With U.S. abortion access in jeopardy, this doctor travels to fill a void
Birmingham, United StatesPhotography byEvelyn Hockstein. Reporting byGabriella Borter.
Inside Planned Parenthood’s Birmingham, Alabama, clinic, a quiet space with few windows and stock photos of the city lining the walls, a woman tapped her hand against her stomach as Dr. Shelly Tien performed a surgical abortion.
Tien, 40, had flown to Birmingham the day before, and she would return home to Jacksonville, Florida, that night. A week earlier, she performed abortions at a clinic in Oklahoma. She's among an estimated 50 doctors who travel across state lines, according to the National Abortion Federation, to provide abortions in places with limited abortion access.
But the flight to Atlanta ended up arriving close to on-schedule after all. Tien raced through the airport, her turquoise backpack bouncing on her shoulders, and made her connection to Jacksonville with minutes to spare.
(Photo Editing Kezia Levitas; Text Editing Colleen Jenkins and Lisa Shumaker; Layout Marta Montana Gomez)