Family Law Prof Blog

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

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)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Americans Split on Abortion, Research Shows

From Pew Research Center:

Abortion has long been a contentious issue in American politics and one that splits deeply along partisan, ideological and religious lines. Today, a 57% majority of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 40% think it should be illegal in all or most cases. These views are little changed from a year ago, though the share saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases is now higher than it was in the fall of 2015, when Congress battled over funding for Planned Parenthood (51% legal, 43% illegal).

The latest Pew Research Center political survey finds deep disagreement between – and within – the parties over abortion. In fact, the partisan divide on abortion remains far more polarized than it was two decades ago.

Read more here.

July 12, 2017 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

GOP, Abortion, and the Health Care Bill

From ABC News:

Senate Republicans working on high-stakes health care legislation are anticipating problems with abortion restrictions that their House counterparts have already passed.

As a result, they're considering ways to channel new financing for health insurance through existing government programs that bar the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion, according to sources familiar with the policy discussions. Those options include the Children's Health Insurance Program.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of closely held discussions about a Senate version of the health care bill. GOP aides said nothing has been resolved. Republican leaders are pressing for a Senate vote on health care, which could come before the July 4 holiday.

Senate GOP leaders want their bill to bar federal funds for abortions. Failure to include such restrictions would jeopardize support from conservative Republican senators, whose votes will be needed for passage.

Read more here.

June 21, 2017 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Judge Considers Holding Anti-Abortion Leader in Contempt

From The Washington Post:

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge said Thursday he will consider holding the leader of an anti-abortion group in contempt after links to videos that the judge had barred from release appeared on the website of the man’s attorneys.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick ordered David Daleiden and his attorneys, Steve Cooley and Brentford J. Ferreira, to appear at a June 14 hearing to consider contempt sanctions.

A phone message at Cooley and Ferreira’s law firm number was not immediately returned. A representative for Daleiden said she expected to have a statement later.

Daleiden is a leader of the Center for Medical Progress, which has released several secretly recorded videos that it says show Planned Parenthood employees selling fetal tissue for profit, which is illegal. Planned Parenthood said the videos were deceptively edited to support false claims.

Read more here.

June 4, 2017 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Texas House Votes to Ban Abortion Procedure

From The New York Times:

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ Republican-controlled Legislature has advanced tough new limits on abortion, hitting back at a United States Supreme Court decision last summer that struck down most of the sweeping restrictions on the procedure that the state approved four years ago.

The Texas House voted 96 to 47 late Friday on legislation that bans a commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure, known as dilation and evacuation, similar to laws that courts have blocked in Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. It further stipulated that doctors performing the procedure in Texas would face felony charges.

Those contentious provisions were tacked onto a broader bill requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains from abortions, even though a federal judge has blocked an existing state rule that mandates the same thing.

Read more here.

May 26, 2017 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

TN Governor Signs Strict Late-Term Abortion Ban

From The Tennessean:

Gov. Bill Haslam signed a strict new abortion measure into law on Friday, drawing praise and sharp criticism. 

The measure will further limit the few abortions already performed in Tennessee past the point of fetal viability — and potentially send doctors to jail if they fail to prove in court that an abortion of a viable fetus was necessary to save a woman's life or prevent substantial or irreversible harm to a "major bodily function of a pregnant woman." 

Tennessee becomes one of at least 21 states that explicitly ban abortions beyond viability, but the measure, called the Tennessee Infants Protection Act, goes further than most other bans and could become the subject of a lengthy court challenge.

Read more here.

May 18, 2017 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)