Heart of the storm

Oh boy, Minneapolis-St Paul is bracing itself for a sudden surge.

Steps from an interstate and minutes from an airport sits a nondescript building with a tenant never more in demand.
Whole Woman’s Health is one of the nation’s largest independent abortion providers, and the location of its Minnesota clinic is no accident.
“Some patients may fly, some may prefer to drive. So being near the highways that we are and the airport in Bloomington gives patients the most options available,” said Sharon Lau, Midwest advocacy director for Whole Woman’s Health Alliance.
Lau says the clinic is bracing for an influx of patients from states with more restrictive abortion laws than Minnesota after the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade and enabled states to determine abortion access.
Planned Parenthood of Minnesota tells CNN that on Monday, the first business day after the Supreme Court decision, it received its highest call volume ever — an increase of 50% — with many of the calls coming from out-of-state.

This is hitting at a difficult time, when medical services are already strapped nationwide by a pandemic people have been trying to pretend doesn’t exist.

“I don’t know if we’re going to be able to handle the increase,” Stoesz said. “There is already a healthcare worker shortage and we’ve been struggling with that since the beginning of the pandemic. That hasn’t gone away.”
Stoesz expects an increase in the use of the abortion pill as an initial solution, “because appointments are going to be difficult to get,” she said.

Whenever I feel stressed about my occupation of teaching and the risks therein, I just have to remind myself that it could be worse — I could be working in healthcare. Yikes.


  1. silvrhalide says

    “Whenever I feel stressed about my occupation of teaching and the risks therein, I just have to remind myself that it could be worse — I could be working in healthcare. Yikes.”

    There are things that are worse than either of those two options. Like being a woman who needs an abortion but can’t get one.

  2. dbinmn says

    MDH released numbers about abortions done in MN. These numbers are required to be reported by law (though some private doctors feel its no one’s business but theirs and their patients, so they report everything as an evacuation after miscarriage). The state has held steady at ~10,000 per year over the last decade with a small percentage performed on women from out of state. As is usual with reactionary philosophy, there is little regard for the “Law of Unintended Consequences.” The number of abortions performed in MN will at least double now with so many more traveling here from neighboring states In the words of Sterling Archer, “Do you want more abortions, because this is how get more (in MN)?”

  3. raven says

    The Red states are aware that women have volition and legs and can and will do things beyond what they are told to do. They hate that.
    The next battleground of the female slavers will be going out of state for abortions.

    Antiabortion lawmakers want to block patients from crossing state lines
    WashingtonPost July 03, 2022

    Several national antiabortion groups and their allies in Republican-led state legislatures are advancing plans to stop people in states where abortion is banned from seeking the procedure elsewhere, according to people involved in the discussions.

    The idea has gained momentum in some corners of the antiabortion movement in the days since the Supreme Court struck down its 49-year-old precedent protecting abortion rights nationwide, triggering abortion bans across much of the Southeast and Midwest.

    Here is the next abortion war.
    The Red states want to make pregnant women into prisoners and slaves.
    Under our laws, state laws stop at state borders.
    The Red states want to extend their laws into the Blue states.
    This can’t be legal. Except with the current Supreme Court, they can make up any laws they want.

    …advancing plans to stop people in states where abortion is banned from seeking the procedure elsewhere, …

    FFS, how are they going to enforce this?
    Put a collar around the necks of pregnant women and chain them up in the yard or a dungeon?
    Set up pregnancy camps where pregnant women will be imprisoned until they give birth?
    Put up an Iron Curtain fence at their borders with mine fields, dogs, and guard towers. Shoot any pregnant women who try to escape?

    We’ve seen this movie before in places like the USSR, Serbia during the Bosnian genocide, and Romania under communism.
    The Red states want to set up Police states with pregnant women as their first victims.

  4. raven says

    From the Washington Post article above.
    This is how the Red states are going to enforce their laws in Blue states.

    Just because you jump across a state line doesn’t mean your home state doesn’t have jurisdiction,” said Peter Breen, vice president and senior counsel for the Thomas More Society. “It’s not a free abortion card when you drive across the state line.”

    Yeah it does.
    The Thomas More society is a Catholic extremist legal organization.
    They almost always lose their cases.

    In relying on private citizens to enforce civil litigation, rather than attempting to impose a state-enforced ban on obtaining abortions across state lines, such a law is more difficult to challenge in court, because abortion rights groups don’t have a clear person to sue.

    Like the Texas abortion ban, the proposal itself could have a chilling effect, prompting doctors in surrounding states to stop performing abortions before courts have an opportunity to intervene, worried that they may face lawsuits if they violate the law.

    This is dumb.
    It makes all citizens into vigilantes and many of them into criminals.
    Civil litigation at the state level is only enforceable in the state you live in or have some sort of ties to. If I get sued by someone in Georgia, it either goes Federal or it goes nowhere. I’m not under the jurisdiction of Georgia state courts.

    California and several other states have already passed laws nullifying the Red states attempts to take over their legal systems.

  5. says

    …advancing plans to stop people in states where abortion is banned from seeking the procedure elsewhere, …

    But but but butbutbut!! States rights!!

  6. raven says

    State laws end at state borders.
    So how are the Red states going to control their female majority slaves?
    We don’t know yet but the enforcement mechanisms are coming into focus.

    .1. They have and will just pass laws that make it illegal for women to travel out of state for abortions.
    These should be tossed out in court but with our current Supreme court, who knows.
    .2. The civil lawsuit vigilantes.
    The fundie churches can set up their own private Zygote Police.
    Joshua the bounty hunter can have his own reality show where he hunts down pregnant women trying to flee the Red states.

    .3. They are already thinking of putting facial recognition software and license plate readers on the highways at the state borders. If you are a known pregnant woman in a database and the spy cameras catch you, you got some explaining to do with the Zygote Police. And if you are no longer pregnant…possibly a date with a rope or firing squad.

    .4. I’m sure the Red states will come up with more enforcement methods.
    This is what all the authoritarian countries like the commies, Romania, etc.. do every day.
    Nothing new about Police states.

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    raven @ # 6: So how are the Red states going to control their female majority slaves?

    We don’t know yet but the enforcement mechanisms are coming into focus.

    Alito and company will, when the time comes, surely find binding precedent in the Fugitive Slave Acts (1793 and 1850).

  8. birgerjohansson says

    Sinema has just sold out the party åon abortion.
    Suggestion: fire the whole pathetic bunch of Democrat leaders and elect ‘sloth bears’ instead.
    They are relatively small and don’t eat meat, but they are ferocious like hell and have a habit of literally tearing the face off people they are angry with.
    This should be a minimum requirement for any Democrat who wants to be a speaker or hold any other position of authority!

  9. numerobis says

    raven: the way to enforce the no-travel-for-abortion thing along with other such restrictions and anti-sodomy laws and so on, is pretty simple. You set up an anonymous phone line to report on people.

  10. says

    Next likely proposal from the forced-birthers: a law prohibiting any women’s health clinic from operating within twenty miles of any airport or interstate.

  11. blf says

    @10, Or take the council planning department’s approach in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams):

    “But the plans were on display…”
    “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
    “That’s the display department.”
    “With a flashlight.”
    “Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
    “So had the stairs.”
    “But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
    “Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.”

  12. Richard Smith says

    dbinmn @ #2:

    In the words of Sterling Archer, “Do you want more abortions, because this is how get more (in MN)?”

    But there may be a reduction in the number of aunts.

  13. silvrhalide says

    @6, 10 The Commerce Clause in the Constitution would prohibit the exclusion of women’s health care clinics from operating near an airport, interstate highway, etc. Also, no one state can tell another state what they can and cannot build or do in their state. So Georgia can piss and moan all they want about an abortion clinic built near Logan Airport in Massachusetts but about the best they can expect in response is a candid “go fuck yourself”. As far as making it illegal to travel out of state for abortions, the devil is in the details, or at least in enforcement. Prohibiting out of state travel also runs afoul of the commerce clause. I have no doubt that they would face problems when they went back (if they went back) but it is going to be virtually impossible to prevent them from leaving in the first place. Unlike a lot of other parts of the Constitution, the commerce clause has real teeth because if it is ever overturned, Big Business is screwed and they know it. The commerce clause was written in the first place to regulate interstate trade and debt, because prior to the commerce clause, you could enter a legally-binding financial contract, then skip across state lines if you didn’t feel like paying. So we wound up with “no state shall interfere in another state’s business/commerce and cannot prevent collections/commerce across state lines”. So the minute you start chipping away at the commerce clause, Big Business will screech and their Congressional sock puppets will uphold the clause no matter what kind of monkey wrench it throws into enforcement of the abortion bans.

    The real worry is the midterm elections. If the Senate or the House flips, we’re screwed. The Republicans will pass a national ban and that will be that.

  14. numerobis says

    The Commerce Clause doesn’t prevent regulation of businesses near highways or airports in the slightest. Said businesses are already regulated.

  15. birgerjohansson says

    Two heavy government ministers just resigned from the government of Boris Johnson, quoting his poor leadership.
    This could be the beginning of the end för the most corrupt and most incompetent prime minister in several centuries.

  16. silvrhalide says

    @14 The Commerce Clause prevents interference by one state in another state’s business, or businesses within that state. I never claimed that the businesses in question couldn’t be regulated. They can only be regulated by the state that they are in or by federal regulation. Please read more carefully.

  17. whheydt says

    What it really comes down to is that no woman, who could possibly become pregnant, should ever enter a state with draconian anti-abortion laws. Any such women already there should leave. Leave those states to be filled with incels until they see they light and change their laws.

    Alternatively, all women in such states should exercise the Lysistrata gambit until the laws are changed.

  18. birgerjohansson says

    Wow! Things are happening fast.
    Giuliani, Sen.Graham and John Eastman have been subpoenaed by Fulton County grand jury.
    In Britain, two cabinet ministers have resigned a few hours ago. They are all scum, but they hate working for a boss that is such an incompetent liar and gets found out in scandal after scandal.
    This is the end of Johnson even if the details may drag out a bit.
    The really fun part is if Johnson responds with Mutual Assured Destruction and calls a snap election- they are trailing the opposition badly and an election is the ultimate threat ge can use in än attempt to keep his MPs in line.
    In USA polls suggest 70% thinks Biden should not run for a re-election.
    Trump is losing big donors.
    And the previous GOP midterm lead has collapsed under the weight of the senate hearings. The last bit is quite unique- the party in power always suffers in the midterm!

  19. whheydt says

    Re: birgerjohansson @ #18…
    If you mean the Jan. 6 Investigative Committee, that’s in the House, not the Senate. (Minor correction as I know you’re not in the US and it can get confusing.)

  20. gijoel says

    I know it’s ridiculous, but I wish we had the technology to implant unwanted pregnancies into these anti-abortionist fucks.

    What’s that? You’re an 63 year old man and the pregnancy will most likely kill you. Tough luck buddy, if Jesus didn’t want you to die during childbirth then he wouldn’t have made you into a hateful, little shit. Of course, such technology would be immediately used against women.

    So instead we need to take a magnifying glass to everyone of these anti-abortionists’ lives and expose every act of hypocrisy we find.

  21. silvrhalide says

    @20 Start with a full financial audit of the religious organization that these ratfucks belong to, or an IRS one. That usually shuts them up in a big hurry. There is always some dirty laundry, some dirty little secret or deal. Limos for the leaders and poverty for the followers doesn’t happen all by itself.

  22. birgerjohansson says

    Whheydt @ 19
    Thank you.
    Oh shit, the leader of the Swedish populist party just used Sweden shall be great again” as a slogan.

  23. says

    Prohibiting out of state travel also runs afoul of the commerce clause.

    Yeah, I’m sure the current SCOTUS majority will uphold it as diligently and consistently as they uphold all the other rights described in the Constitution.

  24. says

    The last bit is quite unique- the party in power always suffers in the midterm!

    Really? “Always?” That’s not really “always” true — but Republicans and the media always say it is when Democrats are in power.

  25. whheydt says

    Re; birgerjohnasson @ #22…
    (The Swedish populist party comment.) Someone should ask him if that means that Sweden is going to become part of Denmark…again.