Health

I write about sex education, birth control and abortion, as well as all the barriers that make these services hard to access. Clips are organized by date:

  • Less than five months after portions of House Bill 2 went into effect, more than a third of abortion clinics in Texas have closed. I reported for The Texas Observer about the closure of the last two rural abortion clinics in east Texas and the Rio Grande Valley.
  • Texas’ 20-week abortion ban is already reaping heartbreak.  I reported for The Texas Observer about a woman who had to pawn her wedding ring and travel to Arkansas in order to terminate a pregnancy that her doctor had described as ‘incompatible with life’. It turns out that no-one really knew how the law applied to her.
  • White coats, an ultrasound machine and a sign saying ‘medical clinic’ … think you’re getting medical care? Not necessarily, if you’re in Texas and you’ve wandered into an anti-abortion pregnancy medical center. I reported on the rise of these fake clinics for Al Jazeera America.
  • Working-class women of color in Texas have fewer options that white women along the entire reproductive journey. The Mamas of Color Rising collective is doing some exciting work in Austin to to fix that. I wrote about one of their members, Paula Rojas, for The Texas Observer.
  • As Texas law forces abortion clinics to turn patients away, crisis pregnancy centers and anti-abortion maternity homes receive $46,100 in new funds. I reported for The Texas Observer.
  • Texas’ new 20-week abortion ban is having a real impact on women’s lives. I wrote for Al Jazeera America about a sick woman forced out of state by the law.
  • It was an emotional day for women’s health providers in Texas when a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a provision of House Bill 2, that would shutter abortion clinics, could stand. Tearful staff spent the next day phoning scores of patients to cancel their appointments. I reported for Al Jazeera America.
  • It’s common in the U.S. for the judiciary to be the last line of defense in upholding reproductive rights. Texas is no exception. A federal court made a surprise ruling about the constitutionality of House Bill 2. The state appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fifth Circuit ruled that a draconian provision of HB 2 could go ahead. Immediately, abortion providers across Texas shut down. On November 4, women’s health advocates made an emergency appeal to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia to vacate the Fifth Circuit’s decision. I reported for The Texas Observer.
  • When it comes to women’s health in Texas, what starts in the statehouse invariably ends up in the courthouse. Two provisions of our latest anti-abortion bill were litigated in the district court. I covered the bench trial for The Texas Observer.
  • A national coalition filed a long anticipated legal challenge to Texas’ anti-abortion bill. I reported on the filing, as well as some of the background to a legal suit, for The Texas Observer.
  • The Texas health department just launched a new teen pregnancy prevention campaign, costing $1.2 million. The problem? They don’t breathe a word about contraception because “Texas is an abstinence-first state”. I reported for The Texas Observer.
  • Two years after the Texas legislature voted to slash family planning funds by two-thirds, the effects are still being felt. I reported for The Texas Observer that the reconfigured safety net system, as well as an unloved little law that requires Texas minors to get parental consent for birth control, is going to impact 2,000 teens from September this year.
  • I reported for The Texas Observer that a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Texas has reached a $1.4m settlement with the Texas Attorney General for alleged Medicaid fraud. An ex-Planned Parenthood staffer stands to profit from having blown the whistle on her ex-employer.
  • I wrote about the impassioned crowds at the Texas State Capitol for Women’s eNews. Activists in favor of the anti-abortion bill wore blue while those against wore orange. Spotted: celebrity singers, rosaries and clever puns about Wendy Davis’ shoes.
  • I wrote a feature story for The Texas Observer about the financial plight of low-income women who wish to terminate their pregnancies. If you want an abortion in Texas, whatever you do, don’t be poor. I’m honored to have won a 2014 Anson Jones Award from the Texas Medical Association for this piece.
  • I reported an exclusive for The Texas Observer about a coalition of health providers in Texas that had applied for federal family planning funds (known as the Title X grant). Later, I reported that the coalition had won the grant, leaving the traditional grantee – the Texas state health department – with a $6.5m shortfall.
  • As part of the article series above, I wrote a feature for The Texas Observer about Texas’s investment in crisis pregnancy centers. Meanwhile Texas disinvested in primary and preventive health. I reported that crisis pregnancy centers use $4.15m per year of taxpayer’s money to give misleading and scientifically unsound advice to vulnerable women.
  • I wrote a personal piece for the blog Flyover Feminism about how I got involved in abortion politics. I’d been blissfully ignorant about the degree of reproductive injustice in the U.S. until it suddenly became personal.
  • I reported for The Texas Observer about the exasperating failure of logic at a women’s health hearing hosted by the Texas state health department.
  • I was one of the first women in Texas to experience the state’s new sonogram law, where women seeking abortions must first have a government-mandated ultrasound. So enraged was I by the injustice of this law that I wrote about my experience for The Texas Observer. The piece has been one of the most widely read articles on the Observer’s site. A few months later, the article was reprinted in Canada’s Chatelaine magazine.

Looking for other writing samples? Try parenting, or general topics.

 

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