May 5, 2022 - Podcasts

Abortion providers prepare for a post-Roe v. Wade world

Abortion clinics, especially in red states, are bracing for the impact of a likely Roe v. Wade reversal. Many clinics fear their abortion providers will leave to protect themselves.

  • Plus, interest rates are going up.
  • And, a new law that could help close the gender pay gap.

Guests: Axios' Oriana Gonzalez and Emily Peck.

Credits: Axios Today is produced by Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Alex Sugiura, and Lydia McMullen-Laird. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at [email protected]. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

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NIALA BOODHOO: Good morning! Welcome to Axios Today!

It’s Thursday, May 5th.

I’m Niala Boodhoo.

Here’s what we’re covering today: Interest rates are going up. Plus, a new law that could help close the gender pay gap.

But first, today’s One Big Thing: abortion providers prepare for a world without Roe v Wade.

Abortion clinics, especially in red states are bracing for the impact of a likely Roe v. Wade reversal and as Axios’ Oriana Gonzalez reports, many clinics fear their abortion providers will leave to protect themselves. Oriana is with me for more. Hi Oriana.


NIALA: We know that if Roe is overturned, that means abortion is no longer federally protected. So where would abortion providers immediately be violating the law by performing abortions?

ORIANA: So we know that there are 13 states so far that have trigger laws, which are laws that exists that would make abortions illegal. If Roe disappears, these would outlaw abortion, making them punishable by imprisonment and, or very, very large fines. A majority of the states are located in the south. There are a few that are located a bit north, but we're seeing most of these in southern states.

NIALA: What are providers and staff at clinics in some of these states telling you?

ORIANA: What some abortion clinics have told me is that they fear that the few providers that they have working in these clinics might have to resort to leaving the states and moving to blue states, so consider California, New York, New Jersey, etcetera, all states that have codified the right to an abortion, that they would move there in order to be able to provide reproductive care without being afraid of prosecution.

NIALA: Haven't we already though seen providers leaving red states because of tightening abortion restrictions?

ORIANA: Yeah, the difference is though there are currently no abortion bans that specifically say that abortion is illegal. So, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, then what abortion clinics are expecting is that there's going to be an even bigger difference between blue states and red states. Mississippi, for example, has one abortion clinic. If we're looking at Texas and the surrounding states, there's only a handful. So imagine if abortion does become illegal and providers are prosecuted, there's likely going to be an even bigger difference with other blue states.

NIALA: And practically speaking, like if these providers are leaving, what kind of effect does that have?

ORIANA: So I was talking to a state lawmaker in Florida, Florida was once considered a go-to state for people in the south attempting to access abortion care, but that seems less and less likely. And what she told me is that any policy that criminalizes abortion providers has the intent of pushing providers out of those states to make their ability to provide this type of care just out of reach for everybody. So what red states are facing is the possibility that abortion care and reproductive healthcare in general would be almost impossible for people to access.

NIALA: And then the other flip side of this is the influx of providers in blue states. So what does that look like?

ORIANA: I actually heard from an OB-GYN who told me that the abortion providers that she knows, they are already expecting to move or to travel very often to blue states in order to keep doing the work that they're doing. So blue states are now preparing to meet the demand of patients seeking abortion care.

So in California, for example, Governor Newsom unveiled his budget proposal for 2022 and 2023 and it includes measures to invest in reproductive health infrastructure in an effort to be able to meet as many patients as possible, including those that are traveling into the state. For Maryland recently, they allowed for nurse practitioners, midwives, any sort of non-physician health providers to be able to perform abortions that way they have even more people that are providing this type of care because they expect more people to arrive. In Oregon, we're seeing the legislature that allocated, $15 million to assist abortion providers, to increase infrastructure, to buy equipment. So all of these states are ultimately seeing that there is going to be a really big influx of patients that are going to travel to their states in order to access the care that in red states it's possible that will disappear.

NIALA: Oriana Gonzalez is a reporter for Axios. Thanks, Oriana.

ORIANA: Thank you, Niala.

NIALA: In a moment, we’re back with a new New York City law that could help reduce wage gaps.

[ad break]

NIALA: Welcome back to Axios Today. I'm Niala Boodhoo. Salary information is, no surprise, the most important part of a job description many people say. And this fall, job seekers in New York City will have a much better idea of that. Because starting November 1st, employers will be required to post the minimum and maximum salary for job postings— something that's becoming increasingly common across the country. Axios markets correspondent Emily Peck has the big picture for us.

Hey Emily, so other than giving applicants a bit more information before they take a job interview, what does the research say about why salary transparency is so important?

EMILY PECK: Salary transparency is important because information is power. The more you know about how much your employer can pay for a certain role, the less likely it is that you're going to be paid unfairly. That's kind of like the TLDR. Basically if everyone knows how much money there is for a role, how much it's possible to get paid, it's less likely that you would be underpaid. And so there's, you know, some research that has shown salary transparency reduces pay gaps. Um, there's a lot more research on gender pay gaps that I would like to see more on the racial pay gaps as well, but transparency would reduce either.

NIALA: So we said this is happening in New York in November. Where else are we seeing these kinds of changes take effect?

EMILY: Colorado's law went into effect last year and it's very similar. You have to post a salary, max and minimum. Washington State just passed its own legislation. And then about a dozen other states and localities are looking at doing this. This is sort of the new frontier of gender pay equity, policymaking. The last frontier was banning salary history questions. So employers can’t ask you how much you're currently making or how much you made at your last job in about 16 states.

NIALA: And how will this work with so many companies posting remote jobs? If the company is based in New York or Colorado or Washington state.

EMILY: So the New York City law is specific. It only applies to jobs that are in person in New York City. If it's an all-remote job, you don't have to do that. With Colorado it was interesting because you started to see job listings that were remote come out, and there would be a little asterisk in the job listing that would say, “this does not apply to residents of Colorado.” So companies were getting around the minimum, maximum thing in that way, “just don't apply if you're from Colorado and we won't list the maximums and the minimums.”

NIALA: Emily Peck is the coauthor of the daily Axios markets newsletter. Thanks Emily.

Three more stories you need to know about this morning

The European Union took its biggest step yet towards a ban on Russian oil imports - with a proposal that its member nations phase out imports of Russian crude oil within six months - and refined products by the end of the year.

Here’s European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen in Strausborg yesterday.

URSULA VON DER LEYEN: Let’s be clear - it will be not be easy - because some member states are strongly dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to do it.

NIALA: Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin - convicted of murdering George Floyd - will be sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison as part of a federal plea deal accepted on Wednesday. Chauvin is already serving a 22.5 year sentence for the state murder charge. Under the deal, the sentences will be served at the same time.

And finally - The Federal Reserve enacted its steepest rate increase in more than 20 years, yesterday - and indicated that more monetary tightening could be on the way, all in its attempt to rein in inflation.

That’s all we’ve got for you today! Text me your feedback and story ideas: I’m at (202) 918-4893.

I’m Niala Boodhoo - thanks for listening - stay safe and we’ll see you back here tomorrow morning.

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