There’s a LOT going on right now. Like… WHAT is gonna happen on “Survivors: Winners at War”??? LOL JK also everything else. We know/understand/intimately live with the desire to… panic. To freak out. But, we’ve found that in this time focusing on reproductive rights is… well, definitely not CALMING BUT… a good way to feel like you are accomplishing one thing every day. So TODAY we’re talking about how coronavirus is affecting and could affect reproductive healthcare. Don’t be scared, just make a PLAN with us!
What is Essential:
We’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is considered “essential” and it reminds us that our biggest peeve is when anti-abortion ghouls keep saying “elective abortion” emphasizing “elective” over and over. Elective, in essence, just means you get to decide, more of less, when a procedure is performed. But there’s still a VERY limited timeframe for people to get abortions, like say, they can’t wait 3 months in quarantine!
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement saying that abortion should be considered essential healthcare! And it is!
Patients Not Being Able to Get to Clinics:
Let’s get to the practical needs of abortion seekers. See, we can big-picture think that additional travel or waiting periods suck but day-to-day the people, like our co-worker Marie, who work at support orgs have seen the changes. Marie works at Midwest Access Coalition and here are just a few things she lists as added barriers: additional travel worries (it’s always bad to have to travel a long way, sometimes THREE times, but now with the virus it becomes less and less safe, you risk infection every time you travel), AIRBNB safety/hotels being shut down (travel means hotels, additional lack of safety in the time of a virus, and also additional lack of RESOURCES should places be shut down), emotional support in the waiting room (patients often bring friends, support and they now can’t because of safety concerns), childcare costs (yes, there’s no school now, so additional childcare costs are taking their toll), and, of course, the idiots outside of clinics yelling have ONLY GOTTEN MORE AGGRESSIVE, now targeting patients in cars while they fill out paperwork.
Patients Not Being Able to Afford Abortions
Here’s one that is ALWAYS an issue but is going to be exponentially worse under quarantine. With so many hourly workers losing their jobs and getting their hours cut, abortions become harder and harder to afford. There’s actually something we can DO about this, which is a nice change at least! DONATE TO A FUND or a practical support fund. Here’s a quick list we pulled together but you also can go to the NNAF website to find one near you!
Kentucky Health Justice Network
ACCESS: Women’s Health Justice (of CA)
Who Has It?
So now… IN ADDITION to all that let’s talk about… WHEN SOMEONE GETS SICK. One thing that the virus is exposing ALL OVER is the cracks in the system that we’ve as a society not been as vigilant at demanding accountability for. LIKE, maybe prisoners shouldn’t have to pay for their own fucking hand soap. And… maybe we shouldn’t shame med students out of learning how to perform abortions! BECAUSE SOMETIMES ONE DOCTOR IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HEALTHCARE OF AN ENTIRE STATE! Enter this terrifying story of a provider in Texas who DING DING DING can’t get tested because they’re not fucking testing enough people and is SELF-QUARANTINING. Obviously, he’s looking out for the public good and doing the right thing BUT this also means people in Texas seeking abortion will see a delay of care. And as this gets more and more advanced, we are worried we will see more and more cases like this!
And what about patients? If you have it, if you have a cough, if you have a fever, if you are just feeling a little under the weather, you will want to protect everyone else… but you might also NEED an abortion and soon.
It can’t solve everything but… we have to mention that… what could obviously solve this is….
Definitely tune into our big Operation Save Abortion MONDAY for an overview of the importance of telemedicine. But for now we’ll say: Guess WHAT the abortion pill should be EASILY available over the counter and telemedicine should 400% be an option for patients taking medication abortion.
The FDA has NOT yet lifted/relaxed regulations on abortion pills, they still have to be picked up at clinics. It’s… ridiculous, given the time we live in! Wait no, it was ALWAYS ridiculous and now it’s dangerous!
Telemedicine is absolutely vital in this time!
This is a lot for y’all so we’re not gonna spiral, but if you want to read a few more reproductive rights worries, Rewire ran this great interview with a doctor talking about the big questions (like, can we still fuck???) You can also read Guttmacher’s comprehensive guide to the fallout for reproductive rights in this time.
How Anti-Abortion Fuckers Made CORONAVIRUS Somehow About Abortion
We’d be remiss to not mention this one. Cutting funding to stem cell research was always terrible. It was dangerous. It was EVERYTHING the anti-abortion movement stands for. It had long term effects THAT HAVE ALREADY hurt real living people all while doing… absolutely nothing to stop abortion.
But anyway, now cutting this funding is ALSO preventing doctors from finding a CURE to coronavirus! How much MORE will they sacrifice in their endless crusade to deny people reproductive rights???
May all your emperors be exposed as wearing no clothes. Before it’s too late.