Jun 17, 2022 2 min read

America, Overturned

An ominous, black and white photo of the US Supreme Court building with clouds and a dark sky behind it.
We swear we didn’t just search “ominous Supreme Court photo.”

We talk about the expected overturn of federal abortion protections, and how this seismic shift in rights might just be the beginning.

The Inland Northwest offers a unique glimpse into the future of the rest of the US in light of the expected overturn of Roe v. Wade & Planned Parenthood v. Casey, two landmark Supreme Court decisions that codified the federal right to an abortion.

This is because there already aren’t any abortion clinics in North Idaho, so many abortion-seekers as far away as western Montana need to go over the border to Eastern Washington clinics. For years, over 40% of patients seeking abortions at border clinics run by Planned Parenthood have been from out of state. Recently, that number has jumped to over 50%.

We talked to friend of the pod & Inlander reporter Samantha Wohlfeil about her recent cover story, "My Body, State's Choice?" what additional work Washington abortion clinics are preparing for the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

It’s important to note: The actual final decision could come any day, with most experts expecting it to be before they break for summer recess at the end of June. We want to be clear, that as of publishing, June 16, Roe v. Wade is still in effect and access to safe and legal abortion is a federal right.

In this episode:

  • Luke goes off like a real philosophy nerd about how the Supreme Court shapes the American idea, and vice versa. ~ 2:00
  • The basics: the case being considered by the Supreme Court is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. This case brought into question whether Mississippi’s restrictions on abortions after 15 weeks were constitutional based on the standards set by Roe v. Wade and the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. ~ 23:29
  • If and when Roe is overturned, abortions will still be allowed in Washington, but Idaho has a trigger ban on abortion after about six weeks, with limited exceptions. East Washington clinics already take a significant number of patients from North Idaho, where there are already no abortion clinics. ~ 30:10
  • Washington clinics are preparing for an influx of patients coming from states where abortion will be banned, particularly Seattle clinics and Tri-Cities clinics. ~47:30
  • How to help: You can support your local abortion fund, like the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, but people can also set up or tap into existing mutual aid networks in their communities to help those who need an abortion but can’t access it. ~50:45

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Resources + Places to Donate

  • The Washington State Department of Health has a run down of how to find an abortion provider and how to pay for one in the state.
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho has a Hospitality Fund for travel costs related to abortion.
  • The Northwest Abortion Access Fund has information on abortion access, how to get financial help for an abortion and an overview of each state’s abortion laws for Washington, Idaho and Oregon. (They are at capacity for providing services, but need donations)
  • The National Network of Abortion Funds has a map of abortion funds across the country.
  • The Brigid Alliance helps with costs related to having to travel for an abortion, like hotel stays, rental cars and childcare.
Host/s: Luke Baumgarten, Valerie Osier
Producer: Valerie Osier
Sound Engineer: Brennon Poyner
Audio Editor: Connor Bacon

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