The future of the last remaining abortion clinic in the state of Missouri remains uncertain, leading one to wonder what people will do if it, too, should disappear.
Hearings have begun to determine whether the Planned Parenthood branch in St. Louis will be able to keep its license after state health officials declined to renew it, as the Associated Press reported on Monday. If this legal battle ends with its license getting revoked, Missouri will become the first state without a licensed abortion clinic since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling in 1973.
This terrifying legal battle over reproductive rights raises many questions, for example “What the fuck??” and “Fucking why????” Also important to consider is what people in Missouri (or North Dakota, or Kentucky, or anyone who lives in any of the six states that only have one licensed abortion clinic left) will do when they want to get an abortion should the last remaining abortion clinic in their state shut down. How will they find a clinic, how will they get there, and how much will all of these additional obstacles cost?
To find a licensed abortion clinic near you, you can head over to the Safe Place Project, the National Abortion Federation’s list of affiliated providers, or any one of a number of other similar online databases. You can also call up your local Planned Parenthood and ask them about abortion services in your area. You can have an abortion at any licensed clinic; you don’t have to be a resident of the state where it’s located.
Finding a clinic is one thing; getting to a clinic is another. Should their local Planned Parenthood lose its license, residents of St. Louis would have to travel out of state, which has long been standard for Missourians anyway. In 2009, nearly half of all abortion patients in Kansas came from Missouri, per The New York Times, while a significant percentage of abortions in Illinois are performed on people from other states, as well. If the St. Louis Planned Parenthood closes, area residents would likely travel to a new Planned Parenthood clinic that just opened in Fairview Heights, Illinois, or to Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois. Fairview Heights is about 14 miles away from St. Louis by car, and Granite City is about 10 miles away from St. Louis by car. Either distance could prove prohibitive for people who can’t afford to take time off from work to make the trek. For low-income individuals, people living in abusive or otherwise precarious situations, hourly workers without paid time off, people who don’t own cars, and so many others, every added mile and every added dollar could make the journey impossible.
For many people in the United States, the shuttering of a single clinic would be disastrous. Millions of Americans live in what a 2018 study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research dubbed “abortion deserts,” meaning they have to drive 100 miles or more to reach the nearest licensed clinic, a considerable distance that means few, if any, public transportation routes, higher fuel costs by car, and likely the ability to take time off work—three needless, additional complications that no one would have to think about if licensed abortion services were accessible and affordable for all.
A previous version of this article contained inaccurate information about interstate travel from Missouri to Illinois. The article also stated that Planned Parenthood opened a new clinic in Granite City. Planned Parenthood opened a clinic in Fairview Heights; the Hope Clinic for Women has been operating in Granite City since 1974. VICE regrets the error.
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The 9 Best Sex Toys to Give (or Receive) in 2019
In the midst of whatever holiday excitement you may be feeling (or not!), it’s good to also celebrate more intimate moments with a partner—or on your own. In the spirit of giving and receiving, I’ve rounded up my favorite sex toys of the year that can be enjoyed solo, with others, or both. Pick up…
In the midst of whatever holiday excitement you may be feeling (or not!), it’s good to also celebrate more intimate moments with a partner—or on your own. In the spirit of giving and receiving, I’ve rounded up my favorite sex toys of the year that can be enjoyed solo, with others, or both. Pick up a gift that everyone will enjoy this season and well into the new year.
Fun Factory Manta stroker
The Manta is hands-down the most innovative new sex toy for people with penises, especially for boosting masturbation or receiving oral sex. The stroker’s tip is contoured to grip and encircle the shaft of a penis for a tailored massaging effect, and its lubricant-friendly ridges keep liquid contained to enhance the glide.
Aneros MGX Trident massager
This prostate massager is a necessity if you’re ready to explore deeper sensations for the first time (or whenever, really). The Aneros’ “T” shape fits your or your partners’ body with arms that sit along the perineum and an insertable stem for G-spot or prostate stimulation—which is amazing, because sex that accounts for the P-spot can unlock incredible orgasms, even surpassing those that come with straightforward ejaculation.
Unbound Bender vibrator
The updated rerelease of Unbound’s popular Bender vibrator is stronger, thicker, and better than ever. The new version features an improved battery life and a stronger motor. The durable seven and a half–inch toy is flexible enough to reach the deepest reaches of your or your partners’ G-spot areas, and it can be used flat or bent into a curved shape for internal and external pleasure—whatever you prefer, or, of course, both. It comes in two cute colors—mint green and quartz pink.
CalExotics Packer Gear stroker
This is the ideal toy for transgender men who are looking for a stroker specifically designed to maximize physical pleasure after taking T. The stroker grips and uses suction on your or your partners’ genitals. The toy offers maximum genital coverage designed to emulate squeezing and massaging along the lines of masturbation, and it’s especially effective with a water-based lube.
Lelo TOR 2 ring
$115 (on sale, usually $139); Lelo
This sophisticated cock ring is a stellar companion toy to elevate the sensations of penetrative sex for everyone involved. It’s designed to fit over a dildo, strap-on, or bio penis, making it a great gift for people interested in changing things up without having to learn all new moves or techniques. Its six pleasure settings range from soft vibrations to intense pulsation to benefit both the TOR’s wearer and their partners.
Maude’s personal massager is discreet, silky in texture, water-resistant, and aesthetically pleasing. Given its unique shape—it looks kind of like an expensive cone-shaped paperweight in someone’s fancy office—this 100 percent silicone vibrator may have you wondering, How exactly does this work? The answer: exactly like most other vibrators, except stronger than most other vibrators, despite its innocent looks. This toy is especially recommended for travel (and even comes with a travel mode)—the TSA won’t know what it is, either. A note: This toy, for all its benefits, should not be used with silicone- or oil-based lubricants, which will degrade the silicone in the toy.
Womanizer touchless stimulator
The Womanizer, which emulates oral stimulation with soft bursts of air against a person’s genitals (and especially their clitoris), has been rereleased on its five-year anniversary in a chic white design. A claw shape provides suction and massaging air waves to send targeted sensations directly to your or your partners’ most sensitive areas for touch-free pleasure. You can literally sit back and let this waterproof toy do all of the work.
b-Vibe Rimming Petite vibrator
The slightly higher-tech toy Petite does double duty to simulate a rim job: Its vibrating head can be inserted anally for prostate or G-spot stimulation, and the rotating beads at the bottom sit against the nerve endings at the base of your or your partners’ anus. A remote control allows you or your partners to cycle between five different speeds/intensity levels as you go. Use a water-based lube with it—and feel free to take it into the bath or shower with you.
Doc Johnson Crystal Jellies double-ended dildo
Twist, bend, suck—use this double-ended dildo any way that you see fit to enjoy double penetration alone or with your partners. This jelly toy is firm, but soft enough for safe, easy vaginal or anal entry, and its multi-textured 12 inches create wave after wave of excitement as you go—whether you’re sharing it with a partner, or one of you is taking it all for yourself.
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