“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.”
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“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.
Despite the benefits of abortion care via telemedicine, 18 states have effectively banned the practice by requiring a doctor to be physically present.
“This law would have been especially burdensome to communities of color and people with low income who already often have the least access to care—this law would have made a bad situation worse,” said Iris E. Harvey, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio.
The national findings come amid state-level research in Texas indicating that its abortion restrictions forced patients to drive farther and spend more to end their pregnancies.
“Plain and simple, this is just discrimination against a person because of who she is,” said John Knight, the director of the LGBT and HIV Project of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, in an interview with Rewire.