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The next abortion debate


UC Berkley's Abigail Burman on the growing battles over self-managed abortion.


Abigail Burman, UC Berkeley


Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior correspondent, Vox

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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fifty Youtube Channel and now on the way form podcast Andrew and I use that experience to dig even deeper into latest tech for smartphones too. I max to electric cars. So if you're gadget lover or attack, or if you just want to figure out whether the latest gadget is worth your harder in cash. Give us a lesson say: can find waveform the empty if they pass on your favorite Pakistan every Friday see over there, Abaco Berman, is, is a law. Student was a really interesting papers about abortion, which is subject. We haven't talked a lot about on the weeds embark, as I can never really think of like a great like media policy, angle twenty two really discuss. Even though it's it's a really important issue up its own car ideas in this interview really changed the way I think about this topic to meet each other. We kind of frame what abortion will look like in the future all wrong. I don't fully understand the ways in which technology and society have changed in
relevant ways as fastening discussion. I think you can like hello, welcome together, so that the weeds on the button, the pact, has not worked. I met in places, I guess today, Abigail Berman, she's, a student at sea, Berkeley, law, school and the author of a really fascinating at new article called abortion sanctuary cities in the California law Review, and I really got to have her on as a guest, because you know reproductive rights, as is an important topic, as are obviously huge political conflict, and I have
often been totally unsure. What you could say about this that is in any way novel envisages a really interesting article in it it it's very different. I think from the debate that were normally having some really glad to have you here. Thank you so much thrilled to Vienna. So I think that there is a proposal here for four abortions. Angry cities breaking, but we really need to get, is like the background right, because what you are talking about here is self managed abortions and potentially illegal or or grey market ones, and how it is that sort of come to arise as a as question short, so I think When we look back to the genesis of the american Abortion debate, when we look to the Sixtys and Seventys, there is the idea that the choices one between abortions that happen in clinics legally performed by medical professionals or ones with a code
the idea of a back alley. Abortion and luckily medical technology, has now advanced to the place where there is no longer a direct connection between safe abortions and clinical settings. It's completely possible to have a safe abortion outside of a clinical setting without the involvement of women go professional, and this is because we now have medication abortions, which her abortions that are performed using, A combination of two medications me superstar, Mister Preston and and this technology was actually discovered at the grass roots level by women who are living in Latin America and realised that there is this kidney medication called site attack that you could buy over the counter and one of the warnings on the package said do not take a pregnant or only realised that you could safely perfect
an abortion using this medication, and so this is a legally available option in some jurisdictions, including the United States, and you ate budgets, proscription medications, rights are you, you would go to a doctor. You yourself manage you, do it at home, but it still up call you don't think you're so to be in the same week this zone of legality for medication, abortion, it has to be prescribed by a doctor, and Mister Preston is Shelly heavily regulated by the FDA. You can't even get it from a retail pharmacy. It has to come directly from the provider, there's something called the rims programme. So, even though again, this is a very very say for abortion in America. Its wrapped up in all of these layers of regulation- and it still something that has to come from the doktor. But what were increasingly seeing is that, because there are so many
restrictions right now on access to abortion in clinical settings, both on a cost basis where it just prohibitively expensive. For so many pregnant people and in terms of physical access word there very few clinics. If you live in a rural area, you might have to drive for six plus hours, so increasing we We are beginning to see pregnant people purchasing the drug on their own and taking it on their own to self manage their own abortion choose. This is the the other thing that has changed. I may not, since pre robots
the original post row years. Abortion became not just legal but fairly widely available, and since that time, there's been a real move to restrict the ability of abortion clinics to operate right, because all health care providers are subject to a lot of regulation and they have what's called add that trap right was, is targeted regulation of abortion providers, and that has made it in many cases very logistically difficult right. If you are lower income and don't live in a big set up Thirdly, I am, and so just a kind of talk through what this might look like in an individual's life. So, for example, if you live in Virginia you're working a job that pays the state minimum wage, you have two kids and you find yourself an abortion. That's probably gonna be about, four hundred dollars for the abortion. That's the lowest possible rate. That's if you're at the earliest point that most clinics will perform at Virginia mandates. Ultra sounds too that's another
hundred dollars are already at five hundred dollars. You also need to pay for gas for lift. If you can't drive, you probably need to find some form of child care for Europe, adds and you're also missing a day of work, possibly up to two days. If you live in really rural area and can't make the trip in one day and so the associate costs of the procedure. You're running close tube, eight hundred nine hundred dollars when you take into account all of the logistics and that's just not realistic, for so many people, and but instead you now have this other option, which is four and ninety dollars. You can go online, you can order combined pack of me suppose stolen Preston. It will arrive, your door, I'm studies of pills available online have shown that there are all the actual medication, their present in the clinical dose
and so in your own home, on your own time. You can take the medication and safely perform an abortion, but that is separately from questions of abortion law origins of Prescription drug LAW make that ITALY, right, I mean they gonna sit, as is without with all those operating and we're we're talking about multiple layers of of legality ran and for all kinds of there's lots of medications and the United States that you can't just go by the store you may be able to get them over the internet from abroad. but you are you, nuts post now you're you're. Definitely it in a grey area legally, where the? U S does allow importation for personal use of drugs, but it has to be a drug that you ve been prescribed by a doctor, and it also- oh, that personal importation allowance is not codified anywhere only exists in a handbook, so theoretically
sufficiently motivated prosecutor could still go after you for bringing in drugs for personal use, even if they were prescribed. So it's it's, this real catch, twenty two that people end up who Where there, on the one hand, really not able to access in abortion, the clinical setting, because all of these state and federal restriction but on the other hand, if they do choose to go the other route and to get drunk online or country or their sometimes available in more local settings like free markets, their opening themselves up to this other form of legal sanction, and so there is really just not a lot of space for people, particularly low income, people of color to maneuver
when it comes to actually accessing abortion, as you said earlier thing, that's interesting when this was originally developed in in Latin America, where the legal restrictions on abortion or much tighter than in the United States that were often prescription drugs regulation is much black, sir right, so that some sort of a perfect setting to discover that there's, a kidney medication that that you can you can use as a abortion to exactly- and that is the balance the lot of countries in Latin America has struck- is that abortion is technically illegal, but site attack remains freely available over the counter, and there are hotlines in some countries that will instruct you on how to use it in a way actually a very formal programme where people can go to a doctor consult with the doktor about the proper. those how far along they are in the pregnancy and then the doktor sort of puts up their hands and says crew. You go make
Whenever choice you're going to make, they commando purchase, site attack over the counter and then go for a follow up appointment and so the its exists in again convert a grey area where everyone knows that it's happening, but it's not technically recognizes abortion, keys into what I think you have long been a sort of ambiguity in the thinking of people on the antiabortion side of the debate, which is that there's been always been much more interest in regulating and punishing doktor. Then then pregnant People is, I think, a harder cell ransom when you move into the when you move into the self managed sphere is obviously not impossible. This was the point. Is I wasn't on possible to punish people for self managing abortions, but it's not the sort of go to prefer legal strategy for restrictions. I think that's completely cracked, and I think that also reflects the fact that for decades, the territory of the battle
over abortion really was clinics and doctors licensing soon you look at the Ninetys. There were these huge protests that were focused on clinics on trying to get individual doctors to stop performing the person. sure, but I do think that changing and I think that really that I do around directly prosecuting people, for abortion is a roading, and I I think we can also see that if we look at four sample the prosecution's of people who miscarry who have been using drugs, there's, I think, beginning to be a real sense that these are people who you can punish without social sanction and are in a really concerning way, and so I think that something that the reproductive its movement and other movements really have to directly confront and stand up for right, because this is Does ready? We ain't the greater sort of ease of self bandaged abortion. It changes on both sides like what is they actually the locusts of the ban
All right, I didn't mean it also is a lot of it. It's a big changes in policy context, because traditionally one of the things that has, been done, is you know that the classes on how to perform abortion safely are made optional? in medical school reds. The reason you need to go to a special clinic right normally common procedures like you can get done all kinds of places spread, but abortion is treated as special, whereas the knowledge of how to use medication safely is much easier to obtain right, It's like people. People know how to do that. Yeah- and there have been- especially in other countries, really large scale- efforts to disseminate this information about how to safely used these medications and there.
then, studies that have shown that when, given the proper instructions, pregnant people are absolutely capable of safely self administering it is just as safe as any clinic, and so I think that some of the most powerful things about the past guilty of this medication. Is it really puts this decision in pregnant people's own hands? It can echoes that statement from Doktor Tiller trust. Women and I think, a really powerful way and it does. As you said, it addresses the fact that their just are not enough. Abortion providers in the United States, because the training is so hard to Gatt, and sometimes even if people want to perform the procedure They worked for institutions that won't allow it, even if, for example, there was a case in point hang ten m- were a doctor who is employed by hospital, wanted to perform abortions outside of her usual,
hours at a different clinic and the hospital strongly object at. So what can you explain leg? What? What exactly is so our guy is the sort of an extreme case and in one direction, but but what is it that sort of happens elsewhere in Inland America's people? Try to do disseminate the the information that would be needed to do what's I guess illegal in most of these countries, so it's mostly work, that's being done by feminist local, feminist collectives, one of them common models is telephone hotlines and so, for example, them and she lay people can call the people who are manning the hotline, the way they work the line around the fact that abortion remains a legal is they also give general advice and relate W H, show guidelines for medication abortion, but will not give specific advice to the collar I'd. There have also been there a website where people can access this information leaflet campaigns.
With the best work. That's being done on. This comes from an organization called women on waves, which will send the Haitian around the world and has also conducted public information campaigns. So I think what we can take from that is that attending to widely disseminate this information is completely possible. People were, I use it, and people are interested in and again looking to the rise of sporadic an abortion and the discovery that site attack could be used as an abortive fashion. That was completely word of mouth. This was a discovery that the medical community really only caught on to about a decade after pregnant people started using it in this way when they realise that there was such a sharp decline. I in the inn, abortion related deaths and serious injuries that the only way to explain it was that there had been a widespread dissemination of this information. Ok, that's great pointed take a break in and get into another piece of history that you talk about. We live with
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So one of the things that I I learn from your article is that it is of course true that before abortions, where legal in the United States, you had a fairly large number of cases of people entering themselves trying to aboard pregnancies, but that this was not exactly the these scenario of the unsafe back alley: abortion that at least what sort of passed down to me as as hazy cultural law like what's the actual situation, so that the actual situation like yes, it is. Three different from it. I think the way that we think it now and into the progress that we have made so what you had before Oh, was really by four created system where we, and if you had the means were always able to access abortion. There were doctors who could be your general family, commissioner, who would on the side,
warm abortions, for a fee and with discretion, there is also the option of fine to other countries. So one of the cases that really kicked off the modern abortion rights movement was a television host who flew to England, have an abortion and tape the entire procedure. But on the other side, do you know this? Abortion has always been a fact of life and has been something that people will always seek out and try to do, and so, if you couldn't afford to go to a practitioner, the other option was to attempt to self aboard, and so that's where these really horrible injuries that we're talking about come from its not from back alley. Butchers, it's even more tragic in that its injuries that people cause to them.
valves trying to abort. That's where you see things like the coat hangers on the glass in people's uterus is so that the danger that we have to confront is really making sure that people have safer methods of performing abortions themselves and so this is where you you get into ease the analogy to to harm reduction policy- is that we see for certain kinds of illicit drugs and other kinds of things right, which is that people have what we have like. A lot of evidence from Google search tried that there is a topic that is of interest to people who become pregnant and don't want to be pregnant. They try to find out like what can I do about this, and you can walk the line, at least between saying, ok. Well, I am providing you with information and your safety guidelines. I mean, I don't know exactly
like what what people are looking to find out you're. Absolutely there is. There is huge interest in this information. Like you said, the best data we have is from this really fascinating study of Google searches, which found that there are hundreds of thousands of Google searches for terms related to self managed abortion and that these searches are concentrated in states with really restrictive abortion laws. So there is that horrible vicious circle of these restrictions, driving interests and self managed abortion, but these are also the states that are most likely to prosecute for. But when we look at more recent studies of self managed abortion. There are some people who are using the medication and ably able to safely self aboard, but there still reports of people using methods like getting some one to punish them in the stomach or using the council
supplies, for example, at random chemicals, so there's still a real need to disseminate this information and that sort of, like you, said the harm reduction peace comes anywhere. I really think that cities should approach this as a public health issue. It is something that is happening in their communities. It is something that is dangerous to their residents unless they have the proper information, in which case it can be very safe, where a lot of things that might occur to you to try to do to disrupt pregnancy are just going to be very harmful to the pregnant woman right, and it's not that it's on that. It can't be done right, but the the use of these medications is that they are safe, gradually and they they work with. What is ninety percent efficacy? What's the more than ninety, I believe I am, I think it's over ninety five, but I had a remembering exact numbers. Wooden coffee on that, but yet there there very effective. This is really the gold
entered in many ways for a safe, effective abortion, and we have now I'm in internet search, is like it's a great army great tool right. I mean your tongue Mount originally word of mouth telephone hotlines, but, like Google, is a fantastic technology for this basic thing of. Like here's, some information we would like people to have it, but you need people who are authoritative, you know sounding and and as he oh marks. As we all know here- and I think also one of the current problems is that I have done some good loser, just myself, just to see what comes up and there are extensive resources, but they tend to be aimed at people in other countries, and come from people organizations operating overseas. There's no one! It's in the: U S, that's really operating in local communities and communities. The people know entrust that's putting this
formation online or available over the phone. So it is a way bull in american communities again by word of mouth, but I think the role that cities can play really to be like. You said that authoritative one that you know someone that you trust tat. So this is you. Would you need dumb institutional actors, machine credible and relevant to go? Do this because right now, you're saying: ok, why can google up information? That's targeting people in Central America or something? But that's not me. That is not how you present information and helpful way quickly and alive. The resources that are available in English. Our resources that are really geared towards the medical. academic community is so you can pull up the double Rachel guidelines, but to dance should assert that a format that's really accessible? On the other hand, there really amazing resources available in spanish because of
the amazing work that latin american activists have done. So I think really. We should look to that work in terms of thinking about how to make this information accessible and understand, offer ok, but so that what is this sort of legal and and prosecute oriole situation, that's happening so There are people in the United States who are getting at self managed abortions. They are going outside the normal prescription channels to get the medications and are they being prosecuted? Yes, they are, and so most of this research, which I made a fabulous group, called this illegal team that have now made with if, when the how and so about three years ago, they went through and tried to catalogue all of the publicly recorded self managed abortion
executions in the last at the time there were over twenty, and that was just the ones where there was public information available, so very likely that there have been more. There have already been Morrison's that initial report was published, so people are being prosecuted for this, and the prosecutions really fall into three bucket. So there are some states that explicitly criminalize self managed abortion. All abortions must be performed by a physician, if not its criminal offence. There are other states that have a feudal homicide laws, so laws stating that causing the death of a foetus is murder in the criminal code and some states dont provider carve out four and the actions of the person carrying the fetus towards the feed us and concerning. Even in states that do provide an explicit carve out to the fetal homicide law. There has still been prosecution. There was one in Georgia who said at the time
there's no colonel abortion line, Georgia and the fetal homicide Sacho contained a very explicit carve out for people carrying the fetus, There was still a prosecution of a woman and, even though There was no legal basis, for this are her face, was Bosh all over the local news. It's the first thing that comes up when you, Google, her name and then the final bucket of prosecutions as really, though, throw something at the wall and see what sticks bucket. So there have been a people who have suffered their abortion open prosecuted for failure to report a birth abuse, the corpse he's random statutes that are really, I think, just prosecutors who feel lakes. They have done something wrong and need to be punished in some fashion. Obviously, one thing that we saw with with the trap laws is that there is sort of
nation and there's copying in this space. Whitey took a y all for all this to happen, even though political opposition to legal abortion is is very old and also, we will likely see a jurisprudential change from from the Supreme Court that will lead state legislatures get much more aggressive in what they choose to do, and so it seems to me we should expect to see
more moves to explicitly criminalize self bandaged abortions in the future. From from the more conservative states, the intent is clear to restrict access if this issue has not fully occurred to everyone, or they have concerns about the litigation impact like that. She's gonna change in the near future absolutely on- and I think it's this this twin, these twin forces of- were likely to see a change in the law moving forward, which makes it easier to pass these types of laws, and then I think that change will also just lead bad actors to feel like they have in more social licence to go after these people be his and a lot of cases. These are prosecutions that are happening to low income. Women, particularly low income. Women of color is those are the people who are hit hardest by these trap. Laws who dont have the resources to travel out of state for abortion, and so I think, we're
likely to see even more prosecution of these vulnerable vulnerable communities. For actions that, they really were driven to buy stuff, policy in the first place, which is the perversity of these prosecution. The social interests of former federalism perspective because peace, RO. This was a state topic right and then it became a federal constitutional law topic within within the framework of federal jurisprudence. There's been a lot of state variation and that sort of always been the case when every time is a new big abortion case. It's about a state law, but as we move more and more to medication type abortions, all prescription drugs policy is federal, essentially ride him. Yet so abortion policy has been handled by states primarily, but questions about what is available with the bridge
option questions about what's available in retail pharmacies, that's all stuff: that's out of state governments, hands ride so like a California or New York can't like move forward to make these medications more widely veiled yeah. They can't say Handedly realise these medications and it's there an enormous fight at the federal level to get even emergency contraception approves. So I think that's definitely going to be a much longer struggle, and so a feminist groups have been involved in trying to lift the ram. restrictions on Mfa, Preston and and at least try to make TAT a little more available, I'm so, for example, you could just pick up your Prescription ATLAS pharmacy or that you can make it available via telemedicine more easily, but I think that really does highlight what's at play here, where that the federal government does exert a tremendous amount of control, but
I think we are also seeing, particularly during the Trump administration, this rise of progressive federalism. This idea that states and localities really can do a lot to mitigate the harms, even if we first stone and Mister Preston remain difficult to access at the federal level. States can really take up this harm reduction work and try to make it more difficult to carry out these types of prosecutions. So that's what signal the Brigham and, let's, let's get finally took to the heart of the matter. If you like, basically anyone listening to this right now, I'm willing to bet that you are you're dealing with stress, maybe there's Kind of it like an overwhelming amount- or maybe it's more like a low but steady, drumbeat background- stress, no matter how you are experiencing stress, it's likely effect mood you energy in so many other areas of your life. You feel, like stress, is starting to take over straining relationships and shorten your temper. It's probably tend to unload and better health
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What what is it you? You would like to see them too. So I argue that localities and if they want states can get in on. This, too, should adopt a two pronged strategy to respond to both the rise of self finished abortion and the fact that were increasingly seeing profit prosecutions of it. So first they should adopt harm reduction policy where they basically just take advantage of all of the many ways that cities have to reach out to their residents and disseminate, information about how to safely use abortion medications. So this would be like health departments who are already doing
stuff about vaccines or whatever it out as it is a city health department? Does they can sort of make sure that they are providing information on this top? Exactly like, I would love to see a subway add with the dosage instructions for me suppressed or, for example, three one one and have recorded message about what the dose as even public libraries can put up posters they're. All of these really great ways that cities can reach out to people who live in them because, like you said it is the most direct form of government its where we come into contact with our government. I'm and then cities should, in addition to those harm reduction measures. Look to the example of the abortion Sanctuary movement and adopt information protection policies, so really make sure that their not retaining or sharing any information that might aid in prosecutions for self managed abortion, and so this would take the form of measures that would
example prevents police or other public officers from Pro actively participating in prosecutions or investigations of self managed abortion to put in place. Policies to destroy, for example, FED civic, identifying information of anyone who visit city websites or calls three one one since cities do have to be careful in the information front, that any information management policies are part of a broader document retention policy, recently don't and destroying evidence. But I think, just generally it sensible policies that are keeping people's identifying information on hand indefinitely is the largest city is learned in the sanctuary context, and what we also see from the sanctuary movement is that these policies operate on two levels where they're both fearing people practical support in their day to day lives, but also sending the bigger message that the people that these laws are directed on our part of this community
their people that belong here and that the government is going to act to protect, because the government thinks that their lives are important and I think that's also really huge part of local legists so much so that the inspiration here obviously is coming from the Sanctuary city movement around undocumented immigrants, where, as long time listeners progress will now. I mean this is not a not a technical term in immigration policy, but has come to primarily me in a sort of lack of information sharing between local law enforcement and immigration authorities around people's immigration status, and so that's the sort of mean Spirit that the Europe waiting in here exactly an end. I think much like that. The sanctuary movement has really emphasise the need to be flexible and that these policies will look different in different places. I think that's also true of what I'm advocate
for so much not every city will be able to adopt. All of these policies are all of them in the same form, but in general. I think these are the two directions that cities should be thinking in, and and they have a lot of scope. So, for example, if you live in a state that has really strict criminal, self, managed abortion laws really strict accomplice, liability laws and you feel, like you, just can't safely share information about the dosage information. There are many other options he could take, for example, providing training for providers on mandatory reporting laws. So there are clear about the fact that suspected self managed abortion is almost never cause for a report for suspected child abuse to the authorities, which did lead to one of the prosecutions, so
there's a lot that cities can do any of you. It seems to me a girl focusing in articles on and cities, but I mean a lot of this is relevant to state governments in particular. Right, I mean because you need to sort of part of this red is you can look through your criminal code and make sure that you have some kind of safe harbours right, because there's it there's a lot of potential prosecutor real creativity at that they can exist in the world, but you going when you're dealing with a situation where you know probably There's gonna, be a violation of prescription, drug laws at work here. Yeah absolutely- and I think this
issue of the state criminal code and state action really speaks to the way that some major worship highlights the way that the row framework can continue to guide the Reproductive rights movement were when states have reformed their laws. To, for example, New York recently passed a law that took abortion out of the criminal code, but really follow this row framework where it legalised doctors performing abortions. It did not legalise people getting, which is, if a fine. but very important distinction in the context of self managed abortion, so in New York Self vintage wash and even after this, liberalization of the abortion lost still exists. no legal grey area and so for states who are looking at dating their abortion was really consider people who are self managing and making sure that they are not leaving open space for peace
Golly motivated prosecutors to act when it interest, in general terms of the advocacy space where that, if you are trying to think right, if there has been a sort of movement over forty years to make it more and more burdensome to get an abortion, even if its legal right counter advocacy, you want to aim at making it like more convenient to get a safe abortion and, in a practical sense, with emerging technology. That means less and less advocacy.
round clinics and more more advocacy around medication, exactly, I think, really moving the advocacy from the providers to the people getting me abortions, making sure that that their access to abortion and the right to abortion is located in the lives of people who need abortions, not a thoroughly their providers. So why? What do we know about the sort of reaction from latin american governments to the emergence of this practice? Because that could be a sort of a look ahead? Right I mean you, don't need to keep making a kidney. Mary Asian available if your social understanding becomes that its is widely used for abortions. There is an uneasy tolerance and sites like Facebook differ, of course, between countries, but for you although the Airway programme really operates quite publicly- and everyone knows that's happening, but there's a racket- mission that this sort of intervened,
and is needed to prevent people dying from unsafe methods of self managed abortion. I think that's the through line of history of abortion and studies of abortion access all around the world is that this is something that people are going to do no matter what, throughout history across the world, people who want to not be pregnant, we'll try very hard to not be pregnant, and so the key is just to make sure that they have a safe way to do so. Otherwise, its creating a serious public health crisis so just as serious human rights crisis, where this does really imperil peoples a bill need to be full members of their political communities. I just seems like I mean I can imagine the development in you. Do us federal politics. We already have all kinds of topics, and some seesaw, according to you, know, who's in charge of the exact
and trade at, and you can imagine a world in which, for public administrations are pivoting, the DE aid to be doing tons of investigations into you know: illicit importation of drugs for the purposes of abortion, and at the genome problem. Five of movement is very seriously or yeah. I'm already so there has been it's very unusual for companies to be investigated or prosecuted for importing drugs to the states. There's again been an acceptance that like, for example, people import from canadian pharmacies, but the FDA is actually currently investigating women on waves, which is one of them, was public per leaders of these pills in the U S, and there was also the prosecution of women who was distributing these pills via mail in the states, and both of these are very unusual. This is the first time we ve seen this hyper prosecutions. I think that
The war is already opening that you describe right. Emmi guess I know I mean this is a very different context, but I mean you know we read about the sort of development of appeared again crisis in the United States, was a time when people were not that interested in sort of off label distribution of these pills, and then it became a huge point of emphasis and they, you know. In that case, I think, for good reasons, like really successfully clamp down sort of black market distribution of medications- and you know it's- I feel like ultimately like you're gonna- have to have significant fight out of federal level over over control of of policy in the space. I think that's absolutely true, but I think in some ways this is actually a stronger ground on which to have that fight than the current fight that we're having, because what this allows you to argue is that it's not a question of,
actors rights with their patients or of privacy for people who need abortion, or is it really allows you to Google directly speak to the stakes of this issue where it is people's a bill? ready to direct their own lives and to be full participants in their community. With the famous justice Ginsburg Coat that abortion is essential to the full participation of women in the social, economic and governmental lives of their communities of em and flip side. This relates to, I think we ve now seen a few cases of investigations or maybe even prosecutions of women who miscarry after taking illegal drugs. Yeah I think those cases are really deeply connected to this issue and to the broader motivation behind these prosecutions, where it is about control of women's lives and bodies and
when we say when I say women, I mean for all people whose political identity includes women within that, and so those cases, I think, really should be highlighted more because they're really horrifying abuses of power, and that's where I think reproductive rights, are heading right now, that's where the energy, because I've said I don't want to speak out a term. We need medical, biologically wait a essentially these medications induce MS care. She s enemies, carriages themselves are actually very calm. Yeah the soap just in whose listening good information to have the what these medications uses medically indistinguishable from a miscarriage. These medications really can't be detected in your blood for very long. So if you turn up at a hospital, for example, or someone reports, you where's gonna look like it's a miscarriage, and I think this is part of why we see so many prosecutions
of low income women of color it, because you end up in a situation where you're saying that you miss Carried- and you may in fact have actually miscarried, but the doctors, the police, don't believe you I'm so brought the brunt of these prosecutions fall on people were already distrust, I shall systems re enter your you're talking about rented to really tried to police the ray you're talking about really stepping up the intrusiveness with which the medical and law enforcement situation looks at miscarriages, which are which are women.
Quite common occurrence, freely common day they happen and that I think it a really good way we're starting to talk more now about how common they are, and so, if you really wanted to aggressively police as you would have to be investigating every miscarriage, and that is really horrifying guns up and again, I think that highlights the disparate impact of these laws, where it's not really practical to investigate every miscarriage so whose miscarriages are going to be investigated. Who will be looked upon with suspicion for whether or not they took pills to again going to be communities that are already facing systemic disadvantaged communities of color, low income communities, rural communities, people who don't have the social clout to get doctors and prosecutors and police officers to believe them? So one of the prosecutions was in Indiana and the Purview Patel case and one of the things that
get off was that she had expressed some ambivalence about being pregnant, and I think that just freely concerning that feeling, ambivalent about a pregnancy which the huge life changing thing that could be enough to to lend you under suspicion of committing a murder of you. So you know, o lifting it's a normal doesn't, like legitimately terrifying thought you know so before I let you go. I like ask us on the show. You know what what should I have asked you hear what what did we miss in this conversation? Sulphur? So I think I will just say: looking forward, took two white people who support access to abortion, who really want to build a movement to do I think it is incumbent on us to really start focusing on the lives of the actual people.
We're having abortions and really make the case that abortion is not important because just because its protected by the constitution, but because it is central to people's ability to direct the course of their lives and to be safe and to be full members of their community. Yet I mean I also really to some of the work that you are talking about here in terms of disseminating information, experiment, visitors, unnatural role for the advocacy organizations liberated exist around this topic and cork me if I'm wrong, but I feel that this is not what they are doing currently a. No, no, I think right now, as it has been released since row, the reprogramming has really been locked in. To this point,
of focusing on the courts of focusing on the winning arguments that they see themselves as having, which is the constitutional argument. The idea of privacy that we're not asking you to say whether abortion is good or bad, or just asking you to say that it should be. Some people are allowed to do, but that's just not working. It has not stopped these horrifying attacks on access to abortion that we see across the country, and so I think it is time for a new strategy. Strategy that really defends access to abortion on the merits as a good thing and unnecessary thing for people to have access to, and I I think also there's, there's always tension with the facts, spit factors in clinics have been really wonderful allies in the fight for abortion access the plaintiffs. In a number of cases, providers face enormous, that's their safety every day, but were now at a place where you can safely perform
an abortion without access to a clinic, and so really opening up that conversation soon and looking at ways for providers to continue to be. Involved will also recognising that as we move forward hopefully more and more people will be able to if they want to use self, managed abortion, and there are always going to be people for whom this is not their first choice, who really prefer to have it in a clinic or will who will be too far along in their pregnancy to safely used the medication, but finding that balance going forward, I think, is really important. Arts, fantastic Abigail Birmingham. You see Berkeley LAW school. Thank you, so much thanks also to mark, I brought his salary beyond this episode checked your felt producer, and these will be back onto accessible, affordable broadband hubs, communities
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Transcript generated on 2021-09-10.