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A Lot Has Changed Post-Roe Reversal. What’s Stayed the Same?

A photo of a waiting room at a doctor's office, looking from the seating area to the administrative area.
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State-level legislation restricting abortion access have been increasing for years. In fact, 2021 marked the highest number of new abortion restrictions passed into law in a single year.

After the reversal of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court, healthcare providers and patients face an uncertain future ... but for many, access was already difficult.

The landscape of reproductive rights and health in the U.S. looks unlike what many people have experienced in their lifetimes. Since Friday, June 24, when the Supreme Court announced a decision overturning Roe v. Wade, several states have already restricted abortion access, with more planning to.

In 2020, after the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, host Anita Rao talked with family physician Dr. Rathika Nimalendran about the future of abortion rights. She joins Anita again in 2022 to talk about how the Supreme Court’s decision affects how she is able to provide care and what continues to be difficult. Dr. Nimalendran works with Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and is a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health.

Anita also revisits another 2020 conversation with two women who terminated abortions for medical reasons and the challenges they had to accessing care.

Three Common Abortion Misconceptions

Myth: Most people who get abortions don’t have children.

Fact: 60% of people seeking abortions already have one or more children. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Myth: It’s common to get abortions at every stage of pregnancy.

Fact: 43% of people receive their abortions in the first six weeks of being pregnant. 92% get one in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Myth: People who get abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy just changed their mind about wanting kids.

Fact: The pregnancy may threaten their health, or the fetus may have unforeseen medical conditions. Difficulty getting a referral or insurance coverage can also prevent people getting an earlier abortion. Note: Abortions occurring after 20 weeks only make up 1% of people seeking abortions. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.