Season 2 | Episode 12
Apr 16, 2020

What it’s like getting an abortion in Texas right now

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The clock is ticking for one college student after she finds out she's pregnant in the middle of a pandemic, in a state that's trying to restrict abortion.

As state after state issued orders to halt nonessential and elective medical procedures to preserve desperately needed masks and gloves, at least seven states included abortions in their lists of nonessential procedures.

In Texas, the state government was very clear: unless it saves the life of the mother, performing an abortion is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail.

“It’s the first time that’s happened in nearly 50 years since the procedure was legalized to begin with,” said CBS reporter Kate Smith. She’s been covering abortion access during the coronavirus crisis.

Providers have said the restriction is unconstitutional, and it’s been ping-ponging through the courts. But for people like Alannah, the decision can’t wait.

She’s 26, a computer science student in San Antonio, and she found out she was pregnant at the end of March, right around when the de facto abortion ban came down. Today, we follow as she navigates travel restrictions, shipping delays for medication and whiplash from the news, all as she approaches 10 weeks — when abortion would become much more complicated and expensive.

“I’ve always grown up knowing if something happens, I have the right to make this choice,” Alannah said. “I didn’t think that would just go away.”

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Megan Detrie Senior Producer
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