Abortion bans that were put in place in some states if Roe v. Wade was overturned began automatically taking effect Friday, while clinics in other countries, including Alabama, Texas and West Virginia, stopped performing abortions for fear prosecution. women in tears.
“Some patients broke down and couldn’t talk because of the sobbing,” said Kathy Quinones, executive director of West Virginia’s only abortion clinic, whose employees called dozens of patients names throughout the day to cancel appointments. “Some patients were stunned and did not respond. know what to say. Some patients didn’t understand what was going on.”
America trembled with anger, joy, fear and confusion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe’s decision. The canyon-like division in the US over abortion rights was on full display, with abortion rights advocates calling it a dark day in history, while anti-abortion hail the decision as an answer to their prayers.
In overturning the half-century constitutional right to abortion, the Supreme Court left the political issue to the discretion of the states, about half of which are now likely to ban the procedure.
Reaction across the country largely followed predictable political lines.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat from a state where abortion is available with few restrictions, called the decision a “war on women” and vowed to stand as a “brick wall” to help preserve the right. Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin vowed to push for a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a conservative Republican widely seen as a potential 2024 presidential nominee, tweeted, “The Supreme Court has answered the prayers of millions and millions of Americans.”
This question will undoubtedly strengthen the fall election season. Both sides intend to use this issue to galvanize supporters and get them to vote.
“This country is leaning to the right, taking away rights. Voters will have to intervene,” said South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, the majority representative in the US House of Representatives. “We are moving towards autocracy, where women will be subject to the wishes of men.”
Some states, such as Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, had book bans that went into effect immediately after Rowe’s fall.
In Alabama, three statewide abortion clinics stopped performing the procedure for fear that providers would be held accountable under a 1951 law.
At the Alabama Women’s Reproductive Alternative Center in Huntsville, staff had to tell women in the waiting room on Friday morning that they could no longer have abortions that day. Some even came from Texas for the meeting.
“Many of them just started crying. Can you imagine if you drove 12 hours to get this help in this condition and you are not able to?” said clinic owner Dalton Johnson. Patients were given a list of out-of-state locations that still have abortions.
In Texas, healthcare professionals wondered which law they should follow: the 1925 ban, the 2021 law that limits abortion to the first six weeks of pregnancy, or the trigger law that completely bans the procedure but doesn’t go into effect for a month or more. . The confusion has led them to put their abortions on hold while they seek legal advice.
Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned they could face immediate prosecution for performing abortions under a Prohibition-era ban that carries two to five years in prison.
It was the risk of being prosecuted under the 19th century abortion ban punishable by prison that caused the West Virginia Women’s Health Center to stop performing the procedure.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, said he would not hesitate to call the Legislature into special session if the ban needed to be clarified.
The decision of the Supreme Court caused a strong reaction throughout the country.
Carol E. Tracy, executive director of the Philadelphia Women’s Rights Project, was “absolutely furious.”
“They want women to be barefoot and pregnant again,” she said. going to fight back. I think it will be a long and hard fight.”
Garrett Bess, who works with the lobbying arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said his group will continue to pressure states to ban abortion.
“We will work with grassroots Americans to ensure that pregnant mothers and babies are protected,” Bess said before the Supreme Court. “It was a long-awaited decision, and it is a long-awaited decision.”
Opinion polls show that a majority of Americans are in favor of keeping Row.
They include 41-year-old Alison Dreith, an abortion activist from southern Illinois, where the governor has pledged to make the procedure available. She said she feared for the safety of abortion workers, especially those who help people from states where abortion is illegal.
Draith works with the Midwest Action Coalition, which offers gas money, child care, and other practical support for women seeking abortions.
“I am absolutely sure that they will try to persecute me. I’m not made for prison, but I’m ready, she said, and I say, “Let’s do it.” Do you want to choose this fight with me? I resist.”
Boston Roman Catholic Cardinal Sean O’Malley, spiritual leader of some 1.8 million Catholics, called the ruling “profoundly important and encouraging.” But he also warned against stigmatizing or criminalizing women who have had or are considering an abortion.
“Too often, isolated and desperate women felt like they had no other choice,” O’Malley said.
Medical student LaShira Nolen, the first black woman to become class president at Harvard Medical School, said she feared the effects of the abortion ban on minorities and poor women in particular.
“Last month, we saw that this country is not ready to provide children with access to formula so that they can be fed every day. We have seen that our children are not safe in our schools due to the lack of gun control. We also continue to see devastating statistics that black women are more likely to die in childbirth compared to white women,” Nolen said.
“So when you have these horrendous differences that exist in our country and you force someone to give birth,” she said, “I think it will lead to really dangerous measures and really dangerous conclusions.”
Associated Press reporters from across the US contributed to this report. Follow Maryclairedale on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Maryclairedale
For Associated Press’s full coverage of the Supreme Court’s abortion decision, see https://apnews.com/hub/abortion.
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