OK to have them.”

“Everything was happening so fast around me that to this day. I’m still so confused,” Emma A., 23, shared with Madera in 2015, a year after her abortion. “I remember waking up and being like, ‘Where am I?’ but having this resounding sense of relief.”

But even for Emma, the experience was incredibly difficult to process. “I think that there’s ways—there’s tools that women can be given to process experiences like that if we weren’t told to be quiet about them. And after that experience, I just kept moving forward, like I went right back into everything. I didn’t realize how numb I was on the inside.”

“It’s like a strange PTSD,” Emma said. “I need to find some peace around it and I don’t know how.”  

Not every person who has an abortion will feel the same, and no one feeling or emotion can sum up having gone through the procedure and its aftermath. “We just need to be able to understand that there’s a lot of nuance and complexity and contradiction in our experiences,” Madera says.

Madera’s podcast is groundbreaking in that even though it’s about the highly divisive topic of abortion, she isn’t trying to push a political agenda. She says there are two prominent narratives around abortion that are weaponized on both sides of the political spectrum, and she hopes to break them down through storytelling.

The conservative narrative broadly associates trauma and regret with the procedure, as well as medical fallacies. In fact, there are more than 4,000 fake abortion clinics across the country that provide false information about the procedure and further stigmatize women for unplanned pregnancies. They’re called crisis pregnancy centers, and there are nearly five times more of them than there are abortion clinics.

Hunt, who was 30 years old when she had her abortion in Louisiana, shared her story on the podcast about seeking care at a crisis pregnancy center, without initially realizing where she was. Because of her financial situation, she explained that the clinic was recommended to her by a friend for its free resources for women without healthcare. After meeting with a counselor who shared pamphlets with false information, including that abortion can increase the threat of breast cancer, Hunt recalls, “I really felt like this woman was insulting me.”

“She even told me there was no doctor in the state of Louisiana who would give me the pill because it was too dangerous,” Hunt continued. After going down a list of abortion clinics listed in the Yellow Pages, Hunt finally found one in Bossier City, but would have to drive several hours for the procedure. People shouldn’t have to “jump through all these hurdles to get it done,” she said.

For Hunt, the process of finding out she was pregnant, and the procedure itself, were far from the most painful part of her experience. It was the after care, where she had to find an affordable clinic close to home for a checkup—and the only one nearby was the crisis pregnancy center. “The only resource that I have, because it’s free, is against abortion and is treating me differently because of religious beliefs,” she shared with Madera, in tears.

As of April 2017, there are only three remaining clinics in Louisiana—in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. The clinic in Bossier City was shut down earlier this year.

Madera tells me that part of her reason for creating the podcast was to ensure that people deciding to have an abortion could have a clearer idea about what to expect and learn more about the different available options to terminate a pregnancy. “You don’t know what resources to trust. And you can’t just crowdsource this, like on Facebook,” she says, laughing. “I hear from people all the time who are really thankful that they found the podcast and feel like during and after, they’re listening to these people and their stories and no longer feel alone.”

Despite the pro-choice left fighting for a person’s right to access the service, Madera says the narrative is often too narrow. The rhetoric employed is often overly simplistic and suggests that the process is one of relief, without enough conversation about regret. She adds also that there is “so much taboo in talking about it as a baby or a life because of the political landscape. But talking about it as a life doesn’t have to keep you from thinking people should have a choice whether to bring it into the world or not.”

Madera’s podcast is ultimately about showing that the experience of abortion is diverse and complex. “I’m not advocating for abortion or providing it. I’m just offering a space for us to be able to talk about our experiences,” Madera explains. “It’s the past; it already happened. But there are very few places where we can be in a personal space around our abortion experiences.”

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After trolling childhood cancer survivors, Joss Whedon dramatizes cancer death in Planned Parenthood spot

There’s really something wrong with Joss Whedon, and we’re not just saying that after having seen his short film dramatizing the horrors that would face women were Planned Parenthood to be defunded.

“Unlocked” shows what three women have to endure in an unnaturally blue-tinted world where the government has “shut down” Planned Parenthood. And older woman dies of breast cancer; a youngerwoman cries a lot when she finds out she’s pregnant and apparently can’t go away tocollege; and a school girl contracts an STD.

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Maryland just made a historic effort to support Planned Parenthood


Maryland is the first state to formally commit to funding Planned Parenthood. On Thursday, the state passed alawpermitting theuse of the its own spending to reimburse clinics if federal funding gets cut off.

The bill passed into law without Gov. Larry Hogans signature, according to the Washington Post.

Democratic Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., the bills sponsor, said Thursday, “Today, Maryland makes history… unfortunately without the support of the governor. While I wish our state didn’t need to fight the attacks on comprehensive health care by Congress, we are proud to stand up and protect access in Maryland.”

The Trump administration and the GOP-majority Congress have been adamant about cutting back on funding women’s health care, especially Planned Parenthood, the biggest provider across the nation. Even though no federal funding actually goes toward abortion care, just last week, Vice President Mike Pence delivered a tie-breaking vote on a bill that allows states to withhold Title X funds from clinics that also provide abortions.

In March, Congress and Trump also failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with “Trumpcare,” which would have cut funding to maternity care and breast cancer screenings.

“As Marylanders, we must remember that a state solution does not change the fact that politicians in Congress are trying to prohibit millions of people from accessing care at Planned Parenthood,” said Karen J. Nelson, Planned Parenthood of Maryland’s president and CEO, in a statement Thursday. “It’s incumbent on all of us to keep up the fight for women.”

H/T Mic

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Trump forms anti-abortion coalition and would ban public funding for procedure

Republican nominee hired Marjorie Dannenfelser, one of the nations top anti-abortion activists, to chair coalition of conservative, anti-abortion rights leaders

Donald Trump on Friday named one of the nations top anti-abortion activists to his campaign coalition, in the clearest signal yet that the presidential candidate has fully embraced Republicans typically harsh stance against abortion.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B Anthony List, a group that works to elect Republican, anti-abortion women, will chair the loose coalition of conservative, anti-abortion rights leaders who are working to elect the Republican nominee. Trumps campaign also announced that he would commit to a law banning public funding of abortion.

The appointment is a sharp about-face for both Dannenfelser, formerly one of Trumps most vocal critics, and the Republican presidential nominee. Although he has espoused harsh anti-abortion positions, Trump has nevertheless spent much of the campaign out of step with the anti-abortion establishment praising Planned Parenthood and, conversely, calling for the punishment of women who have abortions illegally.

In response, anti-abortion groups have sometimes accused Trump of being ignorant of their positions.

On Friday, Dannenfelser signaled that her group considered Trumps policies to be wholly in line with the anti-abortion movements priorities. Trump doubled down [on his] commitments to the pro-life movement, Dannenfelser said. The contrast could not be clearer between the two tickets, and I am proud to serve as national chairwoman for Donald Trumps pro-life coalition.

The announcement is a further sign that Trump has succeeded in wooing social conservatives who once viewed the Manhattan real estate magnate with suspicion and chimes with his choice of Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, as his running mate. The former congressman is credited with drawing up the blueprint for the Republican partys crusade against Planned Parenthood.

Trump has only recently claimed to oppose abortion. In 1999, in his last public statement on abortion before he flirted with a presidential run, Trump proclaimed himself to be very pro-choice. He first declared he was pro-life in 2011 at an annual conservative confab.

During the Republican primaries, Dannenfelser was one of the loudest voices to oppose Trump, calling on Iowa caucus-goers in a January letter to support anyone but Donald Trump. We are disgusted by Mr Trumps treatment of individuals, women, in particular, the letter read. Trump has through the years made disparaging public comments to and about many women.

Reproductive rights groups immediately condemned Marjorie Dannenfelsers addition to Trumps campaign. Photograph: UPI / Barcroft Images

Her comments came as Trump repeatedly equivocated on abortion rights and one of the anti-abortion movements most cherished goals, the federal defunding of Planned Parenthood.

A little more than a year ago, Trump said he could not commit to defunding Planned Parenthood without weighing whether the group was good for women. Trump later committed to stripping federal funds from Planned Parenthood because I am pro-life in a February primary debate. But he added that he admired Planned Parenthoods work on reproductive health, saying: Millions of millions of women cervical cancer, breast cancer are helped by Planned Parenthood.

A month later, Trump said he would support some form of punishment for women who have abortions if the procedure were illegal, comments that anti-abortion groups criticized as out of step with their mission. In April, he further angered anti-abortion groups by saying he believed abortion should remain legal. The laws are set, he said. And I think we have to leave it that way.

His campaign in both cases quickly sought to undercut his comments, claiming the candidate believed in punishment only for abortion providers and saying Trump would appoint anti-abortion nominees to the supreme court.

In Fridays announcement, Trump committed for the first time to signing the Hyde amendment into law. The amendment is an annual budget rider that prohibits federal Medicaid funding from paying for abortion services. Making the amendment law is the strictest position Trump has staked out on abortion funding, although it is not surprising. Trump, in a January opinion column, called public funding for abortion an insult to people of conscience.

Hillary Clinton, by contrast, in an apparent first for a major party candidate, has promised to repeal Hyde.

Reproductive rights groups immediately condemned Dannenfelsers addition to Trumps campaign.

Lets be clear: just like Donald Trump, Susan B Anthony List hasnt done a thing to empower women and everything to advance an extreme agenda that aims to entirely end womens access to abortion in America, often even for survivors of rape, incest, and women whose health is endangered, said Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, a reproductive rights group.

Between his support from the dangerously similar anti-choice and alt-right movements, and his record of misogyny, we know Donald Trump will be a disaster for women in the White House.

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All of Texass State-Mandated Lies About Abortion

Women seeking an abortion in Texas are given a mandatory booklet with some facts about the procedurebut the latest version is full of errors.”>

The Supreme Court struck down key provisions of a Texas anti-abortion law in late June, but the Lone Star State still has plenty of tricks left up its sleeve.

First, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission quietly changed its rules to require that abortion providers bury or cremate fetal tissue instead of using standard medical waste disposal services.

And now, as the Texas Tribune reported Wednesday, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is planning a new version of A Womans Right to Know, a mandatory booklet that Texas women receive 24 hours before an abortion procedure that is riddled with lies. The revision also ignores recommendations made by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG), an OB/GYN professional association with over 57,000 members.

The Daily Beast reviewed both the original and revised versions of A Womans Right to Know, and found several inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and omissions.

This is a draft booklet, DSHS spokeswoman Carrie Williams told The Daily Beast in response to a detailed request for comment. There is clearly interest in this, and we need to be very thoughtful and diligent in reviewing the comments. Well evaluate the feedback and make revisions as needed to make sure the booklet is clear and accurate for pregnant women."

As it stands, the revised booklet is far from accurate but it does seem clear in its intent to dissuade women from choosing abortion.

Fetal Pain

The original version of A Womans Right to Know claimed that some experts have concluded that the [fetus] is probably able to feel pain at 20 weeks.

This directly contradicts current scientific consensus. A 2005 review in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that pain perception probably does not function before the third trimester [28 weeks] and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that the connections in the brain necessary to feel pain are not intact before 24 weeks.

Given these facts, ACOG told the Texas DSHS that the 20-week claim in the original pamphlet was an ideological rather than scientific perspective.

But instead of removing that claim in the proposed revision, the DSHS placed it on top of the second page in large red font: In consideration of the potential for fetal pain, Texas law currently limits abortion to under 20 weeks.

Abortion Complications

The revised version of A Womans Right to Know devotes substantially more space to detailing possible complications from abortion than it does to complications from childbirth, even though the latter are more common than the former.

On this point, the medical literature is clear. A 2012 study found that the risk of childbirth-related death was approximately 14 times higher than that with abortion. And a large 2014 study from UC San Francisco examined data from 50,000 women and concluded that major complications from abortion occur less than a quarter of one percent of the time, about the same frequency as colonoscopies.

Accordingly, ACOG instructed the DSHS to note that the risks of abortion are less than the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term and delivering in the revised pamphlet. The DSHS did not follow through on that recommendation.

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Abortion and Breast Cancer

The previous version of A Womans Right to Know misleadingly linked abortion to breast cancer but it at least noted that some studies have found no overall risk.

In response, ACOG told the DSHS that this oft-touted link is not supported by current and relevant science, citing an extensive report from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which concluded that having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase a womans subsequent risk of developing breast cancer. As the NCI discovered, studies on a possible association between abortion and breast cancer were inconsistent until the mid-1990s but more recent studies with larger samples and better methodologies have consistently showed no association.

Not only did the DSHS keep the section on abortion and breast cancer in the revised booklet, the department deleted the earlier reference to studies that found no overall risk. Instead, the department claims that doctors and scientists are actively studying the complex biology of breast cancer to understand whether abortion may affect the risk.

There is no reference to the NCI report.

Abortion and Infertility

The proposed draft of A Womans Right to Know changes but does not eliminate a section which raises fears about abortions possible impacts on future childbirth.

Some complications associated with an abortion, such as an infection, a cut or a torn cervix, may make it difficult or impossible to become pregnant in the future or to carry a pregnancy to term, this section warns under the ominous heading of Future Infertility.

What the booklet fails to note is the extreme rarity of these complications. According to an ACOG FAQ, the risk of injury to the uterus or other organs is less than 1 in 1,000 during a second-trimester abortion. Complications like these are not necessarily irreversible, either, as infections can be treated with antibiotics and uterine perforations can be surgically repaired.

The childbirth section of A Womans Right to Know acknowledges in a handful of bullet points that complications of vaginal delivery and Caesarean section can affect future fertility, too, but nowhere in this section is there a separate heading entitled Future Infertility.

Abortion Regret

The revised version of A Womans Right to Know also keeps a section in place which mentions that women have reported experiencing regret, grief, lowered self-esteem, sexual dysfunction, avoidance of emotional attachment, and substance abuse after an abortion.

There is no citation for this section.

As ACOG pointed out in its letter to the DSHS, that may be because it is not based on scientific evidence. In fact, a 2015 study in PLOS One which surveyed over 600 women over three years concluded that the predicted probability of [women] reporting that abortion was the right decision was over 99 percent at all time points over three years. Some women did experience negative emotions but these declined over time and as ACOG noted, many of the same emotions can also occur after a miscarriage, and even after a healthy delivery.

The Texas booklet does contain a section on postpartum depression but it also says that women can experience great surges of joy and happiness, feelings of contentment and fulfillment after birth.

Left unmentioned in the revised booklet is the fact that women also experience positive emotions like happiness and relief after abortion, as the 2015 PLOS One study also found. The old version of A Womans Right to Know half-heartedly acknowledged this possibility, noting that some women may feel relief that the procedure is over.

That language is conspicuously absent from the revised version.

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I applaud the abortion decision, but it won’t improve access fast enough | Jennifer Conti

The women I see as an abortion provider in California have safe, convenient access to the procedure. Building that in the south will be a tall order

You dont have to be a woman in rural Texas to realize that something heinous has been happening with abortion politics in our country. In the past few years alone, more anti-abortion laws have been enacted all over the nation than in the entire previous decade combined. And this hasnt translated into fewer or safer abortions. Women, it turns out, will continue to have abortions, even if they have to do it themselves and even if they have to do it dangerously.

To see and hear of these clandestine, pre-civilized medicine approaches to womens care breaks my heart. Women deserve much better. On Monday, when the US supreme court made a national declaration that they too believe in the value of women and their reproductive freedom, it was more than a legal decision or a news headline.

Im an abortion provider, and I see this as a real-life move in the right direction although for many women, reproductive healthcare will continue to be drastically limited because of the damage that has already been done.

I work in California, where women currently face no legislative barriers like those in Texas. I have seen what ideal care should look like. My patients can schedule an abortion without punitive waiting periods. They dont need to get parental consent for a private procedure, and they arent forced to travel hundreds of miles to find a clinic.

As a provider, Im not required to provide counseling based on garbage science tying abortion to breast cancer. I give safe, medically accurate care, without unnecessary and demeaning barriers.

The same hasnt been true in Texas. Before HB2, the law the high court shot down, went into effect, there were 42 clinics that provided safe and legal abortion care. After clinics were required to meet untenable standards as ambulatory surgical units, and providers had maintain unreasonable hospital admitting privileges, that number went down to 19. Had the court ruled the wrong way this week, that number would have been cut in half again. Similar rules across numerous southern states have caused similar patterns of closure. Too often, the level of care I am able to provide in California has been the exception, not the norm.

For the Texas clinics that dug their feet in and held on despite this attack, life now goes back to normal. No more worrying that Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (Trap) laws will close their clinics because of medically unnecessary regulations. Its a huge sigh of relief and joyous return of security they know they will continue to be there for their patients tomorrow.

But for the clinics that werent as fortunate and lost everything, its anyones guess about whether they can rebuild. Starting a new clinic takes finances, infrastructure and nuance like making sure your landlord doesnt hate abortion providers not to mention staff.

There are still 5.4 million reproductive-aged women living in Texas, and the majority of them dont have expedient access to an abortion clinic. In Dallas, for example, long delays mean that it already takes women up to 20 days just to have an initial consultation for an abortion. These women are still at risk for taking matters into their own hands and not being afforded safe medical care because of the zip code in which they live.

I want to be explicitly clear as an obstetrician-gynecologist that every woman deserves prompt access to safe abortion care regardless of where she lives, how she is insured or how much money she earns. Thankfully the court finally backed this message: women deserve dignity and compassion, and unjustified barriers to care will be struck down.

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Some women regret their abortions. That doesn’t mean others shouldn’t have the choice | Jessica Valenti

Stephanie Chatfield says she wishes she hadnt ended her pregnancy. Enlisting women to tell stories like this has become a major part of anti-choice strategy

This week, the wife of a Republican legislator did something you might find shocking: she wrote about having an abortion. Stephanie Chatfield, who is married to Michigans state representative Lee Chatfield, posted on Facebook about ending a pregnancy in high school after she was sexually assaulted at a party.

To tell you the truth, I desperately wish that I had the courage as a teenage girl to accept and welcome my child into this world, she wrote. But I didnt, and I made a decision that Ive thought about and regretted nearly every day since.

Chatfields disclosure was certainly brave, and I have sympathy for what is clearly a painful issue for her. But regretting a decision doesnt mean that no one else should have the right to make it.

The truth is that if womens feelings after abortion were to determine the legality of the procedure, those who want to ban abortion would be sorely disappointed. More than 95% of American women who have had ended a pregnancy arent sorry that they did.

Enlisting women to talk about the abortions they regret, however, has become a major component in anti-choice strategy and part of a broader shift by the movement to seem more woman-friendly than its murderer-screaming counterparts. Founded in 2003, the Silent No More campaign encouraged women to hold signs saying I regret my abortion and pushed the idea that abortion causes breast cancer (it does not).

Its a tactic thats moved from activists on the streets to policy-makers on the Hill: In a country that largely opposes overturning Roe v Wade, framing anti-choice legislation as protective of women is a lot more palatable than admitting a law would limit their rights. By placing womens experiences and feelings at the center, the hope is that the anti-choice message will seem less extreme especially now, in the wake of multiple arsons at clinics, sustained harassment of doctors, and a shooting at Planned Parenthood that left three people dead.

But theres no escaping the very real consequences of legislation that limits access to abortion. In addition to curtailing womens right to medical care, anti-choice policy is being used to arrest pregnant women and imprison women who have had miscarriages. A major study also showed that women who sought out abortions but were unable to obtain them were twice as likely to end up in poverty. And last year, researchers found that somewhere between 100,000 and 240,000 women in Texas where abortion restrictions are stark have attempted to self-abort.

The facts make it clear again and again: denying women reproductive care harms them.

Still, its hard not to feel for Chatfield especially since she suggests that someone was threatening to out her as having had an abortion. Its understandable to be angry that a person would limit a right that they availed themselves of, but there is never an excuse to leak someones medical history. Womens privacy needs to be protected at all costs, an idea I sincerely hope Chatfield and her husband ponder before supporting more anti-choice legislation.

Even though the vast majority of women who have abortions wont regret them, there will always be some women who wish they didnt end a pregnancy thats just the reality. But its better to regret a decision than never having the option to make it in the first place.

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