"Stunned, Numb, Frozen." How Those Denied Abortion in Texas Are Coping (or Not).

slate.com
6 min read
fairly easy
And why SB 8 was the last straw for many abortion providers in the state.
Amy Hagstrom Miller runs two organizations that offer holistic abortion care services and are committed to fostering open and honest conversations to lift the stigma that surrounds abortion in this country—she is the founder, president, and CEO of Whole Woman's Health LLC, and founder and president of Whole Woman's Health Alliance. Whole Woman's Health was first established in Austin, Texas, in 2003, and it now has nine clinics in five states—Texas, Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia, and Indiana—offering reproductive health care to more than 30,000 people a year. Miller has also litigated a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2016, reaffirming a woman's right to choose to terminate a pregnancy in Texas. Her clinics in Texas were providing abortion care until the minute Texas' six-week ban went into effect at midnight on Sept. 1, but once SB 8 took effect, they had to stop providing services for anyone beyond six weeks of pregnancy. I wanted to check in with her to learn what was happening in Texas in the three intervening weeks. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Dahlia Lithwick: We're hearing stories of pregnant people being turned away, traveling to Mexico and Oklahoma for abortion care. I wonder if you can say a little more about what is happening at your Texas clinics in the weeks since the law went into effect?

Amy Hagstrom Miller: It is heartbreaking what we are dealing with right now in our four Texas clinics. The clinics are open and complying with SB 8 because not to do so is far too terrifying for our staff and doctors to even consider. Staff are so scared of being sued—nurses and medical assistants and counselors—these folks don't have attorneys or funds to hire them. Staff are being surveilled constantly—from the protesters on our sidewalks to some of the callers and even some of the fake patients our opposition sends into our clinics. Staff are constantly…
Dahlia Lithwick
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