Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Kavanaugh Calls Birth Control Abortion-Inducing Drugs

From USA Today:

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, already vehemently opposed by abortion-rights advocates, further alienated that contingent during his Senate testimony Thursday when he referred to some forms of birth control as "abortion-inducing drugs." 

Kavanaugh made the remark after Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz asked him about his dissent in a 2015 case involving Priests for Life, a Catholic group that Kavanaugh said was being forced to provide health coverage for contraceptives "over their religious objection." 

He said they would have been required to fill out a form that would "make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs" that they objected to. 

Read more here.

September 15, 2018 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

How Canada's Abortion Policies Work

From HuffPost Canada:

Some Canadians don't seem to have a firm grasp on how abortion regulationsfunction in our country. Given that a vote on whether or not to reopen the abortion debate was only narrowly defeated at the Conservative convention in Halifax this weekend, and that anti-abortion groups are celebrating, it seems like a topic we should all be more informed about.

Enter Dr. Jen Gunter, a practicing gynecologist and professional thorn in Gwyneth Paltrow's side, who took to Twitter to let us all know how abortion actually happens in our country.

As Gunter explained in her Twitter thread, late-term abortions — which anti-abortion activists sometimes refer to as "partial birth abortions" — are extremely rare. The most recent statistics available from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, from 2016, state that only 616 of the nearly 23,000 abortions performed in Canada that year took place after 20 weeks — approximately 2.7 per cent. As Gunter points out, this generally occurs only because of a direct threat to the mother's life or a very serious birth defect detected in the infant. Gunter says risk factors include anencephaly, where a baby is missing parts of the brain and skull and usually dies shortly after birth; and Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder that often involves heart defects and severe intellectual disability, which kills nearly 90 per cent of infants before their first birthday.

Read more here.

 

September 9, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A call for review of Zimbabwe's "Termination of Pregnancy Act"

From The Times Live, South Africa:

When her 15-year-old daughter fell pregnant last year, Irene Ndlovu secretly arranged for an abortion before the pregnancy became visible so that she could continue with her education.

Abortions are only allowed in Zimbabwe if a woman’s life is in danger, if there is a risk that the child will be “seriously handicapped” or if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. Those who break the law can be jailed for five years.

“It was the only sensible thing to do at the time,” Ndlovu, who declined to give her real name, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Do I regret it now? I don’t know.”

Read more here

 

September 5, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Alabama Lifts Ban on D&E Abortion Method

From American Civil Liberties Union: 

This week, a federal appeals court struck down Alabama’s ban on a safe, medically proven abortion method. The decision shows just how high the stakes are ahead of next month’s Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. 

In recent years, anti-abortion politicians across the country have enacted hundreds of dangerous restrictions aimed at preventing women from obtaining abortions. Alabama has been at the forefront of this coordinated national campaign, with politicians there enacting a multitude of restrictions designed to make it impossible for a woman to get the medical care she needs.

Read more here.

 

August 27, 2018 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Indiana Judge to Hear Appeal for Proposed Abortion Clinic

From U.S. News:

A federal judge will hold a two-day hearing this week on a Texas-based group's appeal of Indiana officials' rejection of its application to open an abortion clinic in South Bend.

The South Bend Tribune reports that Indianapolis judge Clare Deitchman will determine Wednesday and Thursday whether to grant Whole Woman's Health Alliance's appeal after the state Department of Health denied the group's application for an abortion clinic license in January.

The nonprofit is challenging the Health Department's conclusion that it failed to meet requirements of having "reputable and responsible character" and didn't disclose necessary information on its application.

If the appeal is granted, the group would open the clinic to offer medication-induced abortions to women up to 10 weeks pregnant. Nonprofit founder Amy Hagstrom Miller was not available for comment.

Read more here.

August 25, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Professor In Hiding By Death Threats Over Brazil Abortion Hearing

From The Guardian:

Days before a Brazilian supreme court hearing on a move that could eventually decriminalise abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, a leading feminist campaigner is in hiding after receiving death threats.

Debora Diniz, a professor of anthropology at the University of Brasília, who helped bring the legal action with bioethics institute Anis, is sequestered in an unknown location but will still appear at the two-day hearing, which starts on Friday.

“We are in a new moment,” Diniz, who will be escorted by police at the trial, told the Guardian by phone. “It could change the criminalisation of abortion in the country, and that is why it is so important.”

Read more here.

August 12, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 20, 2018

London Protests Against Trump for Women's Rights, Refugees, Climate Change

From Reuters:

With colorful banners, loud chants and pots and pans banging, tens of thousands of people marched through central London to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s stance on climate change, refugee policies, and treatment of women.

Organizers estimated more than 80,000 people demonstrated in London against Trump’s first official visit to Britain as president, and other protests were expected in major cities around the country.

“Trump represents everything I hate: racism, bigot, misogynist, xenophobe. As a mother of daughters I want to show that he can’t treat women like he does,” said Diana Yates, 67, as demonstrators cheered and drivers honked horns in support.

Read more here.

July 20, 2018 in Abortion, Child Abuse, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Supreme Court Rules Against Women in NIFLA v Becerra

From NBC News:

This week the United States Supreme Court ruled against women. Or at least, it ruled against women who might be looking for information about their reproductive rights.

And things are likely to get worse. On Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote on so many important issues including gay rights, affirmative action and abortion, announced that he is retiring from the high court. We will only continue to see more harmful decisions when it comes to the ability of women to control what happens to their bodies.

The court's decision in the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra is just the tip of the iceberg. While there can be no doubt that we must zealously guard the First Amendment rights of those who do not wish to speak, particularly when that speech contravenes their religious beliefs, those rights are not absolute. At some point they must give way to public health concerns and the need to provide patients and would-be patients with accurate information.

Read more here.

July 5, 2018 in Abortion, Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

What Does Justice Kennedy's Retirement Mean for Roe v Wade?

From CBS News:

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's announcement on Wednesday that he will be retiring could mean that Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion across the United States, will be overturned in the not-too-distant future.

Despite his loose affiliation with the conservative wing of the Supreme Court, Kennedy was widely seen as a barrier to efforts to repeal Roe v. Wade. In 1992, he sided with liberal justices in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a decision that reasserted the court's view that abortion access is protected by the Constitution, although he has sometimes ruled in favor of abortion restrictions in other cases.

President Trump, who previously described himself as pro-choice but in recent years has said he opposes abortion, will nominate Kennedy's replacement. And with Republicans holding a narrow majority in the U.S. Senate, which will vote to confirm the pick, it's possible that Roe v. Wade could soon be history.

Read more here.

July 3, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Argentina Takes Big Step Toward Legal Legalizing Abortion

 

From NPR:

It took more than 22 hours of debate, stretching overnight into Thursday morning, but finally Argentina's lower house of Congress has decided: By a 129-125 vote, the Chamber of Deputies passed a bill legalizing abortion before 14 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill now heads to the country's Senate, where its chances of passage appear less rosy — but if it does get a yes vote in the upper chamber, Argentine President Mauricio Macri has said he will sign it into law, despite his own reservations.

Outside Argentina's Congress on Thursday morning, a massive crowd of demonstrators bearing green flags and dressed in warm clothing erupted in cheers at the news.

Read more here.

June 28, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Modern Face of the DIY Abortion

From BBC News:

The findings also suggest that in countries where abortion laws are more restrictive, there is greater search interest in abortion pills.

By buying pills online and sharing medical advice through WhatsApp groups, women are increasingly turning to technology to sidestep legal barriers to abortion.

This is the modern face of the so-called "DIY abortion".

Countries with the strictest laws, where abortion is allowed only to save a woman's life or banned altogether, have over 10 times higher search interest in abortion pill Misoprostol compared to countries with no restrictions, BBC analysis shows.

Read more here.

June 27, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Arkansas Abortion Law

From NPR:

The Supreme Court declined to take up an appeal to a restrictive abortion law in Arkansas that would effectively ban abortions by medication. But this is hardly the end of the line for this case.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to hear a challenge to an Arkansas abortion law. The law makes access to abortions more difficult. The result is that Arkansas is now the only state in the country that bans abortion by pill. The method is certified by the Food and Drug Administration as just as safe as surgical abortions but with fewer side effects. The Supreme Court's decision not to intervene in the case at this point, however, is not final, as NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg reports.

Read more here.

June 15, 2018 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 1, 2018

Abortion Law Reform for Ireland

From Reuters:

Irish people paid homage on Sunday to an Indian immigrant woman whose death inspired a historic vote to repeal Ireland’s strict abortion laws while the Catholic Church rued the outcome saying it showed indifference to its teachings.

In a referendum on Friday, the once deeply Catholic nation voted to scrap a prohibition on abortion by a margin of two-to-one, a landslide victory that astonished campaigners as citizens of every age and background demanded the change they had spent decades fighting for.

The vote overturns a law which, for decades, has forced over 3,000 women to travel to Britain each year for terminations that they could not legally have in their own country. “Yes” campaigners had argued that with pills now being bought illegally online abortion was already a reality in Ireland.

Read more here.

June 1, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Will Ireland's Abortion Laws Be Changed May 25?

From BBC News:

A referendum will take place on 25 May on whether to reform Ireland's strict abortion laws.

The vote will decide whether to repeal a constitutional amendment that effectively bans terminations.

It will be the country's sixth referendum on the issue. Currently, abortion is only allowed when a woman's life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality.

Read more here.

May 23, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 8, 2018

U.S. Government Ordered To Allow Abortion Access To Detained Immigrant Teens

From The Washington Post:

A federal judge issued a nationwide order temporarily preventing the government from blocking access to abortion services and counseling for teens detained in immigration custody, saying current administration policy and practices probably are unconstitutional.

The order came in a case brought last fall on behalf of a Central American girl in a ­government-funded shelter that set off a national debate over the constitutional rights of such undocumented teens to terminate their pregnancies.

The late Friday ruling, by U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of Washington, allowed the case to proceed as a class action on behalf of any other teens who have crossed the border illegally and while in federal custody may want to seek abortion services. In filings, the U.S. government acknowledged there were at least 420 pregnant unaccompanied minors in custody in 2017, including 18 who requested abortions.

Read more here.

April 8, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Restrictive US Health Funding Rule Threatens Lives

From Human Rights Watch:

Before embarking on a five-nation tour of Africa this week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged the link between women’s health and economic and social development as he lauded Washington’s massive global health fund, PEPFAR, for how it had “transformed the global HIV/AIDS response,” saying that “ … nowhere is this more evident than in Africa.”

As the largest global donor on global health, the US has supported many programs that help people get healthcare in some of Africa’s poorest countries. But President Donald Trump has also expanded the “Global Gag Rule” beyond any previous US administration – which threatens to undermine decades of progress on women’s health and undermine gender equality.

On his first working day in office, Trump reinstated and dramatically expanded the Mexico City Policy – also known as the “Global Gag Rule,” which conditions US funding for global health programs on a commitment from foreign nongovernmental organizations that they will not promote or provide abortions, even with non-US funds, except in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman’s life.

Read more here.

March 19, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 9, 2018

State Dept Erases Reproductive Rights Section From Annual Report

From The Huffington Post:

 

President Donald Trump's State Department has been ordered to strip language about women’s reproductive rights from its annual global human rights report, Politico reported on Thursday.

The report, compiled each year with information from U.S. embassies around the world, typically details the lack of contraception and abortion access in various countries and sheds light on racial and sexual discrimination.

This year, a senior aide to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reportedly directed the department to remove much of that information from the document. The new report will focus instead on forced sterilization and abortions, and the “Reproductive Rights” subsection in the report will be renamed “Coercion in Population Control.”

Read more here

March 9, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 23, 2018

El Salvador's Strict Abortion Ban Too Severe

From Amnesty International:

The release of a woman forced to spend a decade behind bars in El Salvador after having pregnancy-related complications resulting in stillbirth must open the door for an end to the country’s extreme anti-abortion law, said Amnesty International.

Teodora del Carmen Vásquez was freed on Thursday after a court reduced her sentence, but at least 27 women remain imprisoned under the total abortion ban, according to women’s human rights organizations in the country.

“It’s encouraging to see Teodora stepping out of jail, where she should have never been in the first place, but El Salvador is still far from fully ensuring the rights of women and girls in the country,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Read more here.

February 23, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 9, 2018

Mississippi Pushes Abortion Ban to 15 Weeks

From NBC News:

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi lawmakers pushed ahead Friday with a bill to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which would be the earliest ban nationwide and create a possible court challenge.

Mississippi already bans most abortions after 20 weeks. It's tied with North Carolina for the nation's earliest ban.

Members of the Republican-controlled House on Friday passed House Bill 1510 by a vote of 79-31, with Republicans and some Democrats supporting it. The measure would allow exceptions if a woman's life is endangered or a fetus has a severe abnormality. The bill goes to the state Senate for more debate.

Read more here.

 

February 9, 2018 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Texas Bill to Revoke Medical Licenses for Doctors Who Perform Abortions

From The Texas Observer:

A bill filed in the Texas Legislature’s special session would revoke the licenses of doctors who perform abortions in the state, with limited exceptions.

The measure, filed by far-right Representative Valoree Swanson, R-Spring, would expand the “prohibited practices” that result in a physician’s license being revoked, a category that already includes several abortion-related measures. Under House Bill 86, almost all abortions would be prohibited, with very narrow exceptions for the health of the woman and fetus: when necessary to save the life of the woman or prevent “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, other than a psychological condition,” or when the procedure is necessary to ensure the viability of another fetus she’s carrying.

Read more here.

July 28, 2017 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)