On March 22, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that prohibited procedures that were not "medically necessary," claiming that this would preserve personal protective equipment and reduce demands on hospital-based care. Despite the fact that abortion rarely occurs in hospitals, Attorney General Ken Paxton chose to interpret the order to include abortion in defiance of professional medical associations’ recommendations that access to abortion during the pandemic should not and need not be delayed or compromised.
Researchers at the Texas Policy Evaluation Project and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health studied the impacts of the executive order, and their recently published studies reveal just how disruptive the executive order was for Texans seeking abortion care: emotionally, financially, and logistically.
Joining the Femtastic Podcast today is Dr. Kari White, Associate Professor of Social Work and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin and lead investigator of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, to discuss the negative impacts of this policy on patients, and why the disastrous consequences seen in Texas are a preview to what the United States would look like if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned.
- TxPEP's research brief summarizing patients’ experiences getting care during the executive order
- TxPEP's article in JAMA
- Facebook: @TxPEP
- Instagram: @TxPEP_Research
Today on the podcast is Jo Tolley, an advocate for disability, equity, and diversity. As someone who uses a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy, Jo spent most of her life running from the label of “disabled.” In the past few years, she has decided to embrace her disability to become an advocate to change our perceptions around disability from being a dichotomy between “disabled” and “non-disabled” people, to instead thinking of disability as just another facet of diversity.
Jo talks on the podcast about what it means for equity to be achieved for the disability community, why terms like “able-bodied” bug her, how intersecting identities (such as her queerness) impact the experience of disability, and what she sees as the benefits of her disability. Jo wants to break down the boundaries of what we label as “disability,” and show that rather than a monolithic community, “If you’ve met one person with a disability, you’ve met one person with a disability.”
Find more of Jo:
On May 17, 2021, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case out of Mississippi that would that ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Depending on how the court rules on this case (and given the conservative make-up, it's not looking good), Roe v. Wade could either be entirely overturned or the court could give the green-light to states to further restrict abortion access - which is already logistically inaccessible to millions of Americans of reproductive age. All in all, this is the most dangerous and credible threat to Roe since the decision was made in 1973.
To explain the potential ramifications of this case is Carole Joffe. Carole is a Professor in the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) program in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, and the author of several books on abortion provision, including her most recent, "Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America."
Carole describes what's at stake for millions of Americans, what accessing abortion might look like if Roe were to fall or be further restricted, and what YOU can do now to protect abortion access, regardless of the outcome of the case.