Tag Archives: Megan Burbank

OPINION: Amid Disinformation, Abortion Stories Tell Powerful Truths

by Megan Burbank


Ever since the leaked Roe v. Wade decision, I’ve been hearing people talk about abortion with a new sense of openness. In my work, I speak with people who think deeply about abortion access all the time — activists and abortion fund volunteers, providers and reproductive rights attorneys, all of whom predicted Roe’s fall earlier this year — so this isn’t new for me. But the scale of it is. Now, I find myself talking about Washington State’s extremely specific legal protections for abortion access with casual acquaintances, people I only know from workout classes, and friends and family members across generations, who remember what life was like before Roe with a vivid stoicism I thought my generation would never have to fully understand.

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OPINION: ‘Sweetheart Deal’ Documents the Experiences of Sex Workers With Empathy

We Need More Stories Like It

by Megan Burbank


“This is one of the most vulgar ironies I could possibly even conceive of,” says Kristine, a caustic, funny welder by trade, toward the end of Elisa Levine and Gabriel Miller’s new documentary Sweetheart Deal. She’s responding to the news that Laughn Elliott Doescher, who fashioned himself mayor of Seattle’s Aurora Avenue North and friend to sex workers including Kristine, had been drugging and sexually assaulting the same people he claimed to support, including a young woman Doescher had previously assisted in tracking down an abusive client. He was one predator hidden behind another.

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OPINION: What Now? What’s Next for Abortion in Washington and Beyond

by Megan Burbank


After Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion overruling Roe v. Wade leaked the night of May 2, the court’s credibility hit an all-time low and the outcome reproductive rights advocates long feared became prematurely real months before a decision had been expected. While the court could theoretically release a different decision when it officially rules on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban this summer, it’s incredibly unlikely, and the draft ruling itself, rooted in anti-feminist rhetoric that quite literally comes out of the 17th century, shows the activist tendencies of the court’s conservative majority.

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OPINION: Here’s What You Need to Know About Idaho’s 6-Week Abortion Ban

by Megan Burbank

Content Warning: This story includes discussion of sexual assault.


On Wednesday, March 23, a worst-case scenario predicted by abortion rights activists became a reality when Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed into law a policy modeled on SB 8, Texas’ extreme six-week abortion ban. As the first law modeled on SB 8 to be implemented, Idaho’s provision bans abortions after six weeks, and — in a surreal variation on the Texas law — allows providers to be sued for $20,000 by people who might have been family members of babies who might have been born if embryos had been carried to term.

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Washington Birth Doulas Advocated for a Pathway to Certification — and Won

by Megan Burbank


With Gov. Jay Inslee’s signoff, birth doulas in Washington State have established their work as a profession based on voluntary competency-based state certification, paving the way for reimbursement under Medicaid. ESHB 1881 passed both chambers in Olympia earlier this month, where it drew broad support, passing with a wide margin of 85–8, backing from both parties in the House, and unanimous support in the Senate, according to a media release from Surge Reproductive Justice, an organization backing the legislation. It was among a docket of bills Inslee signed into law on Wednesday, March 30, in a ceremony at the State Capitol streamed live on TVW.

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OPINION: How Do You Support Someone Who’s Having an Abortion?

The Senate and SCOTUS Won’t Tell You, but TV Might

by Megan Burbank


A few weeks ago, while working on a story about the seemingly inevitable reversal of Roe v. Wade, I heard a source say something I’ve been thinking about ever since: They’d heard from someone who didn’t self-identify as pro-choice but wanted to help offset the costs of abortion care for a person they’d never met.

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Birth Doulas Rally for Pathway to Certification in Washington State

by Megan Burbank


When Seattle full-spectrum doula Jasmyne Bryant meets with a client for the first time, she often encounters one of two responses. “As Black and Indigenous doulas, when we’re interviewing clients who are in our community, who are also Black birthing people, it’s not nearly the same as interviewing with a white birthing person.”

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Stalled Bill Would Have Protected Reproductive Health When Hospitals Merge

by Megan Burbank


When hospital systems merge, it can result in patients losing access to critical medical treatments, including reproductive health care and medical aid in dying. But a new bill introduced in this year’s legislative session offers a potential solution: a system of strengthened oversight and transparency that would require hospitals to spell out policies on these types of care before a merger is even approved.

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Abortion Bill Would Recognize More Providers, Shield Pregnant People From Prosecution

by Megan Burbank


If you have an abortion in Washington State, you might not see a provider with an M.D. after their name. That’s normal. In our state, with requisite training and certification, advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) and physician assistants (PAs) can become abortion providers, and a new bill introduced in this year’s legislative session would make it official. This proposed change to Washington’s Reproductive Privacy Act, which codified abortion rights statewide in 1991, is one of several changes raised in the new bill, known as the Affirm Washington Abortion Access Act (HB 1851/SB 5766).

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Abortion Pills Are Now Permanently Available by Mail — What That Means for the PNW

by Megan Burbank


On Dec. 16, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permanently lifted a dispensing requirement for mifepristone, one of two medications commonly used in medication abortions, allowing the drug to be dispensed through the mail. At the time, many media outlets framed it as a new broadening of access to medication abortion. But the rule had already been temporarily lifted, and its newly permanent status reflects a longstanding effort on the part of reproductive health providers to make the medication available more widely. But even with the permanent rule change, access to medication abortion remains wildly varied. Here’s what you need to know.

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