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A Lot Has Changed Post-Roe Reversal. What’s Stayed the Same?

State-level legislation restricting abortion access have been increasing for years. In fact, 2021 marked the highest number of new abortion restrictions passed into law in a single year.
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State-level legislation restricting abortion access have been increasing for years. In fact, 2021 marked the highest number of new abortion restrictions passed into law in a single year.

The landscape of reproductive rights and health in the U.S. looks unlike what many people have experienced in their lifetimes. Since Friday, June 24, when the Supreme Court announced a decision overturning Roe v. Wade, several states have already restricted abortion access, with more planning to.

In 2020, after the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, host Anita Rao talked with family physician Dr. Rathika Nimalendran about the future of abortion rights. She joins Anita again in 2022 to talk about how the Supreme Court’s decision affects how she is able to provide care and what continues to be difficult. Dr. Nimalendran works with Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and is a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health.

Anita also revisits another 2020 conversation with two women who terminated abortions for medical reasons and the challenges they had to accessing care.

Three Common Abortion Misconceptions

Myth: Most people who get abortions don’t have children.

Fact: 60% of people seeking abortions already have one or more children. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Myth: It’s common to get abortions at every stage of pregnancy.

Fact: 43% of people receive their abortions in the first six weeks of being pregnant. 92% get one in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Myth: People who get abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy just changed their mind about wanting kids.

Fact: The pregnancy may threaten their health, or the fetus may have unforeseen medical conditions. Difficulty getting a referral or insurance coverage can also prevent people getting an earlier abortion. Note: Abortions occurring after 20 weeks only make up 1% of people seeking abortions. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Copyright 2022 North Carolina Public Radio. To see more, visit North Carolina Public Radio.

Kaia Findlay is a producer for The State of Things, WUNC's daily, live talk show. Kaia grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in a household filled with teachers and storytellers. In elementary school, she usually fell asleep listening to recordings of 1950s radio comedy programs. After a semester of writing for her high school newspaper, she decided she hated journalism. While pursuing her bachelor’s in environmental studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, she got talked back into it. Kaia received a master’s degree from the UNC Hussman School of Journalism, where she focused on reporting and science communication. She has published stories with Our State Magazine, Indy Week, and HuffPost. She most recently worked as the manager for a podcast on environmental sustainability and higher education. Her reporting passions include climate and the environment, health and science, food and women’s issues. When not working at WUNC, Kaia goes pebble-wrestling, takes long bike rides, and reads while hammocking.
Anita Rao is the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content. She has traveled the country recording interviews for the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps production department, founded and launched a podcast about millennial feminism in the South, and served as the managing editor and regular host of "The State of Things," North Carolina Public Radio's flagship daily, live talk show. Anita was born in a small coal-mining town in Northeast England but spent most of her life growing up in Iowa and has a fond affection for the Midwest.