'Impact x Nightline' digs into landscape of reproductive rights post-Roe v. Wade

The new series premieres October 6.

October 7, 2022, 8:40 AM

Actresses Martha Plimpton, Busy Philipps, Jameela Jamil and Katie Maloney have all had abortions.

“It saved my life,” said Jameela Jamil, who told ABC News that she was 26 years old when she had an abortion. “It was the best decision I ever made.”

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“There was never any question in my mind about what I would do,” said Martha Plimpton, one of the stars of “The Goonies” and co-founder of the reproductive rights advocacy nonprofit called A is For.

Plimpton was 19 when she had an abortion. “I knew immediately that I didn’t want to be pregnant,” she said.

The actresses' stories are included in the first episode of a new weekly ABC News series called "Impact x Nightline," which premieres October 6.

PHOTO: Dr. Curtis Boyd and his wife Dr. Glenna Halvorson-Boyd in their Texas clinic.
Dr. Curtis Boyd and his wife Dr. Glenna Halvorson-Boyd in their Texas clinic.
ABC News

The first episode delves into first-hand accounts of abortion and motherhood, from people on both sides of the abortion rights debate, including health care providers working to adapt to the changing post-Roe v. Wade landscape in America.

ABC News reporters speak with doctors and abortion rights advocates in Mississippi, Wisconsin and Texas who saw their states immediately stop providing abortion services, or leave the status of abortion rights unclear, after the Supreme Court announced the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision.

Laurie Bertram Roberts, a reproductive rights advocate and founder of the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, saw the number of abortion clinics in the state go from 14 to none.

“Essentially for you to get an abortion in Mississippi, you have to be half dead,” she told ABC congressional correspondent Rachel Scott..

Allie Linton, who was working as a doctor at Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin, was forced to move her operations an hour south, across state lines to Illinois.

“Within the first week after Dobbs, Planned Parenthood of Illinois was seeing ten times as many Wisconsin patients,” she said.

“The good is I [am] able to provide services -- one more day,” said Naomi Jackson, the center manager for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin who has also begun working in Illinois. “The bad is -- I can't do it every day like I used to.”

Doctors Curtis Boyd and his wife ​​Glenna Halvorson-Boyd have been forced to close their clinic in Texas and move their operations to New Mexico.

Curtis Boyd has been providing abortions in the state since the 1960s, and was part of the team that opened the first legal abortion clinic in the state, in Dallas.

“For us, it's our life's work,” Glenna Halvorson-Boyd said. “And this is not the way we imagined the story would end.”

Another look into the future of reproductive rights in America is the heartbreaking story of Nancy Davis, who was planning on carrying her pregnancy to term when she learned that the fetus had a fatal complication.

PHOTO: Nancy Davis during an interview with ABC News reporters.
Nancy Davis during an interview with ABC News reporters.
ABC News

Nancy Davis and her husband could not get the procedure in Louisiana, where they lived, as Roe v. Wade had been struck down a few weeks earlier.

The hospital “was scared of prosecution and they were scared of being fined,” Davis said.

Davis eventually traveled hundreds of miles to New York City, where she had the procedure performed at the Planned Parenthood in Manhattan.

“Shouldn't nobody else have to go through that,” she said. “Nobody.”

The first episode of "Impact x Nightline" speaks with people across the political spectrum, including those who choose to carry their pregnancies to term

At the University of Michigan, ABC News reporters spoke with 21-year-old Sam, who is raising a 6-week-old baby and a toddler while finishing her senior year.

“I got a lot of like, ‘You'll never finish college,’” she said. “I got a lot of ‘you're not gonna have much of a future now.’”

PHOTO: Sam taking a course at University of Michigan while raising her six-week-old baby.
Sam taking a course at University of Michigan while raising her six-week-old baby.
ABC News

Compared to other big schools, the University of Michigan has a number of resources for student parents, like lactation rooms, a pilot day care program and a dedicated study space. Still, Sam says so much more can be done.

“We may not be the largest group on campus, but our voices do matter,” she said. “Our needs matter.”

In New York, a pro-life, Christian shelter called Good Counsel offers housing and support for pregnant women and mothers who have nowhere else to go.

The group has several homes around the New York area, the one in Rockland County just north of New York City, can house up to eight women at a time.

It was a lifeline for then-27-year-old Winne Etienne, whose doctors referred her when she decided that abortion was not an option for her.

“My whole entire life, everything is great, everything is good. And I think all of this is because I came here,” she said.

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