Though abortion was officially legalized thirty years ago, women in the USA are finding it harder than ever to obtain abortion services.
Many states have enacted severe restrictions allowing abortion only in cases of rape or if the mother’s life is at stake.
Doctors have been hounded out of the profession. Some have been murdered. Many now carry guns and wear bullet proof vests. Clinics have been bombed. Family planning organizations have been investigated, and threatened.
Every day women seeking health care must navigate through what can amount to a phalanx of anti-abortion protestors who rush patients as they head to a clinic. Volunteers try to escort patients and shield their identities, sometimes going to such extremes as using giant golf umbrellas to shield them, as in the case in Florida.
In 1994, the federal government passed a law ensuring freedom of access to clinics entrances and states have passed laws delineating how close protestors may stand.
This space is now up for grabs as the Supreme Court decides whether limits on where protestors can stand violates their free speech. If protestors win, it will make it even harder for women to access health care free of harassment.
Nina Berman has been following this issue for decades. Here is a sampling of her work including recent images from a clinic in Florida.