Amy Littlefield is an investigative reporter for Rewire. She previously worked as a news producer for the award-winning, global TV/radio news hour Democracy Now! in New York. Amy has reported for various newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and The Enterprise in Brockton, Massachusetts, where she won awards for her investigative reporting on nepotism in city government. Amy graduated from Brown University and lives in the Boston area. Follow her on Twitter @amylittlefield.
Methodist Hospitals runs Gary’s only hospital. If it merges with Franciscan Health, Methodist’s CEO says it will follow Catholic directives that some worry will gut access to reproductive health care for a vulnerable population.
“It leaves me to wonder things like, if church members from this church decide to go protest outside of a clinic, does their police force come with them?” said Danielle Hurd, Alabama state organizer with Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity.
Rewire has obtained a political white paper that Vice President Mike Pence has spent more than two years fighting to keep secret. Ironically, in light of President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, it outlines Republican concerns about President Barack Obama’s use of executive authority on immigration.
Rewire identified multiple federally qualified health centers that restrict access to contraception or refuse to provide it altogether for religious reasons. Together, those centers operate health clinics in dozens of locations throughout the nation and collected $38 million in Affordable Care Act grants last year alone.
The New York state-based Fidelis refuses to cover a range of reproductive health services that conflict with directives from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, including abortion, sterilization, and most forms of birth control.
“If there is a procedure that is medically necessary, there should be no question whether or not [hospitals] will do it,” Jionni Conforti, 33, told Rewire. “No one should be rejected or denied care, especially just for being who you are.”
One in six hospital beds nationwide is in a hospital that follows Catholic directives. In Illinois, that number is closer to one in three. In some states, more than 40 percent of hospital beds are in facilities operating under Catholic restrictions.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California hailed the passage of AB 1671, calling it “necessary to deter the illegal activities of anti-abortion extremists who use illegal tactics to violate the privacy of reproductive health providers.”
“For transgender people there’s all sorts of ways that they take to be their most authentic self, and for me, my journey dictates that I have medical intervention,” Evan Minton, 35, said. “At this point in the path my body is calling out for bottom surgery.”
“It felt heartbreaking,” said Melanie Jones. “It felt like they were telling me that I had done something wrong, that I had made a mistake and therefore they were not going to help me; that they stigmatized me, saying that I was doing something wrong, when I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m doing something that’s well within my legal rights.”
“It causes us great concern when we think about vulnerable populations ... [who] may need to use these clinics for things like getting their contraception prescribed and who would never think that when they went into a Walgreens they would be restricted by Catholic doctrine,” Lorie Chaiten, director of the women’s and reproductive rights project of the ACLU of Illinois, told Rewire.
“We wanted to make sure that we updated ... laws to kind of reflect a changing world and to make sure that we actually protect the doctors who provide these important services to women,” California Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez said, adding that his legislation would also protect patient safety and access to abortion.
Daleiden’s claims about the videos’ impact on Planned Parenthood contrast with a recent poll showing that support for Planned Parenthood has increased in the aftermath of the Center for Medical Progress' anti-choice smear videos.
In a series of workshops over a three-day conference in Herndon, Virginia, self-proclaimed medical and scientific experts renewed their debunked efforts to promote the purported links between abortion and a host of negative outcomes, including breast cancer and mental health problems.
Among the only contributions to the national dialogue taking place over racial justice and state violence was a card circulated in the exhibit hall by a group called the Radiance Foundation that read “All Lives Matter In & Out of the Womb.”
“I will tell you that this has been the toughest year we have faced since I’ve been executive director of National Right to Life—and I came here in 1984—for our political fundraising,” David O’Steen announced at the annual National Right to Life Convention Friday.
In We Were Feminists Once, Andi Zeisler argues that a 2014 Beyoncé performance signaled feminism's "arrival" as a mainstream movement. But, the gender equality promised by feminist imagery in pop culture and the market has not trickled down.
Viewers might expect Trapped to be a grim, national montage—but it's not. Instead, it's something much more powerful: an intimate portrait of a handful of providers in Texas and Alabama who are fighting not only to keep their doors open, but to reduce the stigma against abortion propagated by the religious right.