Sunday, June 16, 2013
Newsday Editorial Urges Vote on New York Women's Equality Act
Newsday (editorial): GOP in Albany should allow a vote on abortion bill:
The Republican lawmakers of New York once understood that leadership meant facing the most controversial, emotional issues of the times. The issues that so directly affect individual lives. The issues that the majority of the public cared about above the narrow narrative of routine politics.
These lawmakers understood that more than four decades ago, when state GOP leaders made key decisions which led to the liberalization of abortion laws in New York. It was a time when lawmakers of both parties put principle ahead of their careers. . . .
Evangelicals Urge GOP To Be More Aggressive On Abortion
Politico: Evangelicals to GOP: Don't betray us on abortion, by James Hohmann:
After Todd Akin last year and Trent Franks last week, abortion is the last topic many national Republicans want the political conversation to focus on.
Yet social conservatives in town this weekend for the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference said the GOP would be making a grave mistake to ignore the hot-button culture-war issue. To the contrary, they believe it’s key to the party’s fortunes in the 2014 midterms and beyond. . . .
Reflections on a "Different Kind of Fatherhood"
The New York Times - Well blog: A Different Kind of Fatherhood, by David Tuller:
I came out long before gay men yearned for weddings, much less baby showers. In 1979, when I was 22, New York offered young men like me many freedoms, including the freedom to not have to propagate. Like many other gay men — and like many straight men — I had not been close to my own father. I could not imagine wiping runny noses, attending parent-teacher conferences or playing Candy Land.
In my 30s I moved to San Francisco and, to my surprise, found myself contemplating parenthood. . . .
NY Times Profile on Federal Judge Behind Plan B Ruling
The New York Times: Behind Scolding of the F.D.A., a Complex and Gentle Judge, by Pam Belluck:
The judge whose vehement ruling ordered the Obama administration to surrender and make the morning-after pill available to all ages without a prescription is strikingly soft-spoken, so much so that to hear him in chambers, a visitor must sometimes lean forward from the raspberry-and-chartreuse striped sofa that is a legacy from his parents’ 1940s Brooklyn living room.
And for a man who berated the government for acting in “bad faith” and placing politics over science, Judge Edward R. Korman’s own politics are hard to pigeonhole. . . .
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Federal Judge Approves Obama Administration's Proposal for Sale of Emergency Contraception
The New York Times: Federal Plan for ‘Morning After’ Pill’s Sale Is Approved, by Pam Belluck:
The long-running lawsuit over emergency contraception finally ended Wednesday evening when a federal judge granted the Obama administration’s proposal to make the best-known morning-after pillavailable to all ages without a prescription. . . .
The Wall Street Journal: Stores Prepare to Widen Access to Plan B Pill, by Jennifer Corbett Dooren:
Drugstores are preparing to change how they stock and sell a widely used emergency contraceptive after the Obama administration agreed to allow the pill to be sold over the counter to customers of all ages. . . .
The New York Times - Motherlode blog: I Got Pregnant at 14. Ask Me About Plan B., by Liz Henry:
When I was 14, I started having sex. At 15, I became a mother.
Over the past decade, I have watched as two presidents disregarded safety and common sense to impose arbitrary age restrictions on over-the-counter emergency contraception for women and teenagers. I’m delighted by the news that the Obama administration has decided to end its efforts to restrict that access based on age, but I can’t stop thinking about the hypocrisy that has only just come to an end: when I became pregnant as a young teenager, my age would have restricted my access to a morning-after pill. But it didn’t make one iota of difference when it came to agreeing to place my daughter with an adoptive family. . . .
FoxNews.com - op-ed: Plan B for all girls -- science finally trumps politics and emotion, by Cathleen London:
Monday, the FDA issued a statement declaring it would approve Plan B One Step (a form of emergency contraception) for over the counter sale without restriction.
It is about time.
This decision allows science to trump politics and emotion. . . .
Study Looks at What Happens to Women Who Are Denied Abortions
The New York Times Magazine: What Happens to Women Who Are Denied Abortions?, by Joshua Lang:
When Diana Greene Foster, a demographer and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco, first began studying women who were turned away from abortion clinics, she was struck by how little data there were. A few clinics kept records, but no one had compiled them nationally. And there was no research on how these women fared over time. What, Foster wondered, were the consequences of having to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term? Did it take a higher psychological or economic toll than having an abortion? Or was the reverse true — did the new baby make up for any social or financial difficulties? . . .
Nancy Pelosi Spars with Conservative Reporter Over Abortion Question
ABC News - The Note blog: Pelosi Slaps Down Reporters Asking Questions on Abortion, by John Parkinson
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today bickered with a conservative reporter who asked her to explain the moral difference between live-birth murder and abortions executed during the final four months of pregnancy.
Pelosi began her news conference today by criticizing a Republican-sponsored bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks without exceptions for rape and incest. The bill, H.R. 1797, the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” passed out of the House Judiciary committee Wednesday behind GOP support. . . .
House Panel Advances 20-Week "Fetal Pain" Abortion Ban
The New York Times: House Panel Advances Bill to Restrict Abortions, by Jeremy W. Peters:
The 20-to-12 vote by the House Judiciary Committee on the Republican-sponsored Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is the latest instance in which abortion opponents, emboldened by a series of victories in the states, have pursued a new legislative strategy that aims to focus public attention on the disputed theory that fetuses can feel pain. . . .
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Obama Administration to Drop Efforts to Enforce Age Limit on Emergency Contraceptives
The New York Times: U.S. Drops Bid to Limit Sales of Morning-After Pill, by Michael D. Shear & Pam Belluck:
The Obama administration has decided to stop trying to block over-the-counter availability of the best-known morning-after contraceptive pill for all women and girls, a move fraught with political repercussions for President Obama. . . .
Monday, June 10, 2013
Supreme Court Declines to Review Abortion Protest Case Involving Graphic Images
The New York Times: Justices Decline Case on Graphic Abortion Images, by Adam Liptak:
The Supreme Court on Monday let stand a court order barring abortion protesters from displaying images of aborted fetuses in places where they might disturb children. As is their custom, the justices gave no reasons for declining to hear the case. . . .
Friday, June 7, 2013
Glenn Cohen and Travis Coan on Mandatory Sperm Donor Identification
I. Glenn Cohen and Travis G. Coan (both of Harvard Law School) have posted Can You Buy Sperm Donor Identification? An Experiment. Here is the abstract:
In the United States, most sperm donations are anonymous. By contrast, many developed nations require sperm donors to be identified, typically requiring new sperm (and egg) donors to put identifying information into a registry that is made available to a donor-conceived child once they reach the age of 18. Recently, advocates have pressed U.S. states to adopt these registries as well, and state legislatures have indicated openness to the idea. This study re-lies on a self-selected convenience sample to experimentally examine the economic implications of adopting a mandatory sperm donor identification regime in the U.S. Our results support the hypothesis that subjects in the treatment (non-anonymity) condition need to be paid significantly more, on average, to donate their sperm. When restricting our attention to only those subjects that would ever actually consider donating sperm, we find that individuals in the control condition are willing-to-accept an average of $$43 to donate, while individuals in the treatment group are willing-to-accept an aver-age of $74. These estimates suggest that it would cost roughly $31 per sperm donation, at least in our sample, to require donors to be identified. This price differential roughly corresponds to that of a major U.S. sperm bank that operates both an anonymous and identify release programs in terms of what they pay donors.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Oklahoma Republican Lawmaker Chastises Colleagues for Opposing Birth Control Access
The Huffington Post: Doug Cox, Republican Lawmaker, Lambasts Oklahoma GOP For Anti-Birth Control Crusade, by Preston Maddock:
In a scathing critique of his Republican colleagues in the Oklahoma state Legislature, Rep. Doug Cox (R-Grove) questioned his party's efforts to restrict women's access to birth control.
"All of the new Oklahoma laws aimed at limiting abortion and contraception are great for the Republican family that lives in a gingerbread house with a two-car garage, two planned kids and a dog," Cox wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday in NewsOK. "In the real world, they are less than perfect."
"And in the world I work and live in, an unplanned pregnancy can throw up a real roadblock on a woman's path to escaping the shackles of poverty," added Cox, a practicing physician who has delivered more than 800 babies, according to NewsOK. . . .
El Salvador's Highest Court Denies Abortion to Gravely Ill Woman With Anencephalic Fetus
The New York Times: Salvadoran Court Denies Abortion to Ailing Woman
El Salvador’s highest court on Wednesday denied an appeal from a woman with a high-risk pregnancy to be allowed to undergo an abortion, upholding the country’s strict law banning abortion under any circumstances. . . .
Civil Rights Groups Challenge Racially Biased Arizona Abortion Law
PHOENIX – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona filed a lawsuit today on behalf of the NAACP of Maricopa County and the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) challenging a state law that relies on harmful racial stereotypes to shame and discriminate against Black women and Asian and Pacific Islander (API) women who decide to end their pregnancies.
The law, HB 2443, is based on stereotypes that Black and API women cannot be trusted to make personal health care decisions without scrutiny by the state.
Dr. Henry Morgentaler, Who Won Canada's Landmark Abortion Decision, Dies at 90
The New York Times: Henry Morgentaler, 90, Dies; Abortion Defender in Canada, by Robert D. McFadden:
Dr. Henry Morgentaler, Canada’s most heralded and vilified abortiondoctor, who was assaulted and imprisoned for defying restrictive laws but who won the landmark Canadian Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationally in 1988, died on Tuesday at his home in Toronto. He was 90. . . .
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Rebecca Cook on Brazilian Maternal Mortality CaseRebecca J. Cook (University of Toronto Faculty of Law) has published Human Rights and Maternal Health: Exploring the Effectiveness of the Alyne Decision. The article is available on readcube. Here is the abstract:
This article explores the effectiveness of the decision of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in the case of Alyne da Silva Pimentel Teixeira (deceased) v. Brazil, concerning a poor, Afro-Brazilian woman. This is the first decision of an international human rights treaty body to hold a state accountable for its failure to prevent an avoidable death in childbirth. Assessing the future effectiveness of this decision might be undertaken concretely by determining the degree of Brazil’s actual compliance with the Committee’s recommendations, and how this decision influences pending domestic litigation arising from the maternal death. Alternative approaches include: determining whether, over time, the decision leads to the elimination of discrimination against women of poor, minority racial status in the health sector, and if it narrows the wide gap between rates of maternal mortality of poor, Afro-Brazilian women and the country’s general female population. Determining the effectiveness of this decision will guide whether to pursue a more general strategy of judicializing maternal mortality.
Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance Announces 2013 Honorees
Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance announces:
The 2013 Honorees
Mandy Carter is one of the leading African-American lesbian activists in the country. She has a 45-year movement history of social, racial and lesbigaytrans justice organizing since 1968 and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She helped co-found two ground breaking organizations. Southerners On New Ground (SONG) and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). Read more here.
Heather Corinna is the founder ofScarleteen.com, the inclusive and progressive online resource for teen and young adult sexuality education and information founded in 1998. An author, educator and activist, Heather is considered one of the pioneers of positive human sexuality on the internet. Read more here.
Matt Foreman has been a leader in the LGBT rights movement for over 25 years. Matt has served as Executive Director of the NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, the Empire State Pride Agenda, the nation’s then-largest statewide LGBT political advocacy organization, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (The Task Force), the nation’s oldest and second-largest national LGBT rights organization.Read more here.
The Vicki Sexual Freedom Award, established in 2010, is named after Victoria Woodhull, the namesake of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance. Ms. Woodhull was an American suffragist born on September 23, 1838, who was described by Gilded Age newspapers as a leader of the American women's suffrage movement in the 19th century. She became a colorful and notorious symbol for women's rights, free love, and spiritualism as she fought against corruption and for labor reforms. A strong advocate for collaboration and for full equality rather than "just" individual rights, Woodhull was generations ahead of her time.
Search for a Women's Libido Pill Raises Questions About Causes of Waning Female Sex Drive
The New York Times: Unexcited? There May Be a Pill for That, by Daniel Bergner:
Linneah sat at a desk at the Center for Sexual Medicine at Sheppard Pratt in the suburbs of Baltimore and filled out a questionnaire. She read briskly, making swift checks beside her selected answers, and when she was finished, she handed the pages across the desk to Martina Miller, who gave her a round of pills.
The pills were either a placebo or a new drug called Lybrido, created to stoke sexual desire in women. . . .
. . .“Female Viagra” is the way drugs like Lybrido and Lybridos tend to be discussed. But this is a misconception. Viagra meddles with the arteries; it causes physical shifts that allow the penis to rise. A female-desire drug would be something else. It would adjust the primal and executive regions of the brain. It would reach into the psyche. . . .
See also Jezebel: How a Women's Libido Pill Could Actually Save Monogamy, by Lindy West.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Four Different Appeals Courts Will Consider Federal Contraceptive Coverage Mandate
Politico: Courts to hear birth control mandate lawsuits, by Kathryn Smith & Jennifer Haberkorn:
Obamacare’s birth control mandate will go before four different appeals courts over the next three weeks as private businesses that object to the policy on religious liberty grounds bring a barrage of lawsuits that opponents hope to get before the U.S. Supreme Court as soon as this fall.
On Wednesday, two for-profit companies will ask the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to strike the requirement that they provide employees with insurance coverage that includes birth control and other drugs that they say can cause abortion. Three other companies will present oral arguments in different appeals courts by early June. . . .
Ninth Circuit Panel Strikes Down Arizona's 20-Week Abortion Ban, But Trent Franks is Undeterred
The Ninth Circuit rules Arizona's 20-week "fetal pain" abortion ban clearly unconstitutional...
The New York Times: Arizona Law on Abortions Struck Down as Restrictive, by Fernanda Santos:
A federal appellate panel struck down Arizona’s abortion law on Tuesday, saying it was unconstitutional “under a long line of invariant Supreme Court precedents” that guarantee a woman’s right to end a pregnancy any time before a fetus is deemed viable outside her womb — generally at 24 weeks.
The law, enacted in April 2012 despite vociferous protest by women’s and civil rights groups, made abortions illegal if performed 20 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period, or roughly 18 weeks after fertilization, even if the woman learned that the fetus had no chance of surviving after birth. . . .
...but Arizona's Rep. Trent Franks vows to push for a similar ban in Congress:
The Huffington Post: Trent Franks Uses Kermit Gosnell Case To Push 20-Week Abortion Bill, by Laura Bassett:
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told reporters on Wednesday that there is a "good chance" House leadership will bring his nationwide 20-week abortion ban to the floor this year for a full vote in light of the Kermit Gosnell trial.
While Franks' bill, which only applied to the District of Columbia the previous times he introduced it, has never been brought to the floor for a vote, he said the Gosnell trial has caused leadership to take it more seriously this year. . . .
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a similar bill in Arizona on Tuesday, declaring it unconstitutional. But Franks said he doesn't trust or respect the Ninth Circuit. . . .
The opinion is available here.