Commentary Abortion

Pregnant with an IUD: The Story of My Abortion

NW

I just had the quite bizarre experience of getting pregnant. Bizarre because for the last two and a half years, I've had the Paraguard IUD - as effective as tying your tubes, they tell me. Then one day my period doesn't come. My breasts are swollen, my back aches, and I have the crazy thought that this feels like pregnancy. And, it is.

I just had the quite bizarre experience of getting pregnant. Bizarre because for the last two and a half years, I’ve had the Paraguard IUD – as effective as tying your tubes, they tell me. Then one day my period doesn’t come. My breasts are swollen, my back aches, and I have the crazy thought that this feels like pregnancy. Something is definitely wrong, at least. So I head to CVS to get a home pregnancy test, just to rule it out. We have plans for brunch with friends, so I slip into the bathroom to get the test out of the way while my boyfriend puts away groceries. And then I stare at it. For a really long time. Because that is most definitely a plus sign.

Hmm. That’s odd. Of course I’d only bought one test, so after a moment of staring, we hurry down the street for more. Another, and then another, and this time the digital ones that say “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” clear as day. Every one has the same confusing answer. “Pregnant.”

On the drive to the urgent care center, I remember all the mornings in the past month I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, staring at my protruding stomach and half-heartedly thinking: It’s like I’m pregnant. How did I know? My boyfriend drives, one hand resting firmly and supportively on my knee. We joke nervously to distract us from the shock.

In the exam room, the nurse is young and friendly. She admits she’s nervous for me, clearly shaken by the news that IUDs are not a guarantee. I laugh with her to try to make her more comfortable, that makes two of us. We wait and wait for confirmation that our lives are, in fact, upside-down, while a Nickelodeon sitcom plays in the background. Finally an old male doctor comes in and tells me the same thing as the CVS family planning aisle. I’m pregnant.

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It still isn’t clear what I should do about the tiny piece of metal inside me. It seems dangerous now. For so long it was a faithful friend, but now it’s a foreign object lodged next to embryonic cells inside of me—I can’t believe that’s good for anyone.  But the urgent care doctor just says call my doctor and take some prenatal vitamins. And no one else picks up the phone on a Sunday. My IUD is still there, and I’m pregnant.

Safely at home with the reality, the full weight of what is happening finally settles in. I lie down on the bed and am overwhelmed by sobbing, full-bodied I can’ts. I curl into my boyfriend, alternately gasping and apologizing, as over and over I insist I cannot do this. I am not ready. He soothes me with his own admission: You don’t have to. I’m not either. We cling to each other until exhaustion pulls us into sleep.

First thing Monday, I make my calls. I get an urgent appointment Wednesday with a highly recommended ob-gyn who promises to get that meddlesome piece of metal out of me—turns out I’m probably fine, but no use pushing it longer than we have to. While I’ve got her on the line, there are more words I never thought I’d say. Do you have any recommendations for abortion providers? She gives me a list over the phone, and I start to make the calls.

I’m struck by how few really are abortion providers. Out of a list of seven recommended doctors, none of the ones who answer their phones actually offer pregnancy termination. Only two family planning clinics in the area provide the service. I go with Planned Parenthood. I spend so much of my time defending them and giving money monthly, it seems only right to maintain my loyalty in my moment of need. Plus, they can fit me in Saturday morning for an in-clinic procedure. A quick call to my insurance confirms that the federal plan covers 100% of pregnancy, but no elective abortion. I have a hard time appreciating their ideological consistency.

When I put down the phone I’m hit with a wave of relief. This all seems much more manageable now. Something went wrong, but now there are steps to fix it. Yes, I’m pregnant, but it’s a temporary state. I can see the day on the calendar when it won’t be true anymore. I just have to make it through the week. We’ve got a solution, it’s the solution we want, and now we just have to wait until we can act. Wednesday, then Saturday, then freedom.

But that still leaves a week of being pregnant. Time to learn all the practical ways my body prepares to make another. I find myself holding my stomach as I walk, either by instinct or imitation, not quite sensing life inside me, but acutely aware of something different. I never knew pregnancy came with cramps—it makes sense when I stop to think. There’s no explicit morning sickness, but I have no interest in eating either. I avoid caffeine and alcohol, just in case, and also because the thought turns my stomach. I tire easily and walk more slowly—and just six weeks in, I already feel way too big. As I go about my workday, I find the physical experience unsettling me in conversations with coworkers, even when my mental haze recedes. A wave of nausea or sudden loss of appetite reminds me in the middle of a meeting that I know something no one else knows: there’s another person growing in this room.

Wednesday I beg off work with a cryptic urgent doctor’s appointment, and my boyfriend and I head for to the ob-gyn. Yet again, I terrify the young women doing my blood work and taking my weight. My presence, pregnant with an IUD, shakes their faith. The nurse practitioner, friendly, competent, communicative, says she’s seen about than five cases like this in her career—at least I’m not the only one. Maybe you should stay away from Vegas. I disagree. With this kind of luck, we should have gone for Mega Millions. Since the Planned Parenthood appointment is already lined up, she kindly forgoes the pregnancy spiel. Just a speculum and a quick cough, and the IUD is out. My boyfriend, ever the supportive partner, is by my side to see the tiny copper T we’ve relied on for two-plus years. I can’t believe something that small worked as long as it did. God, I’m glad he’s here.

He’s right next to me too during the ultrasound, watching the dark circle in my uterus on the screen. There it is, says the technician. You’re about six weeks. I expected the visualization to have more impact. It’s just a black circle; it doesn’t make it seem any more real. What the hell are you? You aren’t a person yet. Someone once told me that before modern medicine, you weren’t considered pregnant until it showed. The time between a missed period and a belly was just “abnormal menstruation.” You weren’t not pregnant, but you weren’t yet pregnant either. That’s exactly how it feels. I can clearly tell that it will be something, but it doesn’t feel like it yet.

With the ultrasound over and IUD out, it’s just killing time until Saturday. Our home becomes a nest of orange juice, comfort TV, and quiet, weighty affection. Friday night we fall asleep relieved and ready to act.  Saturday morning I wake up before the alarm, thinking hard. We never talked about the other option, about trying to keep it. We never even talked through the logistics. I suddenly want to do that. I feel overwhelmingly selfish, to be making this choice based on what I want, not what I can handle—we could do this, we could take this on. It seems selfish to defer responsibility based on preference. We could keep it, practically speaking. It might even be good timing, since we do plan on doing this at some point anyway. Our gut reaction was so complete, so visceral – did that make it right?

When my boyfriend wakes up, I carefully lay out this alternate scenario. He listens carefully, calmly. He agrees we could make it work. Do you want to reschedule the appointment?

That stops me cold. I’m still ultimately talking to my boyfriend. We are committed to each other, and we say we will be parents together someday, but we haven’t yet taken that one last step and told the world “This is it.” Who knows when—if—we will take that step. I look at this man, who I know to be kind and sweet and good, who gets so infectiously excited about new plans and dreams, and I know we aren’t there yet. I want to preserve the milestones; I want us to be sure without a faulty copper wire forcing our hand.

No, let’s go. By the time we reach Planned Parenthood, I’m firmly back at certainty. We head in past the single aggressive protester, who seems to think pushing and yelling at us will make us want to take her pamphlet and listen to her crazy. Her invasion of our personal space makes me irrationally angry. It’s all I can do not to engage. But I keep it together and we’re in.

Now that we’re taking real steps again, my mind is clear and calm, and I’ve got plenty of time to consider our waiting room neighbors. There are quite a few young women alone —I say a silent prayer of thanks that I have a partner by my side. There’s a couple who look like high schoolers, affectionate but clearly nervous, just next to the door. A Russian couple barely understands English and pays all in cash, and an older Chinese woman waits patiently for a follow-up after a miscarriage. I look around and am reminded that every woman I know gives money to Planned Parenthood but gets her medical care somewhere else. This clinic serves people with far fewer options than us, for far more than just the abortion services we champion. As I sit there, I feel fiercely proud of Planned Parenthood for providing so much to so many. These people are truly caring for women. My small donations every month feel much bigger in this space, and I want to do more.

The clinic works like clockwork; slow, but well-oiled, with clear steps and constant affirmations. My boyfriend is not allowed in the back; a precaution meant to protect against outside pressure on women’s decisions, I assume. I appreciate the rationale, but every time I leave the waiting room, I wish he could come with me.

First comes a quick blood test to make sure my iron’s up and my blood type isn’t negative. I’ve got yet another technician I get to scare with my IUD story, but by this point I’ve got the joking responses down, complete with strategically placed laughs. Then comes the ultrasound: no, I don’t want to see it, yes, I would like to know if it’s a multiple pregnancy. It’s not, and I’m out of my second “probe” of the week in just a few minutes. On to counseling. Did anyone pressure you into this decision? Are you sure? Do you have any questions? I’m sure. The words are easy, relieving. I’m happy to be moving down the road to a solution.

Finally they call me in to the exam room. The doctor is kind and attentive and very good at distracting me from my nerves. There’s a speculum, and then another and another as they prop open my cervix. The doctor gets me talking about our trip to Peru next month; I share more than I usually would as my head gets lighter and lighter. The doctor puts anesthesia on my cervix and my vision goes almost black with dizziness. Still, I’m awake and talking and the pain is less than I expected. The doctor takes a small hand-pumped suction device with a very thin tube and slides it into me. My insides feel like bellows. I’m nervous about losing consciousness, but the pain remains tolerable—no worse than getting the IUD inserted originally. In three minutes, she’s done. I’m surprised by how low tech it all is and frustrated I couldn’t go to my regular doctor for something this simple, in a comfortable space with my partner by my side. Why such an easy process needs to be done in a special clinic, politicized and alienated from the world, is beyond me.

I’m extremely light-headed, so I lay there talking with the nurse as she holds a bag by my head, just in case, for another 10 minutes. I even get smelling salts. Then I dress, putting a pad in my underwear (I haven’t done this since middle school) and slowly walk to the recovery room.  Apple juice and a heating pad are waiting for me – both very necessary. The apple juice calms my stomach while the heating pad wards off a sudden bout of chills. I lay still for about 15 minutes, with a nurse checking my vitals every five, until my pulse is back to normal. Then I take my out-patient packet with condoms and antibiotics, and I’m done.

I shiver uncontrollably on the way to the car. My boyfriend holds me carefully as we walk slowly, looking at me with a mixture of relief and terror. I wish he could have been there for the process; it’s hard to explain to him what I’ve just been through. He seems so worried that it was worse than it was. I’m really cold, but otherwise feeling just fine. At home, I huddle under mounds of blankets curled up against him, watching The West Wing and sipping on juice. He holds me tightly all day, kissing my head tenderly. We fall asleep early, wrapped around each other.

And then it’s Sunday and I’m not pregnant any more. We go out to brunch and meet up with a friend at a coffee shop. Sorry we haven’t been around. I’ve been sick, but I’m better now. My boyfriend works on a paper due that night. I chat about authors and law school. And life goes on.

Roundups Politics

Campaign Week in Review: ‘If You Don’t Vote … You Are Trifling’

Ally Boguhn

The chair of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week blasted those who sit out on Election Day, and mothers who lost children to gun violence were given a platform at the party's convention.

The chair of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week blasted those who sit out on Election Day, and mothers who lost children to gun violence were given a platform at the party’s convention.

DNC Chair Marcia Fudge: “If You Don’t Vote, You Are Ungrateful, You Are Lazy, and You Are Trifling”

The chair of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), criticized those who choose to sit out the election while speaking on the final day of the convention.

“If you want a decent education for your children, you had better vote,” Fudge told the party’s women’s caucus, which had convened to discuss what is at stake for women and reproductive health and rights this election season.

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“If you want to make sure that hungry children are fed, you had better vote,” said Fudge. “If you want to be sure that all the women who survive solely on Social Security will not go into poverty immediately, you had better vote.”

“And if you don’t vote, let me tell you something, there is no excuse for you. If you don’t vote, you don’t count,” she said.

“So as I leave, I’m just going to say this to you. You tell them I said it, and I’m not hesitant about it. If you don’t vote, you are ungrateful, you are lazy, and you are trifling.”

The congresswoman’s website notes that she represents a state where some legislators have “attempted to suppress voting by certain populations” by pushing voting restrictions that “hit vulnerable communities the hardest.”

Ohio has recently made headlines for enacting changes that would make it harder to vote, including rolling back the state’s early voting period and purging its voter rolls of those who have not voted for six years.

Fudge, however, has worked to expand access to voting by co-sponsoring the federal Voting Rights Amendment Act, which would restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act that were stripped by the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder.

“Mothers of the Movement” Take the National Spotlight

In July 2015, the Waller County Sheriff’s Office released a statement that 28-year-old Sandra Bland had been found dead in her jail cell that morning due to “what appears to be self-asphyxiation.” Though police attempted to paint the death a suicide, Bland’s family has denied that she would have ended her own life given that she had just secured a new job and had not displayed any suicidal tendencies.

Bland’s death sparked national outcry from activists who demanded an investigation, and inspired the hashtag #SayHerName to draw attention to the deaths of Black women who died at the hands of police.

Tuesday night at the DNC, Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, and a group of other Black women who have lost children to gun violence, in police custody, or at the hands of police—the “Mothers of the Movement”—told the country why the deaths of their children should matter to voters. They offered their support to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during a speech at the convention.

“One year ago yesterday, I lived the worst nightmare anyone could imagine. I watched as my daughter was lowered into the ground in a coffin,” said Geneva Reed-Veal.

“Six other women have died in custody that same month: Kindra Chapman, Alexis McGovern, Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Raynette Turner, Ralkina Jones, and Joyce Curnell. So many of our children are gone, but they are not forgotten,” she continued. 

“You don’t stop being a mom when your child dies,” said Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis. “His life ended the day that he was shot and killed for playing loud music. But my job as his mother didn’t.” 

McBath said that though she had lost her son, she continued to work to protect his legacy. “We’re going to keep telling our children’s stories and we’re urging you to say their names,” she said. “And we’re also going to keep using our voices and our votes to support leaders, like Hillary Clinton, who will help us protect one another so that this club of heartbroken mothers stops growing.” 

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, called herself “an unwilling participant in this movement,” noting that she “would not have signed up for this, [nor would] any other mother that’s standing here with me today.” 

“But I am here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who is in heaven, and … his brother, Jahvaris Fulton, who is still here on Earth,” Fulton said. “I did not want this spotlight. But I will do everything I can to focus some of this light on the pain of a path out of the darkness.”

What Else We’re Reading

Renee Bracey Sherman explained in Glamour why Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine’s position on abortion scares her.

NARAL’s Ilyse Hogue told Cosmopolitan why she shared her abortion story on stage at the DNC.

Lilly Workneh, the Huffington Post’s Black Voices senior editor, explained how the DNC was “powered by a bevy of remarkable black women.”

Rebecca Traister wrote about how Clinton’s historic nomination puts the Democratic nominee “one step closer to making the impossible possible.”

Rewire attended a Democrats for Life of America event while in Philadelphia for the convention and fact-checked the group’s executive director.

A woman may have finally clinched the nomination for a major political party, but Judith Warner in Politico Magazine took on whether the “glass ceiling” has really been cracked for women in politics.

With Clinton’s nomination, “Dozens of other women across the country, in interviews at their offices or alongside their children, also said they felt on the cusp of a major, collective step forward,” reported Jodi Kantor for the New York Times.

According to Philly.com, Philadelphia’s Maternity Care Coalition staffed “eight curtained breast-feeding stalls on site [at the DNC], complete with comfy chairs, side tables, and electrical outlets.” Republicans reportedly offered similar accommodations at their convention the week before.

Analysis Law and Policy

After ‘Whole Woman’s Health’ Decision, Advocates Should Fight Ultrasound Laws With Science

Imani Gandy

A return to data should aid in dismantling other laws ungrounded in any real facts, such as Texas’s onerous "informed consent” law—HB 15—which forces women to get an ultrasound that they may neither need nor afford, and which imposes a 24-hour waiting period.

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down two provisions of Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law, has changed the reproductive rights landscape in ways that will reverberate in courts around the country for years to come. It is no longer acceptable—at least in theory—for a state to announce that a particular restriction advances an interest in women’s health and to expect courts and the public to take them at their word.

In an opinion driven by science and data, Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority in Whole Woman’s Health, weighed the costs and benefits of the two provisions of HB 2 at issue—the admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) requirements—and found them wanting. Texas had breezed through the Fifth Circuit without facing any real pushback on its manufactured claims that the two provisions advanced women’s health. Finally, Justice Breyer whipped out his figurative calculator and determined that those claims didn’t add up. For starters, Texas admitted that it didn’t know of a single instance where the admitting privileges requirement would have helped a woman get better treatment. And as for Texas’ claim that abortion should be performed in an ASC, Breyer pointed out that the state did not require the same of its midwifery clinics, and that childbirth is 14 times more likely to result in death.

So now, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out in the case’s concurring opinion, laws that “‘do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion’ cannot survive judicial inspection.” In other words, if a state says a restriction promotes women’s health and safety, that state will now have to prove it to the courts.

With this success under our belts, a similar return to science and data should aid in dismantling other laws ungrounded in any real facts, such as Texas’s onerous “informed consent” law—HB 15—which forces women to get an ultrasound that they may neither need nor afford, and which imposes a 24-hour waiting period.

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In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld parts of Pennsylvania’s “informed consent” law requiring abortion patients to receive a pamphlet developed by the state department of health, finding that it did not constitute an “undue burden” on the constitutional right to abortion. The basis? Protecting women’s mental health: “[I]n an attempt to ensure that a woman apprehends the full consequences of her decision, the State furthers the legitimate purpose of reducing the risk that a woman may elect an abortion, only to discover later, with devastating psychological consequences, that her decision was not fully informed.”

Texas took up Casey’s informed consent mantle and ran with it. In 2011, the legislature passed a law that forces patients to undergo a medical exam, whether or not their doctor thinks they need it, and that forces them to listen to information that the state wants them to hear, whether or not their doctor thinks that they need to hear it. The purpose of this law—at least in theory—is, again, to protect patients’ “mental health” by dissuading those who may be unsure about procedure.

The ultra-conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law in 2012, in Texas Medical Providers v. Lakey.

And make no mistake: The exam the law requires is invasive, and in some cases, cruelly so. As Beverly McPhail pointed out in the Houston Chronicle in 2011, transvaginal probes will often be necessary to comply with the law up to 10 to 12 weeks of pregnancy—which is when, according to the Guttmacher Institute, 91 percent of abortions take place. “Because the fetus is so small at this stage, traditional ultrasounds performed through the abdominal wall, ‘jelly on the belly,’ often cannot produce a clear image,” McPhail noted.

Instead, a “probe is inserted into the vagina, sending sound waves to reflect off body structures to produce an image of the fetus. Under this new law, a woman’s vagina will be penetrated without an opportunity for her to refuse due to coercion from the so-called ‘public servants’ who passed and signed this bill into law,” McPhail concluded.

There’s a reason why abortion advocates began decrying these laws as “rape by the state.”

If Texas legislators are concerned about the mental health of their citizens, particularly those who may have been the victims of sexual assault—or any woman who does not want a wand forcibly shoved into her body for no medical reason—they have a funny way of showing it.

They don’t seem terribly concerned about the well-being of the woman who wants desperately to be a mother but who decides to terminate a pregnancy that doctors tell her is not viable. Certainly, forcing that woman to undergo the painful experience of having an ultrasound image described to her—which the law mandates for the vast majority of patients—could be psychologically devastating.

But maybe Texas legislators don’t care that forcing a foreign object into a person’s body is the ultimate undue burden.

After all, if foisting ultrasounds onto women who have decided to terminate a pregnancy saves even one woman from a lifetime of “devastating psychologically damaging consequences,” then it will all have been worth it, right? Liberty and bodily autonomy be damned.

But what if there’s very little risk that a woman who gets an abortion experiences those “devastating psychological consequences”?

What if the information often provided by states in connection with their “informed consent” protocol does not actually lead to consent that is more informed, either because the information offered is outdated, biased, false, or flatly unnecessary given a particular pregnant person’s circumstance? Texas’ latest edition of its “Woman’s Right to Know” pamphlet, for example, contains even more false information than prior versions, including the medically disproven claim that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks gestation.

What if studies show—as they have since the American Psychological Association first conducted one to that effect in 1989—that abortion doesn’t increase the risk of mental health issues?

If the purpose of informed consent laws is to weed out women who have been coerced or who haven’t thought it through, then that purpose collapses if women who get abortions are, by and large, perfectly happy with their decision.

And that’s exactly what research has shown.

Scientific studies indicate that the vast majority of women don’t regret their abortions, and therefore are not devastated psychologically. They don’t fall into drug and alcohol addiction or attempt to kill themselves. But that hasn’t kept anti-choice activists from claiming otherwise.

It’s simply not true that abortion sends mentally healthy patients over the edge. In a study report released in 2008, the APA found that the strongest predictor of post-abortion mental health was prior mental health. In other words, if you’re already suffering from mental health issues before getting an abortion, you’re likely to suffer mental health issues afterward. But the studies most frequently cited in courts around the country prove, at best, an association between mental illness and abortion. When the studies controlled for “prior mental health and violence experience,” “no significant relation was found between abortion history and anxiety disorders.”

But what about forced ultrasound laws, specifically?

Science has its part to play in dismantling those, too.

If Whole Woman’s Health requires the weighing of costs and benefits to ensure that there’s a connection between the claimed purpose of an abortion restriction and the law’s effect, then laws that require a woman to get an ultrasound and to hear a description of it certainly fail that cost-benefit analysis. Science tells us forcing patients to view ultrasound images (as opposed to simply offering the opportunity for a woman to view ultrasound images) in order to give them “information” doesn’t dissuade them from having abortions.

Dr. Jen Gunter made this point in a blog post years ago: One 2009 study found that when given the option to view an ultrasound, nearly 73 percent of women chose to view the ultrasound image, and of those who chose to view it, 85 percent of women felt that it was a positive experience. And here’s the kicker: Not a single woman changed her mind about having an abortion.

Again, if women who choose to see ultrasounds don’t change their minds about getting an abortion, a law mandating that ultrasound in order to dissuade at least some women is, at best, useless. At worst, it’s yet another hurdle patients must leap to get care.

And what of the mandatory waiting period? Texas law requires a 24-hour waiting period—and the Court in Casey upheld a 24-hour waiting period—but states like Louisiana and Florida are increasing the waiting period to 72 hours.

There’s no evidence that forcing women into longer waiting periods has a measurable effect on a woman’s decision to get an abortion. One study conducted in Utah found that 86 percent of women had chosen to get the abortion after the waiting period was over. Eight percent of women chose not to get the abortion, but the most common reason given was that they were already conflicted about abortion in the first place. The author of that study recommended that clinics explore options with women seeking abortion and offer additional counseling to the small percentage of women who are conflicted about it, rather than states imposing a burdensome waiting period.

The bottom line is that the majority of women who choose abortion make up their minds and go through with it, irrespective of the many roadblocks placed in their way by overzealous state governments. And we know that those who cannot overcome those roadblocks—for financial or other reasons—are the ones who experience actual negative effects. As we saw in Whole Woman’s Health, those kinds of studies, when admitted as evidence in the court record, can be critical in striking restrictions down.

Of course, the Supreme Court has not always expressed an affinity for scientific data, as Justice Anthony Kennedy demonstrated in Gonzales v. Carhart, when he announced that “some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained,” even though he admitted there was “no reliable data to measure the phenomenon.” It was under Gonzales that so many legislators felt equipped to pass laws backed up by no legitimate scientific evidence in the first place.

Whole Woman’s Health offers reproductive rights advocates an opportunity to revisit a host of anti-choice restrictions that states claim are intended to advance one interest or another—whether it’s the state’s interest in fetal life or the state’s purported interest in the psychological well-being of its citizens. But if the laws don’t have their intended effects, and if they simply throw up obstacles in front of people seeking abortion, then perhaps, Whole Woman’s Health and its focus on scientific data will be the death knell of these laws too.