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The End of Abortion Access
Texas has been ground zero for states testing how far they can go in restricting abortion. Each week, Bhavik Kumar travels hundreds of miles by plane and car to provide abortions in two Texas cities. Kumar trained to provide abortions in New York, but "my notion was that I should be in places where there's need," he said. Photo by Jody Rogac

The End of Abortion Access

 

 

The following is an excerpt from MSNBC. To see the rest of the stories and photos, visit MSNBC.com/Shuttered. Irin Carmon wrote the story that accompanies Jody Rogac’s photography, which EHRP supported.

Fort Worth, Texas – Some mornings, Bhavik Kumar starts his day at 5 a.m. and thinks about a life different from the one he began this year. In that other life, the 30-year-old physician lives minutes from work and doesn’t have to look over his shoulder for his safety. He doesn’t have to travel hundreds of miles a week, by car and plane, to provide abortions.

 

The End of Abortion Access

“Even just today, I saw a few patients that are in their mid-twenties and still don’t know how birth control works or what their options are,” says Kumar. “The lack of education is sort of a lack of power for a lot of people.”

The End of Abortion Access

Unlike many other abortion providers in red states, Kumar was able to comply with the 2013 law requiring that abortion providers have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

In New York, where Kumar trained after medical school, the women who came to him to end their pregnancies didn’t try so hard to justify their decision. He doesn’t ask patients to do that; their insistence on doing so makes him uncomfortable. In New York, he didn’t have to recite a script mandated by Texas lawmakers that the state’s current lieutenant governor described as offering a woman “all the information she deserves before making a decision to end a life.”

“This is not normal,” Kumar tells his patients before reading the statement. “The state requires me to do this.”

In New York, he wasn’t required to give women a medically unnecessary sonogram, or describe to them the embryonic or fetal development, or make them listen to the fetal heartbeat. They weren’t required to wait 24 hours after counseling for the procedure, as women in Texas must. New Yorkers can use state Medicaid money to cover the cost of the abortion and get birth control the same day. Texans — whose governor refused the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and whose laws prohibit even covering birth control at an abortion clinic, let alone paying for an abortion — cannot. The patients Kumar saw in New York rarely had to drive hundreds of miles to receive care, as Texas women increasingly do.

 

The End of Abortion Access

Audrey Perez

Pro-Choice Activist

The End of Abortion Access

Bhavik Kumar

Doctor

The End of Abortion Access

M.

Patient

The End of Abortion Access

Dalton Johnson

Clinic Owner

The End of Abortion Access

Brenda Collier

A Woman Who Remembers

The End of Abortion Access

Mike Johnson

Pro-Life Politician

The End of Abortion Access

Barbara Beavers

Pro-Life Activist

The End of Abortion Access

Cristen Hemmins

Pro-Choice Candidate

Born in England and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Jody Rogac currently lives and works in New York.

Co-published with MSNBC (excerpt).

 

Save An Endangered Species: Journalists

Born in England and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Jody Rogac currently lives and works in New York.

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