How COVID-19 Is Giving Us a Frightening Preview of a Post-Roe World

Abortion access was already in a fragile state at the start of 2020 — and then the coronavirus pandemic hit. Acting President of Planned Parenthood Alexis McGill Johnson told POPSUGAR that antichoice governors have moved quickly, seizing on this unprecedented moment of uncertainty to push their agenda forward. “A group of of governors in states that have been actively working to restrict abortion for many years are using the pandemic essentially as a cover to ban abortion outright through executive order,” she explained, referencing states including Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and more that have deemed some or all abortion procedures “inessential” during COVID-19. “First of all,” McGill Johnson told POPSUGAR, “abortion is time-sensitive. So that in itself makes it essential, not elective, because it requires [access] within a specific period of time.”

McGill Johnson explained that this latest crop of dubious excuses to halt abortion access won’t change the facts: executive orders can’t make demand for reproductive care magically disappear. It’s for that reason, she told POPSUGAR, that people need access to safe, legal abortions during COVID-19 — not a new onslaught of barriers. “Many women who are seeking abortion actually already have children,” she explained, meaning the government is effectively stripping people of the “freedom to determine what’s best for one’s family” during a time of record-breaking unemployment and financial strain.

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