CNBC – Dr. Katie McHugh doesn’t sleep much these days.
After working 12-hour shifts at several abortion clinics in Indiana, McHugh, an OB/GYN, doesn’t collapse into bed.
Thoughts of her patients keep her up at night: the pregnant woman who drove 20 hours to the clinic, scared and desperate to receive an abortion; the families dodging anti-abortion protestors shouting threats at them through a bullhorn in clinic parking lots; the patients she couldn’t help.
Before the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June, which ended nearly 50 years of federal abortion rights, McHugh, 42, estimates that she saw between 15 and 20 patients for abortion-related appointments each day.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision, there are now days where she performs 50 abortions.
“All of a sudden, we have this very looming threat of a felony charge of being persecuted.”
McHugh and other doctors across the state have been sprinting to help patients access abortion before Sept. 15, when Indiana’s abortion ban is set to take effect.
The ban includes exceptions for rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormalities, and to protect the life and health of the mother.
The ban will cut off abortion access to people in Indiana’s neighboring states, including Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, who have depended on clinics in the state when their own states enacted stricter bans or made the procedure illegal.
“It’s devastating,” McHugh tells CNBC Make It. “There are some days where it feels like we are drowning in despair at the loss of [abortion] rights. There are some days where we are just so overwhelmed.”
Abortion is banned in at least 12 states with limited exceptions, the New York Times reports, and more states are expected to enact bans or other limits on the procedure in the coming months.
For the past three months, doctors like McHugh have had to navigate the chaos and confusion following Roe’s demise … READ MORE.