This month has been excruciating for abortion providers. Any day now, the Supreme Court will release a decision that could overturn the federal right to abortion. The careers and futures of clinic staff in the South and Midwest hang in the balance as this basic healthcare need once again becomes the target of right-wing extremists. Despite that fact, we continue to show up to help as many people in our communities for as long as we can.
Our clinic staff deserve better. Pregnant people deserve better. Families deserve better. At Whole Woman’s Health and Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, we will continue our long and proud tradition of providing high-quality, compassionate, personalized abortion care – even in a potential post-Roe America. We have been preparing our clinics in states where abortion is legally protected (Maryland, Minnesota, and Virginia) for a surge of patients from states that may ban abortion. We’re also expanding and raising funds for our Wayfinder Program and virtual care services so we can help pregnant people all across the country obtain safe, timely, affordable care.
We will keep fighting like hell against the anti-liberty, anti-family, anti-rights extremists responsible for these monstrous attacks on the people, families, and communities we serve until their full rights and access to the care they need is completely restored and rebuilt. We will keep fighting to ensure reproductive healthcare delivered with the dignity and respect all people deserve is once again available in local communities everywhere. Here’s how you can help.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, President & CEO Sonja Miller, MEd, MDiv, Interim Managing Director
Abortion Is Our Work
It’s been almost 10 months since Texas’ radical abortion ban went into effect. That’s 10 months that our federal government has failed to protect the rights of its citizens. Texas lawmakers have been working to ban abortion for decades, and their mission will be complete if the Supreme Court guts Roe v. Wade. If the leaked draft decision holds true, Texas’ trigger ban and pre-Roe ban will immediately outlaw all abortions. Not to be outdone, neighboring Oklahoma enacted the most restrictive abortion law in the country late last month, banning all abortions from the stage of “fertilization.” Texas clinics have seen an increase in patients traveling from Oklahoma for an abortion, but that may no longer be an option for them in the coming days. All of this bad news hits us abortion providers hard – we know the hearts and minds of those seeking abortion care and we know that bans like these do nothing to prevent unplanned pregnancy or support families. We grieve deeply for what has been lost and we are committed to building a better future.
Whole Woman’s Health of Austin had a surprise visit from the Liberate Abortion Caravan last week! Advocates from across the country traveled to the heart of the communities most affected by extremist abortion laws. Their first stop was in Austin, Texas’ state capitol, where Marva Sadler, our Senior Director of Clinical Services, spoke at the press conference. Afterwards, the caravan treated our clinic staff to lunch and some much-needed love and support. The caravan also went to Whole Woman’s Health of Fort Worth to treat clinic staff to dinner and spruce up the exterior.
Last week, Governor Youngkin proposed an amendment to the Commonwealth’s biennial budget, Amendment 30, which would have banned Medicaid-eligible Virginians from receiving funding to end pregnancies with severe fetal diagnoses. Governor Youngkin’s cruel and discriminatory amendment failed, though the House of Delegates supported it on a party-line vote of 51-45. The Senate voted to “pass the amendment by for the day” on a partisan vote of 20-19, therefore not adopting the amendment. Read up on the entire legislative session in REPRO Rising VA’s (formerly NARAL VA) 2022 Legislative Scorecard.
We’re working with our partners at the Virginia Reproductive Equity Alliance (VREA) to mobilize Virginians to fight for their reproductive freedoms and uplift local abortion funds and clinics. Today at 6:30pm, members of the VREA and pro-abortion Virginians will rally and protest the anticipated Supreme Court ruling at Signal Hill Park in Manassas, VA. This Sunday, we’re coming together in Norfolk, VA to speak out for abortion rights. We hope you’ll join us at one or both if you’re nearby!
Whole Woman’s Health of Charlottesville has been receiving a lot of community support the past few weeks. Just last week, donations were raised through an art auction at McGuffey Art Center in downtown Charlottesville. The clinic itself is preparing for an influx of patients from other states once the Supreme Court’s decision is released.
The Minnesota legislature adjourned on May 22, 2022, and anti-abortion legislators introduced 9 bills restricting abortion, 3 of which would have banned abortion outright. None of the 9 bills passed. In its first term, the Reproductive Freedom Caucus introduced 10 bills addressing reproductive freedom. Unfortunately, none of those bills succeeded in passing either. See Pro-Choice MN’s round-up of all the bills.
The UnRestrict Minnesota coalition is organizing a Vigil for Reproductive Freedom at 5:30pm on the day the Supreme Court releases its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Sign up to attend and receive updates. UnRestrict Minnesota is also organizing a day of action on Sunday, July 17 in St. Paul. Finally, Gender Justice and ACLU of MN plan to live-stream a legal analysis within 24 hours after the decision.
Whole Woman’s Health of Minnesota has been busy preparing for an influx of patients from Midwestern and Southern states that are likely to ban abortion the moment Roe is overturned. The clinic is currently providing in-clinic abortion procedures up to 18 weeks and medication abortions up to 11 weeks, as well as virtual care to anyone with a Minnesota mailing address. Here’s how we impacted just one patient’s life.
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that only the Governor, not the General Assembly, has the power to call a special session. The legislature had passed a bill in 2021 giving itself that power, but Governor Holcomb vetoed it, saying it was unconstitutional. The legislature overrode his veto, prompting a lawsuit. The Indiana Supreme Court agreed with Holcomb. This lawsuit came as 100 conservative lawmakers urged the Governor to convene a special session if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Just yesterday, Governor Holcomb did just that, signing a proclamation calling lawmakers back for a special session starting on July 6, 2022. The session is being convened under the guise of economic relief, but Holcomb has signed every anti-abortion measure that has arrived on his desk since he took office. “A Bans Off Our Bodies” block party and rally will take place in Indianapolis on July 9th to push back against lawmakers’ anti-abortion agendas. Here’s how you can participate.
Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend has seen an outpouring of support from the community since the leaked Supreme Court decision. A few people sent us lunch and other snacks. The clinic escorts even collected money for a staff lunch fund. Here are a few of the notes they’ve received:
- “Thank you for everything you do and every way you support people’s bodies. You’re amazing and you’re lifesavers.”
- “I simply wanted to say *thank you* for providing necessary and life-affirming care to people who need abortions. Your work is so important, now more than ever.”
- “Thank you so much for all of your hard work. You guys are heroes!”
As the Supreme Court considers whether to gut Roe v. Wade, state constitutions and courts matter more than ever in protecting abortion rights. While states like New York and California move to protect abortion access ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision, elsewhere it’s a different story. The country’s largest anti-abortion group recently unveiled model legislation for anti-abortion lawmakers that will worsen abortion bans, criminalization, state surveillance, and maternal deaths. Clinics across the country are preemptively halting abortion services and Oklahoma and South Dakota are now abortion deserts. On June 8th, President Biden appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and shared that he was weighing executive actions he could take but avoided any specifics. Legal experts say there’s little he can do to stop states that want to outlaw abortion.
These attacks on abortion care come just as new research from the Guttmacher Institute shows the long-term decline in abortions in the United States that started 30 years ago has reversed. They found that there were 8% more abortions in 2020 than in 2017, and about 1 and 5 pregnancies ended in abortion in 2020. Read the full report here.
What’s more, corporate America is helping fund the increasing attacks on abortion. Since 2020, nearly $200 million has been donated by corporations to anti-abortion lawmakers to help pass cruel legislation like SB 8 in Texas. The top 5 donating more than $5 million include Chevron, Altria, Anthem, Comcast and AT&T. Check out the full list and sign the petition to stop the corporate funding of abortion bans. On a positive note, just yesterday, Congress introduced its second spending bill without the Hyde Amendment, demonstrating a recommitment to ending a policy that for more than 45 years has denied abortion coverage for people enrolled in Medicaid.
In the News
Whole Woman’s Health and Whole Woman’s Health Alliance are nationally recognized experts in abortion care. We have an open-door policy with the press because it’s vital to shifting the conversation around abortion. We’re also playing an important role in educating the press with our brand-new Reporter Hub. This hub features toolkits and guides on ethically reporting on abortion, safety and privacy concerns when visiting clinics or sharing patient stories, and more. If you’re a reporter, we encourage you to visit the hub!
We’ve been busy speaking to local and national reporters about how we’re preparing for the Supreme Court’s official decision. Make sure you read our recent interviews in Mother Jones, Minnesota Public Radio, and KERA Austin.See our latest interviews and op-eds.
How You Can Help
There has never been a more important moment to join together to fight for reproductive freedom. With your support, we will keep fighting against anti-abortion extremists — and offering care and support even to people in states hostile to their rights. To learn more about other ways you can support WWHA, please contact our Development Director, Wendy Spaulding, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abortion Fact of the Month
The partisan divide on abortion is far wider than it was two decades ago, despite the fact that people from all parties utilize and benefit from abortion services.