How realistic are the abortion workarounds that fill social media? : NPR

A protester in Berlin in 2020 holds up a sign reading ‘Against abortion?! Do a vasectomy’ during a protest against Poland’s near-total abortion ban.

Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images

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Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images

How realistic are the abortion workarounds that fill social media? : NPR

A protester in Berlin in 2020 holds up a sign reading ‘Against abortion?! Do a vasectomy’ during a protest against Poland’s near-total abortion ban.

Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images

With abortion now heavily restricted in many US states following the fall of Roe vs. Wadesocial media has been filled with convoluted and, in some cases, baseless workarounds that experts say should be carefully considered before considering applying them.

Mandatory vasectomies, building clinics offering abortion services on Native American reservations, and placing children in adoption or foster care are among the most popular choices for postnatal people.deer Abortion workarounds, but experts say those suggestions aren’t realistic.

Here’s what these researchers have to say about why these post-deer the workarounds are not as realistic as they seem.

Compulsory vasectomies

When news broke that abortions were going to be almost completely banned in several states, it was reported in the United States that calls for vasectomy appointments were increasing.

While many men were quoted saying they were doing it for their partner or because they had no interest in having children, Twitter was filled with suggestions, both serious and not, that men should be forced to have a vasectomy.

“I understand that they are trying to show how restrictive abortion [bans] are on the body and how unfair it is and how much of an attack on women it is, but I find they’re pretty tone deaf when it comes to the very real history of eugenics and forced sterilization of men,” Georgia Grainger, a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland who studies the history of vasectomies, told NPR by phone.

In a thread which garnered over 17,000 retweets, Grainer explained why the idea of ​​compulsory sterilization is harmful to men, especially men of color and men with disabilities.

Eugenics in the 20th century was a form of sexism and racism in the United States, explains a report from the University of Michigan.

The report says the first sterilization law came in 1907 from Indiana, and other states passed similar legislation almost immediately afterwards. Currently, these laws still exist in 31 states.

Grainer said there are ways to talk about unjust restrictions on bodily autonomy without suggesting new restrictions on the bodies of others.

“That’s as long as it’s voluntary,” Grainer said, “and by choice, then all contraception is good, all reproductive choices are good in my book. But that’s when it’s not about choice. , I think there is a real problem.”

Build clinics that offer abortions on Native American reservations

The sovereign status of Native American reservations sparked the idea of ​​building clinics offering abortions on reservations.

The tribal sovereignty that the United States granted to Native Americans gives Native tribes the right to govern themselves and allows them to regulate their own affairs internally, which means they are exempt from laws such as the ban on abortions that entered into force afterdeer.

One suggestion circulating on social media is to start building clinics on reservations as they are sovereign nations where state government decisions do not apply.

However, Aila Hoss, an associate professor at IUPUI’s McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, said building clinics on reservations is a lot more complicated than it looks.

“First of all, legally, it’s not as simple as ‘Oh, the tribes are sovereign nations,’ although it should be,” Hoss told NPR by phone.

She said the difference between criminal and civil laws, who provides the services, funding and tribal affiliation are among the many reasons why it is difficult for tribal nations to provide abortions to foreigners.

Hoss said practitioners on reservations generally work under a federally funded system called I/T/U. The I/T/U is made up of three parts: the Indian Health Service (IHS), which is the federal government that directly assists clinics and other health services for Native Americans; Tribal Health Services, which are IHS-funded health services directly operated by tribes; and the Urban Indian Health Programs, also funded by IHS but run by non-profit organizations.

I/T/U system doctors cannot perform abortions on tribal lands, except in certain situations due to the Hyde Amendment. This 1976 law prohibits federal funding of abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the pregnant patient. This means that if the reservations wanted to go ahead with abortions for non-tribal patients, they would have to use their own resources to bring in a practitioner who was not part of the federally funded system and who would not benefit from some of the legal protections given to patients. practitioners working within the federal system.

For example, under the federally funded system, practitioners are protected from having to personally bear the financial burden of a malpractice suit. But Hoss said practitioners outside the federal system would not have that protection if a medical procedure failed. She added that to build clinics that would provide abortions to nonmembers, tribes would have to be willing to assume those legal and financial risks.

Apart from the legal issues surrounding this idea, it also ignores ethical and cultural factors.

Hoss said none of the suggestions for building clinics offering abortions came from the tribes themselves, but rather came from non-indigenous national organizations that don’t think about the legal and ethical effects of tribes volunteering to shoulder the brunt of the burden. a complicated question.

Reproductive health care, including abortion, is already hard to access for Native American women on their own land, Hoss said, so this suggestion to build clinics on reservations now only comes at a time. where the lack of access to abortion has an impact on the non-indigenous population. .

According to a study published in 2014 in the American Journal of Public Health, more than 80% of Indian Health Service facilities, the primary provider of reproductive health care to Native American women, were not in compliance with IHS and Hyde Amendment regulations because they did not provide abortion services in case of rape, incest or the life of the pregnant patient being in danger. Only 5% of these facilities performed on-site abortions and none had Mifeprex, a medication used for medical abortion.

Native Americans also have the highest poverty rate of any racial group in the United States, which has affected their access to proper health care.

“And so I think the first point is a reflection on why it wasn’t important to you before-Dobbs. Why do people make these kinds of generalizations without thinking about the legal, ethical and cultural impacts of it?”

Adoption as a response

As protests took place across the United States on the morning the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturned deera tweet featuring a couple holding a sign that read “We’ll adopt your baby” has become a meme.

The couple in the photo, Neydy Casillas and Sebastián Schuff, are lawyers who have spent most of their careers supporting conservative Christian legal struggles. Casillas is linked to an anti-LGBTQ law firm, Alliance Defending Freedom, which is working to transform the United States into a more “Christian-valued” nation.

To convince people not to abort, many have suggested placing babies up for adoption or placing them in the foster care system.

More than 100,000 children were already awaiting adoption in the foster care system in 2020, according to the Kids Count Data Center.

Dana Davidson, co-director of adoption and family support at The Cradle, which helps facilitate adoptions for families nationally and internationally, told NPR via email that the impact of the reversal of Roe vs. Wade and its effect on adoption will vary by region of the country.

“What we know to be true is that adoption is complex and born of loss,” Davidson said.

Davidson said in the agency’s experience, clients don’t make the decision between abortion and adoption at the same time.

“Adoption is an alternative to parenthood, not an alternative to pregnancy,” she said.

States like Texas, which has a trigger law that once banned abortion Roe vs. Wade was overturned, were among those with the most young fosters in 2021, according to the Who Cares: A National Count of Foster Homes and Families project.

“I think it’s also important to point out that although there have been a lot of conversations online suggesting a Roe vs. Wade reversal could be great for expectant parents looking to adopt, The Cradle is not in the business of finding babies for families,” Davidson said. “We are in the business of finding families for babies if and when the future parents decide that the adoption [is] the best option for them and their families.”


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