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Originally published as "We Won. Now What? Support Indie Clinics," Medium, July 22, 2020.
Waking up on June 29th to 15-plus text messages linking to the SCOTUS decision in June Medical Services v. Russo was thrilling. After immediately jumping up-and-down shouting “yes, yes, yes,” I exhaled a hefty sigh of relief. Like many, I’d anxiously awaited this decision for months, pessimistic that Lousiana would be the first state without an abortion clinic.
After all, only three clinics remain in Louisiana. A different result could have devastated abortion access there and across the country. I felt particularly connected to the outcome of the case because I recently visited Louisiana abortion clinics as part of my dissertation fieldwork — a 4-month road trip interviewing over 80 independent providers, showering them with treats, and volunteering at their clinics. When visiting Hope Medical Group for Women (Hope Clinic), I was floored by the quality of patient-centered care they provided despite the ongoing and multiple regulatory challenges. (In fact, Louisiana has enacted 89 restrictions since the 1973 passing of Roe v. Wade; the most restrictions of any state).