In post-Roe America, pilots take the abortion battle to the skies
From 1,800 feet in the air, the view from a tiny, four-seater plane reduces the Chicago suburbs to a vast landscape of miniature patterns. Above us, flocks of geese fly in V-shape formations beneath sheets of white clouds.
Sitting behind a small wheel, the pilot removes his jacket, places his glasses on his nose and examines an iPad perched between his knees. He studies a map covered in a series of overlapping circles, each indicating one of thousands of small airports across the country.
The pilot can land his plane at any of them. Today, the destination is one in rural Wisconsin.
Partway through the flight, the pilot tells me to look out the window. He points to a stretch of land marked by a smattering of farms and one, arterial road.
"That's the Wisconsin border," the pilot tells me. "Doesn't look like much from up here."
But down below, that sliver of land now marks a barrier between legal and illegal abortion care.
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