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tv   Nightline  ABC  May 5, 2022 12:37am-1:06am PDT

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tonight, as the supreme court appears poised to reverse nearly 50 years of abortion rights -- >> roe v. wade is going to go! >> an inside look at what overturning roe v. wade could actually look like. in the states with the biggest restrictions in the country. >> it's demeaning to make a woman feel like she doesn't have a decision. >> the crush already being felt. we're with two women seeking abortions. >> i'm from south texas. i don't have another choice now. >> one traveling 800 miles to oklahoma after waiting 37 days. the other a mother driving from oklahoma to kansas. >> there's no way i can afford another baby. i can't. >> as several states push closer to abortion bans, why anti-abortion lawmakers are
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emboldened. >> you put it as restricting access. i don't see it that way. i see it as protecting unborn life. >> this special edition of "nightline," "the countdown: dismantling roe" will be right back. countdown: dismantling roe" will be right back. the sleep number 360 smart bed is on sale now.
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it senses your movements and automatically adjusts so you both stay comfortable all night. it's also temperature balancing so you stay cool. save $500 on the sleep number 360 c4 smart bed, queen now only $1,299. lowest price ever! only for a limited time. ♪ "nightline," "the countdown: dismantling roe" continues. here now, rachel scott.
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>> i get really anxious. >> and that's okay, it's okay to be nervous, it's okay to ask these questions. >> reporter: here in oklahoma, time is running out. >> i never thought that i would be one of the people desperate, driving across state lines, for help in this situation. >> reporter: this woman drove 800 miles, one of thousands flooding the sooner state to get an abortion. it's a journey that could soon be repeated by so many more all across the country. >> i'm from south texas. i don't have another choice now. because of the time wait for appointments. >> you're here today because you no longer want to continue with your pregnancy? >> yes, ma'am. >> reporter: this all happening in the shadow of what could be an earth-shaking decision. >> roe v. wade is going to go, hey, hey, ho, ho! >> reporter: the supreme court poised to change a half century of precedent, appearing ready to
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strike down roe v. wade in a matter of weeks. potentially clearing the way for abortion bans in as many as 26 states. >> i hope they reverse roe v. wade. >> i hope they return that to the states. >> i feel like women will be desperate, harm themselves. >> reporter: in states like texas, and now oklahoma, extreme restrictions are already in place. leaving those seeking >> i want to know why they think it's okay to make a decision for a woman that they have not walked a day in their shoes at all. >> it was terrifying. >> reporter: tonight, inside two different clinics. with the women who say these laws won't stop them. >> i'm willing to do whatever's necessary. there's no way i can afford another baby.
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>> keep your hands off our bodies! >> reporter: the war over reproductive rights is a familiar fight here at the oklahoma state capitol. priya has been attending abortion rights rallies for years as an activist and volunteer. >> as an oklahoman i'm sad, tired, sad, angry that we have t fight for futures that should already be guaranteed. >> reporter: in oklahoma, lawmakers are voting on a number of abortion bills. these laws providing a blueprint for what life could soon look like in a post-roe america. >> what's really upsetting about it is no matter how hard we try to connect with legislators, they are dead set on promoting their own agenda. and they do not listen to their constituents. >> abortion rights advocates were particularly worried about two copycat bills modeled on that law out of texas that made abortion illegal after the sixth week of pregnancy.
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nationwide, lawmakers in over a dozen states have proposed texas copycat bills. this week, oklahoma governor kevin stitt signed one of those bills banning abortion after six weeks, effective immediately. >> my goal is to make sure that the state of oklahoma outlaws abortion. as an individual citizen, my hope is that this will save the lives of babies. >> reporter: republican wendy steerman is still waiting for her bill to pass. it would ban abortion from conception. it includes a very narrow exception for rape and incest, but only if the victim files a police report. critics say they look at how underreported rape and incest is across the country. even in this state of oklahoma. they say, why not make exceptions to cover all of those instances? especially when rape and incest are so underreported? >> well, the goal of this is to protect the child. the unborn child. so i believe that putting in the
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exception as we have it is acceptable in this situation. >> even if it requires the person to report the rape or the instance of incest to police departments when it's already unreported? >> correct. >> reporter: in the first month after the texas law went into effect, the state claimed abortions there fell 60%. however, planned parenthood has reported a huge increase in patients traveling to nearby states for abortions. in oklahoma, its health centers saw a nearly 2,500% increase in patients with texas zip codes. now all those patients will have to go somewhere else. does it harm how effective these laws are if women are willing to go through the hurdles and the lengths of traveling hundreds of miles out of state to still get an abortion? >> well, that's really not the position of a -- of the legislature. what we can do is make sure that the laws of oklahoma do not condone abortion. we can also make sure that the laws of oklahoma do not condone
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murder. we can't stop murder, that's left in the hands of the people. >> i feel like people need to know our sides of the story. we're not evil. we're not baby killers. i wish more people would speak up. our voices, i feel like, are louder than the people making these laws. >> reporter: in april, at a planned parenthood clinic in tulsa, we met a 31-year-old woman who asked us not to use her name. we will call her marie. >> i'm going to get your vital signs real quick. >> i'm from south texas. i lost my husband two years ago at the beginning of covid. i ended up in this situation unknowingly. i'm just glad that there is an option. >> place all your belongings in the chair and have a seat on the table for me, okay? >> i know i thought multiple
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times about ending my life. >> is this your first pregnancy? >> yes. >> how confident are you with your decision to have an abortion? >> very confident. >> reporter: when marie reached out to the clinic in tulsa, the wait time for an appointment was more than a month. she was aware that oklahoma lawmakers were on the verge of passing an abortion ban. >> i think it was, like, 37 days. having to mentally fight that every day was really rough. i was constantly refreshing my google to see if the law had passed. it kept saying everywhere if it passed, it was going to take into effect immediately. it was terrifying. i started looking at things online, overseas, which i knew it was dangerous, really dangerous. but i'm very desperate. so i did look into those things too. >> is there anyone supporting you mentally, emotionally, with your decision? >> no. >> no one knows you're here today? >> no. >> reporter: marie is not ready for her family to know. so she made the 14-hour trip to tulsa alone.
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>> in the car by myself, you definitely have a lot of time to think. so it's been really, really hard. >> all right, last questions are required by the state of oklahoma. you can decline them if you do not desire. would you like to know your gestational age, how far along you are? >> no. >> would you like know if i see multiple gestations? >> no. >> would you like to see an ultrasound image and hear a fetal heartbeat if i find it? >> no. >> i treat my patient li want my family member to be treated. they're not just another number. they need someone that they feel like they have to talk to and be open with, and we welcome them with open arms. >> i'm thankful that they didn't force me to hear or see anything. i thought that was going to be difficult, but they gave me the option. >> okay, i've got everything i needed.
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you're all good. >> reporter: marie is using a get her abortion, accounting for travel and recovery. >> i had a long drive. 14, 15 hours. >> are you serious? >> yeah. >> i'm so sorry. >> that's okay. i'm just thankful i have the opportunity. >> there's no right or wrong way to feel about it. we're told how to feel about it, but there's no right or wrong way to feel about it. so however you're feeling is normal and just let yourself feel that. >> i always feel like this hurts. >> i'm right there with you. one, two, three. >> the procedure itself is like five to eight minutes. not a very long procedure. >> they'll make sure that i'm -- like the pain medicine has kicked in, right? >> yes. >> anxious about that. >> yeah. it's not going to put you out. it's not going to put you under. but it should really, really help with that pain. it's okay to be nervous, it's okay to ask these questions. right this way. >> a little anxious.
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but other than that, i feel relieved. i don't feel stressed like i had been even yesterday. >> reporter: as marie prepares for her abortion procedure and we wait on the other side, she worries about these new restrictions. in texas, oklahoma, and beyond. >> how dare you try and force people to do things the way you want them to do them? it's our bodies. i feel like women will be desperate, harm themselves. i feel like it's horrible. it's horrible what they're doing. up next, a mother of two tells us why she can't add to her family. >> i was devastated. i started crying. >> why a state that's been a safe haven for patients could be the next domino to fall. nope c'mon him? oo, i like him!
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fantastic! ask your doctor about ibrance. ♪ "nightline," "the countdown: dismantling roe" continues. here again, rachel scott. >> reporter: this is the doctor's morning walk. nearly every morning. week to week. the only difference, the city. >> i'm the medical director of planned parenthood, great plains, which is an affiliate of planned parenthood that serves oklahoma, arkansas, kansas, and western missouri. it's big. >> reporter: a large part of her job is traveling hundreds of miles across state lines every month.
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for her, the work is exhausting. but necessary. >> i'm a queer brown person. when i was growing up, i was told by my parents and the world around me how what i was was essentially wrong. and so i have no tolerance for other people telling people what to do with their bodies. >> reporter: with bans in texas and now oklahoma, in effect, the surge of patients is coming for the closest clinics. like this one in wichita, kansas. >> she's doing all the prep? >> yes. >> reporter: the doctor along with staff from oklahoma city are here to help this small facility with the domino effect. >> we knew that was going to happen. with the ban in oklahoma, we have no place to go but north. it's controlling. it's humiliating. it's demeaning to make a woman feel like she doesn't have a decision. >> reporter: right now in kansas, the right to an abortion is protected by law.
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but in august, the public could vote to change that. on this day, two-thirds of the abortion patients in wichita are from out of state. >> hi, there. >> hi. >> how are you? >> i'm good, how are you? >> reporter: 39-year-old nicole is one of them. >> take your blood count, make sure it's safe for you to do the pills at home. you're going to put your initials there, there, there -- >> reporter: nicole is early enough in her pregnancy to have a medication abortion. >> all right, follow me this way. >> reporter: because of the backlog in oklahoma, she still had to drive out of state to pick up the pills. >> priya is going to grab you in a minute, okay? >> how are you feeling about your decision today? >> good. i think women will probably -- i'm not going to say it didn't go through my mind, get on google, see if i can do it myself. i didn't do that. but i think that people will start doing that. >> these are the two medications
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that we want you to take. this is the medication that causes cramping and bleeding, empties everything out of your uterus. if you have no bleeding after 24 hours, you need to call us. >> i appreciate you. >> safe drive home, okay? >> reporter: two weeks after her appointment, we caught up with nicole who was comfortable enough to sit down for an on-camera interview. why come forward and share your story? >> i wanted to give a voice to the older women that already have kids. and i want to give an opportunity for the government to see how it affects us. >> you're a mom? >> yes. >> you love being a mom? >> yeah. they're the most amazing -- i've never felt love like that. they make my heart beat. >> when did you first learn that you were pregnant? what was your reaction? >> very upset. very upset. i can barely make ends meet at the moment with my other two
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boys. >> did you ever think that that would be the length that you would have to go through? >> no. i never thought that someone else would be making that choice for me. i have a full-time job. i had to take a vacation day. i had to make sure both my kids were taken care of. it was really hard. >> when you think about the cost of the procedure, the cost of gas, the time away from work, the time away from family? >> i cannot afford that. it's hard. it's hard to come up with that money. i think about if i struggle to pay $800, $900 to take care of something like this, how would i be able to take the money, the time, take care of a child, another one? >> reporter: research shows the majority of abortion patients, like nicole, already have children. >> these laws, again, disproportionately affect people of low income, black and brown people.
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>> reporter: greg treat has been an oklahoma state government member for 11 years now. abortion is his number one issue. >> life issues are the reason i ran for office. >> you are the author of several bills that have to do with restricting access to abortion. >> this session, four or five. it's all about aimed at protecting life. you put it as restricting access. i don't see it that way. i see it as protecting unborn life. i've spent my whole time up here working on foster care, adoption. the whole life. not just in the womb. >> reporter: treat, like many republicans, hopes the supreme court with its new conservative majority fully reverses roe v. wade this summer, clearing the way for individual states to dictate abortion law. what would you say to a woman, maybe a single mom, who already has kids and says, i just simply can't afford to have another child. >> i think i would point them to nonprofits, to ministries, and to the state resources and say,
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i don't think you've looked at all the resources. that's a hypothetical you pose to me, but i've had that conversation. >> you have? >> it's only been in front of me once or twice, but when it has, i look at the person. i don't look at the person who's had the abortion and try to condemn them and make them feel less, because i think they have dignity and worth as well. but i think that baby has worth as well. >> do you believe the legislation is affected if ultimately women could just travel out of state, out of oklahoma, to go get -- >> i think statistics show that the laws we have passed have been effective. does it prevent every single abortion? no. is it my desire that we save every life? yes. >> do you feel like there is a middle ground where people can come and sit next to each other and have these discussions on an issue that is so divisive like abortion? >> i don't know if you'll ever come to agreement, but i think we can have a civil conversation. we've got to start having dialogue with people that we don't agree with.
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>> i believe if god was here right now, he would be upset with the lawmakers trying to force women and putting them in horrible situations. >> reporter: back in tulsa, marie is getting ready to go home after her procedure. >> i feel relieved. i feel stronger. i feel like i have my life back again. i think it's really sad that one state after another state after another state is starting this ban. >> reporter: that could become reality. as the country anxiously waits for the supreme court's decision on roe. >> i feel like it's going to affect my life now forever because i'm going to fight more for women in this situation that don't have any other choices. >> stay with us. [ sleep app ] and the end. you have now reached the end of the sleep app. you're the first person to actually do that. now i want to say congratulations, but it's also disappointing. what do you mean? that's it?
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