Saturday, May 13, 2006
Colombia's Supreme Court ruled this week that abortions can be allowed in certain limited cases, if incest or rape is involved or if the fetus is so deformed that it would be unable to live outside the mother's womb. Abortion rights activists hope that the decision toward less strict anti-abortion laws will encourage continued liberalization of the abortion issue in South America. Source. Toby Muse, AP, seattlepi.newsource.com. To read the complete story, please click here (last visited May 13, 2006, reo).
Saturday, May 6, 2006
The Kansas Senate approved a bill that requires doctors who perform abortions to provide state health officials detailed information about each late-term abortion and whether the fetus was abnormal. Opponents of the bill argued that it was an attempt to harass doctors and clinics while proponents claimit will provide Kansans with better data about abortions. The governor has not indicated whether she will sign the bill. Source. John Hanna, AP, Kansas City Star, KansasCity.com. Please click here for the complete story (last visited May 6, 2006, reo).
According to a telephone survey of 1,016 adults conducted by the Harris poll, support for Roe v. Wade is at the lowest level in decades in the United States. The decision is supported by a 49% to 47% plurality, compared with 52% who favored the decision in 2005 and 57% in 1998. Source. Wall Street Journal Online, onlines.wsj.com. Please click here for the complete story and details about the Harris poll (last visited May 6, 2006, reo).
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
The Supreme Court refused on Monday to review a case involving use by abortion protesters of "wanted" posters to identify clinic doctors. The 12 activist defendants and two anti-abortion groups were sued under a racketeering law and the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which makes it illegal to incite violence and threaten abortion doctors.
An Oregon jury awarded several doctors and clinics $108 million in punitive damages, however, the amount was reduced by the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The defendants had asked the Supreme Court to further reduce the award. General background of this case may be found by clicking here (last visited May 3, 2006, reo). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion, Planned Parenthood v. American Coalition of Life Activists, may be obtained by clicking here (last visited May 3, 2006, reo).
Saturday, April 29, 2006
The Louisiana State Senate approved a near-total ban on abortion on Wednesday of this week, allowing abortion only to save a woman's life. A person who performs an abortion in violation of this statute could be fined from $10,000 to $100,000, be sentenced to a jail term of one to ten years, or a combination of a fine and jail time. The ban is a “trigger law,” meaning it will only go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Governor Kathleen Blanco has told reporters she would sign “some kind of abortion bill,” reports the Times-Picayune. Source. Feminist Daily News Wire, feminist.org. You can find the complete story by clicking here (last visited April 29, 2006, reo).
California lawmakers on Tuesday defeated legislation that would have informed women considering an abortion that a fetus feels intense pain during the abortion procedure. The measure would have also provided women with the option of giving the fetus anesthesia beforehand to lessen the pain. Source. Steven Ertelt, lifenews.com. You can find the complete story by clicking here (last visited April 29, 2006, reo).
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Hears Challenge to South Dakota Abortion Notification Requirement
The Federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on Thursday about a South Dakota law that requires abortion doctors to inform patients that abortions end human lives and cause serious psychological problems. Opponents of the abortion law say that it forces physicians to give inaccurate information and infringes on their free-speech rights. The court is not expected to render an opinion for several weeks. Source. Jeff Douglas, AP, washingtonpost.com. The complete story may be found here (last visited April 22, 2006, reo).
Michigan Attorney General Files Reply Brief in Case Challenging Ruling on Partial Birth Abortion Ban
The Michigan Attorney General announced Friday that he has filed an appellate reply brief with the United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the decision issued in September by a lower court federal judge that declared Michigan's statute prohibiting partial birth abortion unconstitutional. Source. PRNewswire, biz.yahoo.com. The complete story may be found here (last visited April 22, 2006, reo).
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)