women's health

As Republican-led states pass laws restricting abortion in hopes the Supreme Court will overturn its Roe v. Wade decision, supporters of abortion rights are pushing back.

Thousands of women who have had abortions have taken to social media to share their experience. Many argue they would have been worse off economically, had they been forced to deliver a baby.

"I didn't know what I would do with a baby," said Jeanne Myers, who was unmarried and unemployed when she got pregnant 36 years ago.

The recent passage of the so-called "Heartbeat Bill" has caused some confusion about the legality of abortion in Ohio. Gov. MIke DeWine signed the legislation into law last month, but it does not take effect until July. The ACLU and other organizations have sued, hoping to prevent the law from going into effect. Morning Edition host Amy Eddings spoke with Be Well Health reporter Marlene Harris-Taylor about the current realities of abortion access in Ohio.

Let's start with the facts about this new law. How does it does it work?

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Opponents of abortion rights have a long history of supporting abortion bans with three major exceptions: when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or when a woman's life is at risk.

But fueled by momentum from the passage of a restrictive abortion law in Alabama, a coalition of anti-abortion-rights groups released a letter Wednesday asking Republican officials to "reconsider decades-old talking points" on exceptions to such laws.

Abortion-rights advocates are holding rallies across the country Tuesday, protesting a wave of laws passed by states in recent weeks to severely restrict access to abortions.

Organizers include the ACLU, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. More than 400 events were planned for a national day of action outside statehouses and courts, united under the #StopTheBans moniker.

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET

Missouri's Senate has passed a bill that would ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy or later, except in cases of medical emergency. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

It's the latest in a series of sweeping abortion restrictions passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures aimed at pushing abortion challenges to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jim Salter / Associated Press

ACLU of Ohio filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging Ohio’s recent “heartbeat” abortion ban, which was signed into law last month.

In the second-floor girls' restroom at Bronx Prep Middle School in New York, there's a sign taped to the back of the toilet stall doors. It's a guide on how to "properly dispose feminine products." On the list? "Make sure that no one views or handles product."

"It's not even saying the word pad. It just says product!" explains Kathaleen Restitullo, 13. "Just, like, don't let anyone see that you are on your period."

Updated at 6:23 p.m. ET Wednesday

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a controversial bill that bans nearly all abortions into law Wednesday evening.

It's considered the most restrictive abortion law in the United States. The law makes it a crime for doctors to perform abortions at any stage of a pregnancy, unless a woman's life is threatened or there is a lethal fetal anomaly.

Under the new law, doctors in the state face felony jail time up to 99 years if convicted. But a woman would not be held criminally liable for having an abortion.

Medicine continues to advance on many fronts, yet basic health care fails hundreds of women a year who die during or after pregnancy, especially women of color. Black mothers die at a rate that's 3.3 times greater than whites, and Native American or Alaskan Native women die at a rate 2.5 times greater than whites, according to a report out this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Dayton City Commission is urging Dayton’s two major health-care systems to sign a transfer agreement with the Miami Valley’s last-remaining abortion provider.

The agreement is required by state law. And without it, the clinic is in danger of closing.

Among the city commission members, four out of five voted in favor of the resolution asking Kettering Health Network and Premier Health to sign the transfer agreement with Women’s Med Center in Kettering.

Legal efforts to challenge the state requirement have so far been unsuccessful.

Abortion protesters at the Ohio Statehouse.
Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

A new Ohio bill would ban most private insurance coverage for abortions. Opponents say it would also ban effective methods of birth control.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed controversial legislation Tuesday that bans abortions in the state as soon as heartbeat activity is detectable, which typically occurs about six weeks into a pregnancy — before many women know they're pregnant.

At the signing ceremony, Kemp said he is grateful to those "throughout Georgia who refused to be silent on this issue, who rejected the status quo, who believe, as I do that every baby has a right to life."

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron)
Paul Vernon / Associated Press

Tuesday marks the first-ever meeting of the Ohio Black Maternal Health Caucus.

Dana Weinstein was 31 weeks into her second pregnancy, preparing to welcome a daughter, when she and her husband were given horrible news: A critical piece of the brain had not developed properly.

"[We were told] that our baby would have seizures 70% of the time — that was a best-case scenario; that when we delivered her, that we'd need to have a resuscitation order in place because she would most likely seize to death," Weinstein said.

Jim Salter / Associated Press

A federal judge blocked part of an Ohio law late Thursday that bans the abortion method of dilation and evacuation in most cases, adding to a list of restrictions on the procedure that are or soon could be in legal limbo.

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