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1A Across America: Abortion Bans During The Pandemic

An abortion rights activist holds placards outside of the US Supreme Court before the Court struck down a Texas law placing restrictions on abortion clinics on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC.
An abortion rights activist holds placards outside of the US Supreme Court before the Court struck down a Texas law placing restrictions on abortion clinics on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC.

The pandemic has shut down nearly all cities and states across the country. Essential businesses and medical providers are allowed to remain open, but there are differing ideas on what’s “essential”.  

Some states have banned “non-essential” medical procedures citing the need to conserve personal protective equipment like surgical masks and gowns for hospitals.  Officials in several of those states, including Texas and Arkansas, have said  that ban includes abortion.  

Abortion rights  advocates see this as an abuse of power, and some, including the Center for Reproductive Rights,  are fighting the bans in court.

With nowhere to go, some Texas residents have traveled as far as Nevada to get an abortion.

But now a new order from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that took effect Wednesday allows more abortion procedures to resume in health care facilities that agree to reserve a certain number of beds for coronavirus patients and refrain from seeking scarce protective equipment from public sources.

We’ll talk to both sides of the issue, including a woman from Fort Worth, Texas who drove to Oklahoma City on Wednesday for her abortion.

1A Across America is funded through a grant from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967 that is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.

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