Following the leaked Supreme Court decision suggesting Roe vs. Wade will be reversed, many Americans of childbearing age are wondering what they can do now to prepare for that eventuality.
Of course, reproductive health care providers on the front lines of this debate have been thinking about this for some time.
Robin Marty is director of operations for the West Alabama Women’s Center and author of Handbook for a Post-Roe America. Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosely is an obstetrician-gynecologist and CEO of Power to Decide, a nonprofit sex health and planning organization. They both joined NPR All things Considered provide guidance on what reproductive health care might look like in the future and how people can stay informed and prepared if Roe vs. Wade is overturned.
This interview has been slightly edited
On what would be immediately banned in states with trigger laws like Alabama, if Roe v. Wade is cancelled:
Robin Marty: So I want to explain very quickly that while probably half of the states don’t have access to legal abortion, there are very few states, even those with triggers, that will be immediately affected by the decision.
It is therefore a period of time before something immediately takes effect. For us [in Alabama], This is not the case. And that means we have to be sure that if we have patients who need to be treated, they’ll be in the waiting room, and we have to make sure they start the dilation process or are already taking their pills before a decision is made. falls, which for us would be at 9 o’clock.
We usually check in our patients at eight o’clock, but we take our patients out even earlier each day, this could potentially be decision day, just to make sure we can care for as many as possible before we run out.
On what options does a pregnant person have an anti-abortion state:
Robin Marty: There are a number of different options a person can go through. Some of them involve trying to go to a clinic outside of their state. This requires research.
There are abortion funds and practice support groups that can help provide financial assistance and logistical support. But also, what we find is that most people, especially in the south, are having a really hard time being able to afford all the bus tickets, plane tickets, work stoppages. It just won’t be feasible for many of them.
What to look for in an OB-GYN clinic to make sure it’s legit and safe:
Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosely: So the first thing is to identify where you can go. We have a resource at Power To Decide called abortionfinder.org. There is another resource called “I Need an A”, and these have databases of reliable abortion clinics all over the country.
Robin Marty: I agree with everything Raegan said. I would also like to say that reaching out to a local independent abortion clinic, just to ask questions, is definitely something that can be done. Abortion clinics will always be aware of what is happening in their area. As incredible as online sources are, they are so difficult to keep up to date. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to ask, that’s what we’re here for.
On finding a trustworthy doctor to get an abortion or receive follow-up care:
Robin Marty: I actually put together a list of questions people can ask their doctor. So it’s a checklist that a person can go through and say, “How about abortion? ‘If I asked for an abortion, would you make a referral?’ That’s a whole list of things that, frankly, doctors need to be checked for at this point, because there are states where you can’t sue a doctor if they’re hiding information about your pregnancy from you. So we have already seen how completely abortion laws have undermined the doctor-patient relationship. And it will only get worse once it’s doctors and patients who could potentially end up in jail.
Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosely: I just wanted to jump in from a medical point of view and point out, realizing that someone may not have the ability to completely control a provider, it’s important to realize that if someone has prolonged bleeding or may need medical attention after taking abortion medication, with medication they obtained themselves, or with care from a provider, which is very similar to a miscarriage. So someone can potentially come to the ER and their healthcare provider and say, “I’m cramping and bleeding, and I had a positive pregnancy test,” and receive the care they need. without having to reveal that he had an abortion. medications.
Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.