Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Read the Original Story

This year saw the Supreme Court issue its most consequential abortion rights decision of the last quarter century. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt the court ruled that the restrictive plethora of laws and rules that some states were issuing to regulate abortion—purportedly to ensure the health and safety of women—were in fact a violation of their constitutional rights.

Prohibited by Roe v. Wade from banning abortion, states like Texas, Michigan and Oklahoma were basically seeking to regulate it out of existence. And they were succeeding. In Oklahoma, to take just one case, 96% of the state’s counties have no abortion provider.

The June 27 Supreme Court decision promised a sea change in this reality, provoking abortion rights advocates to cheer. But that was before the election of Donald Trump, who has vowed to restore a conservative majority to the Supreme Court. With the Republican Senate’s success in freezing President Obama’s nomination of a moderate to the bench, Trump will be free to make good on his pledge to fill the evenly divided court’s longstanding vacancy with a hardline jurist of the right who is committed to overturning Roe v. Wade.

For those born too recently to know what this would mean—or what it means now for thousands of women in states with harsh restrictions—the Forward published the account of one of its own editors, Larry Cohler-Esses, a man, who as a 16-year-old Chicago high school student, helped his best friend and his friend’s girlfriend to arrange an illegal abortion by an unknown doctor in a strange city far from their home in a middle-class Jewish neighborhood.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.