The end of Roe vs. Wade: A photographer’s blog

Albuquerque - The exam room is dark on purpose to calm the patient.
The room is intentionally kept dark to calm the 39-year-old patient as she gets a surgical abortion at the Center for Reproductive Health Clinic in Albuquerque. Roe vs. Wade was overturned 24 hours later.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
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Knowing that the abortion protections of Roe vs. Wade were in jeopardy, The Times early this year formed a team to report on the issue.

Named as photographer, I traveled throughout the West, visiting abortion clinics and centers run by those opposed to the procedure. I was inside a Texas clinic the moment the Dobbs vs. Jackson decision came down.

For this assignment, the patients’ privacy and doctors’ safety were forefront in my mind. It was a delicate situation. At times, I was able to use a mirrorless camera, which made the shutter silent. I felt less obtrusive, which was important.

Some of the most poignant photographs came from a clinic in New Mexico.

I had sent emails to the clinic administrator of the University of New Mexico Center for Reproductive Health in Albuquerque and the physician on staff. I reiterated how important this issue was for women. I agreed not to photograph any patient without their permission.

They said I could come.

I was surprised by how many patients wanted to tell their story, especially the torment they felt dealing with their state’s abortion restrictions and their own conscience.

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A family physician and her resident perform an ultrasound on a 25-year-old woman
A family physician and her resident perform an ultrasound on a 25-year-old pregnant woman at the Center for Reproductive Health in Albuquerque. The patient elected to have a medication abortion later that day.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

“I think we’ll see a lot of unsafe abortions and women dying.”

— Dr. William Hern, owner of Boulder Abortion Clinic in Colorado, on the consequences of the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade

A woman sitting on an exam table drinks from a cup as a doctor sits nearby and a child lies on the floor
Autumn Brown swallows the first pill for a medication abortion, as instructed by Dr. Lisa Hofler, as her 3-year-old daughter plays June 21 at the Center for Reproductive Health. Brown has four children, including twin girls, and said she couldn’t handle any more.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

“Oh, my gosh, the magnitude for us is going to be tremendous. ... This ripples far beyond New Mexico, and they’re going to be coming to us.”

— Dr. Lisa Hofler, University of New Mexico Center for Reproductive Health

Antiabortion protesters pray in front of Dr. Warren Hern's abortion clinic Feb. 1 in Boulder, Colo.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

“I think we’ll see a lot of unsafe abortions and women dying.”

— Dr William Hern, director of Boulder Abortion Clinic

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Protesters holding signs chant and march
Hours after the Supreme Court released its decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, hundreds of protesters marched near the federal courthouse in San Antonio, with the temperature well over 100 degrees.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

“Keep your laws off my body.”

— Abortion rights supporter protesting the end of Roe vs. Wade

Pharmacy workers retrieve pills from a shelf
Pharmacy workers retrieve abortion-inducing misoprostol pills from the shelves of El Disco Super Center in the Rio Grande Valley town of Nuevo Progreso, Mexico. Misoprostol is sold without a prescription in Mexico, but most pharmacies supply only one pill, not the two-pill combination prescribed in the United States that adds the drug mifepristone.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
A woman sits on a park bench next to a baby stroller
Rayenieshia Cole said she sought an abortion but changed her mind after she was approached by antiabortion activists and received counseling at a Birth Choice pregnancy center located in the same Dallas complex as the abortion clinic.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

“They were really willing to help. They had a lot of resources.”

— Rayenieshia Cole, mother of three, on the Birth Choice pregnancy center in Dallas

Women sit on pews and kneel to pray in a chapel
Employees of the Birth Choice pregnancy center in Dallas pray in the clinic’s chapel.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
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“We pray for an end to abortion. We hope that day will come.”

— Ronda Kay Moreland, chair of Birth Choice’s board

A woman sits in a chair against a wall in an exam room
Krystal, 26, swallows the medication to abort her six-week pregnancy April 29 at the Whole Woman’s Health clinic in McAllen, Texas. The state has enacted a law that effectively bans the procedure after fetal cardiac activity is detected — usually at about six weeks, before many women realize they’re pregnant — with no exception for rape or incest.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
A staff member at Alamo Women’s Reproductive Services in San Antonio wipes away tears
A staff member at Alamo Women’s Reproductive Services in San Antonio wipes away tears June 24 after learning that the Supreme Court had overturned Roe vs. Wade. The clinic had to turn patients away once the ruling came down.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

“The Supreme Court just overturned Roe vs. Wade. They’ve taken away your right to choose what to do with your body.”

— Dr. Alan Braid, clinic owner

A teary staff member hugs a patient April Reese,41, after informing her the clinic could no longer provide abortion services
A teary staff member at Alamo Women’s Reproductive Services hugs patient April Reese, 41, after informing her that the clinic could no longer provide abortion services.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

“So we have to go out of state? This is insane.”

— April Reese, who was turned away from an abortion clinic

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Tara Shaver, a local antiabortion missionary, kneels at the graves of fetal remains at Baby Land.
Tara Shaver, an antiabortion “missionary” in Albuquerque, kneels at the graves of fetal remains at Baby Land inside the Sandia Memory Gardens cemetery. “The term ‘abortion’ has lost all meaning, and this place brings it back,” Shaver said. “We don’t need to shuttle women into New Mexico. We need to meet these women where they are and provide enough support that they don’t need to choose between their child’s life and their own.”
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

“We need to meet these women where they are and provide enough support that they don’t need to choose between their child’s life and their own.”

— Tara Shaver, antiabortion “missionary”