October 16, 2021

It’s not just abortions that are endangered by the new anti-abortion laws but women’s health care and those who provide it.

Most abortion clinics provide many other health services for women, Kathy Spillar, executive director of the Feminist Majority Foundation, said. That includes birth control, screening for sexually transmitted diseases and even general health care. “In some communities, it's the only place that women can access reproductive health care at an affordable price,” she added.

But the anti-abortionists are deliberately making it harder for those providers to perform any health care for women. As MSNBC host Ali Velshi put it, the new laws put a chill on clinics, making them financially unviable and forcing them to close.

Then there are the other attacks. “These are not just pickets along a sidewalk somewhere,” Spillar continued, but there have been murders and bombings. Anti-abortionists “go after doctors. they go after the staff. they go after the patients that are trying to access these clinics with harassment, with stalking, with interference with their access. and it is only increasing with every one of these laws that these states are passing, to interfere with access.”

Dr. Willie Parker, an abortion provider in several states and a plaintiff in the Mississippi case on the Supreme Court docket this term, explained that anti-abortion laws empower anti-abortion activists to become more menacing. The recent Texas law has added financial threats with its “bounty system that imposes not only health and safety risks to the doctor but also material risks,” on almost anyone associated with providing an abortion, such as an Uber driver.

Parker said his risks include being targeted in leaflets to neighbors, people showing up at his house and death threats. Given the 2009 murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, the threats have to be taken seriously. Now, Parker has financial and legal risks that consume his time, too. “People are having to decide how much risk am I willing to take on behalf of my patients?” Parker said.

That’s exactly what the fetus worshipers want, of course.

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