Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Kansas Federal Judge Rules Abortion Clinic Doctors Not Required to Report Underage Sex between Consenting Youths
A Federal District Court Judge ruled Tuesday that abortion clinic doctors and other professionals are not required under Kansas law to report underage sex between consenting youths. In making its ruling, the court rejected the argument by the Kansas Attorney General that a 1982 Kansas law requiring doctors, teachers and others to alert the state and law enforcement about potential child abuse covers consensual sex between minors and applies to abortion clinics, and other health professionals and teachers. It is not certain whether the ruling will be appealed. Source. Roxana Hegeman, AP, chron.com. For the complete story, please click here (last visited April 19, 2006, reo).
Northern Kentucky University Professor Placed on Leave After Admitting Involvement in Destruction of Anti-Abortion Display
A Northern Kentucky College professor was put on leave and will retire at the end of the semester after apparently admitting that she told students to destroy an anti-abortion display on the college campus. The professor reportedly acknowledged leading graduate students to an area where crosses had been temporarily erected a week earlier by an anti-abortion group, although it is unclear what part the professor took in dismantling the display. Please note that additional background information on this incident can be found in our Blog of April 16. Source. AP, Washingtonpost.com. For the complete story, please click here (last visited April 19, 2006, reo).
The Louisiana Senate Committee on Health and Welfare will hear a bill today (Wednesday) that outlaws the procedure in all cases except to save a mother's life. This measure is one of several anti-abortion bills introduced this session and supporters are unsure how Louisiana lawmakers will react. Source. Ed Anderson, The Times-Picayune, nola.com. For the complete story, please click here (last visited April 19, 2006, reo).
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Readers may find the article in Sunday’s New York Times by Monica Davey that focuses on the reaction of South Dakota citizens to that state’s decision to ban all abortions of interest. An associated slide presentation available with the story based on photos taken by Carmel Zucker for the New York Times is particularly well done. Source. Monica Davey, The New York Times. The complete article with the slide presentation may be found by clicking here (last visited April 16, 2006, reo).
Vandalism or Free Speech? Northern Kentucky University Prof Accused of Vandalizing On-Campus Anti-Abortion Display
A Northern Kentucky University professor has apparently been accused of vandalizing an on-campus anti-abortion display. She was allegedly photographed by a member of the University’s student newspaper tearing down white crosses set up by a student right-to-life group to symbolize aborted fetuses. The professor with 26 years at the University faces possible criminal charges and action from the university if the accusations are true. Source. 9News Produced by Liz Foreman, WCPO.com. The complete story and photographs accompanying it can be found by clicking here (last visited April 16, 2006, reo).
Our readers may be interested in reporter Maria Hinojosa’s personal account of her visit to South Dakoa to do a story on abortion. She recounts her experience interviewing supporters and opponents of the South Dakota’s ban on abortions and reflects on the reaction among citizens in that state to the legislation. Source: Reporters Notebook: Maria Hinojosa’s Personal Account, pbs.org. Ms. Hinojosa’s account can be found by clicking here (last visited April 16, 2006, reo).
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
On Tuesday Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano vetoed a bill that would have required doctors to tell a women who is at least 20 weeks into her pregnancy that her unborn child "has the physical structures necessary to experience pain." In vetoing the bill, the Governor called the legislation "an unwarranted intrusion by politicians" into the doctor-patient relationship. "The Legislature should not attempt to substitute its judgment for that of trained physicians with respect to professional advice given to patients," she said. Source: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services, Arizona Star, azstarnet.com. For the complete story, please click here (last visited April 12, 2006, reo).
The Idaho House passed a bill Monday that requires women seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours before being allowed to undergo the procedure. The “informed consent bill” also requires doctors to distribute information about potential complications from abortion to women seeking one. The bill, already approved by the Idaho Senate, now goes to Governor Dirk Kempthorne for consideration. Source: KIFI-TV, Idaho Falls, localnews8.com For the complete story, please click here (last visited April 12, 2006, reo).
Monday, April 10, 2006
"It was a sunny midafternoon in a shiny new global-economy mall in San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador, and a young woman I was hoping to meet appeared to be getting cold feet. She had agreed to rendezvous with a go-between not far from the Payless shoe store and then come to a nearby hotel to talk to me. She was an hour late. Alone in the hotel lobby, I was feeling nervous; I was stood up the day before by another woman in a similar situation. I had been warned that interviewing anyone who had had an abortion in El Salvador would be difficult. The problem was not simply that in this very Catholic country a shy 24-year-old unmarried woman might feel shame telling her story to an older man. There was also the criminal stigma. And this was why I had come to El Salvador: Abortion is a serious felony here for everyone involved, including the woman who has the abortion. Some young women are now serving prison sentences, a few as long as 30 years.
More than a dozen countries have liberalized their abortion laws in recent years, including South Africa, Switzerland, Cambodia and Chad. In a handful of others, including Russia and the United States (or parts of it), the movement has been toward criminalizing more and different types of abortions. In South Dakota, the governor recently signed the most restrictive abortion bill since the Supreme Court ruled in 1973, in Roe v. Wade, that state laws prohibiting abortion were unconstitutional. The South Dakota law, which its backers acknowledge is designed to test Roe v. Wade in the courts, forbids abortion, including those cases in which the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. Only if an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother is the procedure permitted. A similar though less restrictive bill is now making its way through the Mississippi Legislature." By Jack Hitt, New York Times Link to Article (last visited 4-9-06 NVS)
"Two Chinese students needed urgent medical treatment after taking illegal abortion pills, says a Chinese doctor in Christchurch. Dr Colin Chin said the two students came to his clinic independently more than 18 months ago "bleeding and in pain" from incomplete abortions. One student admitted her parents sent her the pills from overseas, and the other woman would not say where she got them. Last week, the Ministry of Health's Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe) laid charges against importers of Chinese-manufactured contraception and abortion pills. They were being imported privately and advertised on a Chinese language website for the past 18 months. The accused are due to appear in court next month."By Deidre Mussen, stuff Link to Article (last visited 4-9-06 NVS)
"A major symposium on abortion in Wellington has revealed that more than two-thirds of terminations in New Zealand are carried out on women who are more than 10 weeks pregnant - about twice the rate of comparable countries. In Britain, Europe and US, 30 per cent of abortions are performed on women eight weeks pregnant or less, while in New Zealand the figure is just 8 per cent." www.stuff.co.nz Link to Article (last visited 4-9-06 NVS)
Volunteers pushing to overturn the nation's most far-reaching abortion ban are surprised and delighted by the response as they circulate petitions to put the law up for a public vote. Even in the most conservative corners of this conservative state, both Republicans and Democrats - including some voters who say they oppose abortion - are eagerly signing the petition. In two weeks, volunteers have collected a third of the signatures they need to get a November referendum on the ban. Some voters dismiss the abortion-rights activists as out of touch with South Dakotan values. "People here have a sense of morals and ethics," said Darcy Patterson, 40. "I don't want to change the law."" Lost Angeles Times, HeraldNet Link to Article (last visited 4-9-06 NVS)
"About 70 Right to Life Australia activists converged on St Columbus Church in bayside Elwood to mark the end of a 250km awareness march from Maffra, in the state's east.They were met by a group of about 10 vocal pro-choice campaigners who heckled them as they arrived, waving placards and chanting "not the church, not the state, women will decide their fate". A handful of police was on site to monitor the groups but the demonstration was peaceful." By Catherine Best, The Daily Telegraph Link to Article (last visted 4-9-06 NVS)
Saturday, April 8, 2006
New Jersey Court of Appeals Says Jury May Hear Claim Woman Did Not Receive Enough Information From Physician When Advising Abortion
A New Jersey Court of Appeals ruled Friday that a jury may hear a woman’s claim that her physician failed to provide enough information when advising her to end the pregnancy. Anti-abortion proponents claim the decision will allow a jury to decide when life begins. Other experts claim the ruling will have little impact on state laws on abortion. Source. Tom Hester, Star-Ledger, The Star Ledger, nj.com. For the complete story, please click here (last visited April 8, 2006, reo). A copy of the New Jersey Court of Appeals Opinion may be obtained by clicking here (last visited April 8, 2006, reo).
Friday, April 7, 2006
Case Law Development: Florida Court of Appeals Explains Standards for Waiving Parental Notification Requirement
The Florida Court of Appeals reversed a trial court's order dismissing her petition for judicial waiver of parental notification of pregnancy by unpublished order and has now provided an an opinion to explain the decision. Florida's parental notification statute provides three exceptions justifying judicial waiver of the requirement: child abuse, maturity of the child, and best interests of the child.
The court explained that the trial court had applied an incorrect definition of "sufficiently mature." Citing decisions from a number of other states on the standard, the court stated, "The circuit court improperly held Doe to the standard of a fully-grown adult, quoting Webster's definition of a mature person as one "fully developed in body and mind." The statute does not require Doe to prove that she has the maturity of an adult....In determining whether a minor is "sufficiently mature," the court need only find that the minor has the necessary emotional development, intellect and understanding to make an informed decision regarding terminating her pregnancy. ... Factors which evidence sufficient maturity include, but are not limited to, the minor's physical age, her understanding of the medical risks associated with the procedure as well as emotional consequences, her consideration of options other than abortion, her future educational and life plans, her involvement in civic activities, any employment, her demeanor and her seeking advice or emotional support from an adult....The statutory term "sufficiently mature" does not require Doe to be self-sufficient."
In re Jane Doe, 2006 Fla. App. LEXIS 4860 (April 5, 2006)
Opinion on the web (last visited April 7, 2006 bgf)
Wednesday, April 5, 2006
The Arizona Senate approved a bill 17-13 Tuesday that requires doctors to tell women seeking abortions that their fetuses could experience pain even if the women receive pain medication. The bill had earlier passed the House and now goes to Governor Janet Napolitano, who since taking office in 2003 has vetoed several measures supported by abortion opponents. Supporters claimed the bill would help ensure that women could make informed decisions about their health. Critics claimed the bill is intended to erode abortion rights. Source: AP, Tucsoncitizen.com. For the complete story, please click here (last visited April 5, 2006, reo).
It is reported that hundreds of thousands of abortion opponents demonstrated in Bogota, Colombia on Sunday. The demonstration was apparently called by the pro-life movement in conjunction with Cardinal Pedro Rubiano, Archbishop of Bogota. A case before Bogota's Constitutional Court that is likely to be decided within a month will determine whether abortion should be legalized in that country. Source. John-Henry Westen, lifesite.net. For the complete story, please click here (last visited April 5, 2006, reo).
Sunday, April 2, 2006
The leader of one of South Dakota’s American Indian tribes is proposing to circumvent recent legislation in that state banning abortions by establishing a Planned Parenthood-type abortion clinic on an Indian reservation. Cecelia Fire Thunder, a former nurse who is the first female president in the history of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, says that “An Indian reservation is a sovereign nation, and we're going to take it as far as we can to exercise our sovereignty. As Indian women, we fight many battles. This is just another battle we have to fight." She attributes the decision to propose an abortion clinic on tribal land to the new law’s insistence on prohibiting abortions for women who have become pregnant as the result of rape. Source. Stephanie Desmon, Baltimore Sun, sfgate.com. For the complete story, please click here (last visited April 2, 2006, reo).
Despite extending the deadline to act on a law that would have banned most abortions in Mississippi, lawmakers in that state were unable to reach agreement on the bill’s final language. The issue is expected to be taken up in the January 2007 session. Sources. Gudrun Schultz, lifesite.net; civilliberty.about.com. Information about this story may be found here (last visited April 2, 2006, reo). Additional information about this story may be found here (last visited April 2, 2006, reo).
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Our readers may find Sunday’s survey article in the Boston Globe by staff writer Drake Bennett on the reproductive rights of men and women timely and interesting. Source: Drake Bennett, The Boston Globe, boston.com. To access the article by Mr. Bennett, please click here (last visited March 26, 2006).