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Take into account This from NPR : NPR


Anti-abortion activists who describe themselves as “abolitionists” protest exterior a fertility clinic in North Carolina in April 2024.

Sarah McCammon/NPR


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Sarah McCammon/NPR


Anti-abortion activists who describe themselves as “abolitionists” protest exterior a fertility clinic in North Carolina in April 2024.

Sarah McCammon/NPR

Two years in the past subsequent month, the Supreme Court docket overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark choice guaranteeing a federal proper to an abortion.

It was an consequence many years within the making – however to abortion opponents, the battle is unfinished. Now they’re setting their sights on banning mifepristone, a drug generally utilized in medical abortions. Abortion rights opponents have filed a number of lawsuits, together with one awaiting a choice from the Supreme Court docket.

Abortion remedy has made the process extra accessible. Since June 2022, the variety of abortions carried out within the U.S. has truly gone up: On common, there have been about 4,000 extra abortions monthly in 2023 in comparison with 2022, based on the Society of Household Planning’s WeCount venture.

One issue driving that improve has been the rise in telehealth abortion – the place sufferers obtain abortion remedy within the mail after consulting with a clinician. Telehealth abortions now make up 19% of all abortions within the U.S., based on Wecount.

“It is inexpensive. It is handy, and it feels extra non-public,” says Jillian Barovic, a midwife and one of many cofounders of Juniper Midwifery, which provides remedy abortion by way of telehealth in six states the place abortion is authorized.

You are studying the Take into account This text, which unpacks one main information story every day. Subscribe right here to get it delivered to your inbox, and hearken to extra from the Take into account This podcast.

Efforts to additional limit abortion rights

As abortions proceed regardless of state bans, activists are pushing for additional restrictions, together with the criminalization of sufferers who pursue abortions, and banning procedures like IVF.

T. Russell Hunter leads a bunch opposing all abortions, with no exceptions – they name themselves “abortion abolitionists.” He accuses mainstream anti-abortion teams of being too keen to just accept incremental restrictions inconsistent with their messaging.

“You possibly can’t say, ‘Life begins at conception … however we’ll permit abortion within the first 5 weeks,'” Hunter says. “If life begins at conception, and also you consider that human life should be protected, nicely, you are caught logically.”

Hunter, who relies in Oklahoma, opposes IVF and believes that embryos ought to have authorized rights. He argues that sufferers who search abortions and anybody who helps them needs to be charged with homicide.

Kristine Harhoef lives in Texas and has been concerned in anti-abortion activism for over a decade. She’s annoyed that even the place abortion is banned, sufferers are nonetheless accessing abortion remedy. She’s been speaking with lawmakers in Texas and neighboring states, attempting to advertise laws that will deal with abortion similar to murder.

“And the penalty might be something from nothing in any respect, if she was actually harmless, actually compelled into that abortion,” she says, “to a superb or neighborhood service, to, sure, some jail time and presumably even the demise penalty.”

What all of it might imply for Republicans in November

The problem of abortion rights might be a tough needle to string for Republicans.

A number of current polls by Pew and the Public Faith Analysis Institute verify that a transparent majority of voters say abortion needs to be authorized in lots of or all circumstances.

And whereas abortion abolitionists take intention at IVF, Republicans, together with former President Donald Trump, are voicing help for the process. After an Alabama Supreme Court docket choice dominated that embryos needs to be legally thought of kids, Republicans there rushed to go a regulation designed to guard IVF suppliers.

Activists like Harhoef, who help the demise penalty for abortion sufferers, are nonetheless within the minority of abortion opponents. However they’ve made strides in state legislatures, together with a invoice that made it to the Louisiana Home flooring in 2022.

Rachel Bitecofer, a Democratic political strategist, says the road between the mainstream anti-abortion rights motion and the abortion abolitionists is kind of skinny.

“[Republicans] have been focusing on these people for 25, 30 years now with ever-increasing hyperbolic rhetoric about abortion and defining any type of abortion as an act of homicide,” Bitecofer mentioned.

“So if you happen to settle for that abortion is homicide, then it is smart that you’ve got fairly inflexible necessities to cease it in any respect prices,” she added.

In in the present day’s episode of Take into account This, NPR nationwide political correspondent Sarah McCammon dives into the abortion abolitionist motion. Click on the play button on the prime of the web page to listen to the total story.

This episode was produced by Karen Zamora and Brianna Scott. It was edited by Megan Pratz and Courtney Dorning. Elissa Nadworny contributed reporting. Our govt producer is Sami Yenigun.

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