Adapted from Rachel's script Friday night:There are places in this country that look from the outside like nondescript buildings, until you happen to notice that there are no windows facing the street and that guy hanging out at the front entrance is an armed, plain-clothes security officer and he is guarding the front door.
Once you get inside, there are security check points and metal detectors. The lobby is locked down from the rest of the building. There are key pads with secret codes, not just to get in, the first place, but even once you are inside to get from one wing of the building to the other. There are security cameras monitoring every corner of the building. The folks who work at these places sometimes come to work in disguise and when they come to work, they take a different route each day. Sometimes they park their cars off site and are driven into the office by a different person each week, who also takes a different route each time. Some of them use assumed names outside the office.
These places are not field offices of the NSA or the CIA or some cagey private military contractor. These are medical offices. This is the way that medicine is being practiced in one small segment of the medical field. It is unlike anything else in American medicine. It is unlike any other part of American life that is not national security or corrections or intelligence.
But it is how you live if you are an abortion provider in a part of the country where aggressive hostility to abortion rights sometimes manifests as violence. These are not temporary security measures people adopt during a lockdown or at a particular time of crisis. This is day-to-day, everyday life.
It is a very strange way to live or work. There are four states in this country where there is only one abortion clinic in the whole state, including Mississippi, which is facing the prospect of becoming the first state where abortion access is, effectively, gone.
After the jump, part one of Rebekah Dryden and Anthony Terrell's report: Kansas.
If you are the only abortion provider in your state, it turns out that that makes your one medical office and, therefore, the women who seek medical care there, it makes them really easy targets for people who would like to end abortion in that state through harassment, or intimidation or through state government.
Trying to understand the constitutional edge that we are on right now in terms of abortion rights existing on paper versus existing in reality, part one of our special report yesterday was about recovering and regaining access to abortion rights in a part of the country where that access was ended three and a half years ago by murder. That was Kansas, where that constitutional right is being protected and regained by a very savvy and determined group.