Sunday, July 31, 2011
San Francisco Chronicle: Ruling may weaken escort roles at abortion clinics, by Bob Egelko:
A federal appeals court cast a cloud Thursday over measures in Oakland and other cities intended to protect women entering abortion clinics by requiring antiabortion "counselors" to keep their distance while volunteer escorts shield the women and walk them into the building.
In a suit by an antiabortion pastor who was arrested outside an Oakland clinic, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said a city can require a protester to obtain the patient's permission to approach her or talk to her - but must also apply that requirement to the escort. . . .
Thursday, July 28, 2011
The Note blog - ABC News: Rick Perry Categorizes Abortion as a States' Rights Issue, by Arlette Saenz:
Despite holding personal pro-life beliefs, Texas Gov. Rick Perry categorized abortion as a states’ rights issue today, saying that if Roe v. Wade was overturned, it should be up to the states to decide the legality of the procedure.
“You either have to believe in the 10th Amendment or you don’t,” Perry told reporters after a bill signing in Houston. “You can’t believe in the 10th Amendment for a few issues and then [for] something that doesn’t suit you say, 'We’d rather not have states decide that.'” . . .
Sioux Falls Argus Leader: S.D. won't appeal injunction to blunt limits on abortions, by John Hult:
South Dakota won't appeal an injunction that stops a restrictive abortion law from taking effect, Attorney General Marty Jackley said Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier granted a request from Planned Parenthood to block the implementation of House Bill 1217 on June 30.
The new law would impose a three-day waiting period for women seeking an abortion and require them to seek counseling from a crisis pregnancy center.
Jackley's office said letting the injunction stand as the case moves through federal court will save the state money in the long run. . . .
Joanna Erdman (University of Toronto - Faculty of Law) has posted Access to Information on Safe Abortion: A Harm Reduction and Human Rights Approach on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
With convergence-divergence as an organizing theme, this Article explores harm reduction and human rights as conceptual approaches to and discourses about unsafe abortion. The vehicle for this exploration is access to safer-use information on medication abortion, namely women’s self-administration of the drug misoprostol. More specifically, this Article focuses on the Sanitary Initiative Against Unsafe Abortion (“the Uruguay Model”) as an actualized model or prototype of access to information through physician-patient consultation in restrictive legal environments.
On convergence, this Article seeks to test the claim that international human rights law imposes government obligations to provide, and to refrain from interfering with the communication of, information necessary to reduce the harms of unsafe abortion. Access to information is protected in international law through a constellation of human rights. These rights are articulated in broad terms, but given content and meaning through interpretation by courts, committees, Special Rapporteurs, and commissions. By reference to this jurisprudence, normative validation for harm reduction in unsafe abortion, and specifically access to safer-use information, is constructed from the human rights to life, health, and non-discrimination, among others.
On divergence, this Article seeks to make explicit the different moral warrants underlying harm reduction and human rights. Human rights are set against the normative neutrality of harm reduction, which is characterized by a pragmatic approach to health outcomes. The human rights shortcomings of access to safer-use information through physician-patient consultation, the Uruguay Model, are contrasted against a model driven by a feminist ideology, namely the Safe Abortion Hotline. The limitations of the pragmatic-neutrality of harm reduction in criminal law reform are set against a human rights approach, which envisions legal reform in service of broad social change.
Star Tribune: Marked drop in state abortions likely sets a record low, officials say, by Eric Roper:
Advocates on both sides take credit for the drop.
The number of abortions in Minnesota took a dive last year to the lowest levels since 1975, and the rate of abortions among females of childbearing years may be the smallest on record, according to new data from the Minnesota Department of Health.
Abortions in Minnesota have declined steadily since 2006, but last year's 7 percent drop represents the largest annual percentage decline in almost 20 years.
In 2010, 11,505 abortions were performed in Minnesota -- 10,570 among state residents -- almost entirely by six clinics in the Twin Cities area.
The rate of Minnesotans receiving abortions, which takes into account population estimates, is believed to be lower than any previously recorded by the Health Department since it began tracking the numbers in 1975. State officials said the rate was 10.1 per 1,000 females ages 15-44, but they based the figure on 2009 population estimates until updated 2010 census data are available.
Experts could not say exactly why the numbers have fallen dramatically. Abortion rights advocates credited increased access to affordable contraception, while abortion foes pointed to legislative actions over the past decade. . . .
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Reuters: Abortion pill via telemedicine seen safe, effective, by Amy Norton:
The findings, researchers say, suggest that using technology to expand access to the abortion pill can be safe and effective -- though it remains controversial.
The study found that of 449 women seen at Iowa Planned Parenthood clinics, those who were given the abortion pill after a "telemedicine" consult had a successful abortion 99 percent of the time. . . .
Huffington Post: North Carolina House Votes For Ultrasound Law, Overriding Gov. Perdue Veto, by Laura Bassett:
North Carolina lawmakers voted on Tuesday to override Gov. Bev Perdue's veto of a mandatory ultrasound bill that forces abortion doctors to say certain things to their patients before the procedure.
The Abortion-Woman's Right to Know Act, which Perdue vetoed in June, requires a doctor to give a woman an ultrasound prior to the abortion procedure and to describe her fetus in detail, including the size of its organs and limbs, whether she wants to hear it or not. If she refuses to view the ultrasound image or listen to the fetal heartbeat, the doctor must record that and keep her name on file for seven years. . . .
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
In-Forum: Order halts regulation of certain abortions, by Kristen Daum:
Medication’s label at issue under law
Judge Wickham Corwin approved a temporary restraining order Thursday, preventing the new state law from taking effect on Aug. 1.
A national women’s reproductive rights group – on behalf of the Red River Valley Women’s Clinic – argues the law will “effectively ban” medication abortions.
The downtown Fargo clinic is the only abortion provider in North Dakota. . . .
Politico: Poll: Voters split on abortion changes, by Elias Groll:
Americans overwhelmingly favor restrictions on late-term abortions and they don’t want Planned Parenthood defunded, but are more closely divided on other controversial changes to abortion laws, according to a new poll on Monday.
The Gallup survey found voters narrowly split on two measures being pushed in some states: requiring pregnant women to view ultrasound images of their fetus and allowing doctors to opt out of providing abortions. . . .
Salon.com: Right-wingers blame multiculturalism, abortion for Norway massacre, by Alex Pareene:
Anders Breivik's favorite American pundits show no shame in blaming liberals, Muslims for right-wing terror
After just about every professional conservative chatterer with a blog or a Twitter account rushed to blame Islamic jihadists for the bombing and gun massacre in Norway last Friday, it was revealed that the actual killer was, in fact, a white, Christian, Norwegian-born man, named Anders Breivik. It was further revealed that Breivik is, politically, more or less a Scandinavian Tea Partyer, obsessed with the imagined threat of the Islamification of Europe, and an avowed opponent of "multiculturalism."
Breivik is a psychopath, but he is a psychopath whose politics are indistinguishable from Pamela Geller's, to name one American right-winger whose work was approvingly cited by Breivik in his extensive writing. . . .
Mother Jones: Why This Woman Chose Abortion - at 29 Weeks, by Kate Sheppard:
When Dana Weinstein talks about her second child, she refers to her "angel baby." In the summer of 2009, with a 2 1/2-year-old son and a daughter on the way, the Weinsteins were looking forward to completing their family. Then tragedy struck. After a sonogram 29 weeks into her pregnancy, Weinstein learned her daughter's brain hadn't formed properly and that the baby would face severe health and mental problems, if it survived at all. Several weeks later, she made the painful decision to end the pregnancy before "Baby W" was born. Now Weinstein fears that if Republican legislators around the country succeed in banning abortions after 20 weeks, many women in similar situations will no longer have the option that she did. . . .
Friday, July 22, 2011
vindy.com: Law banning late-term abortions signed, by Marc Kovac:
Gov. John Kasich has signed into law a ban on late-term abortions, banning the procedure about 20 weeks after conception.
Kasich was joined by Republican Rep. Kristina Roegner, the Akron-area Republican who sponsored the bill, and representatives of Ohio Right to Life during a private signing ceremony Tuesday. House Bill 78 will take effect in 90 days. . . .
The Guardian: Doctors' anti-abortion views could impact on women's access to service, by Denis Campbell:
Pregnant women could find it harder in future to obtain an abortion because of the growing number of doctors who are opposed to carrying out terminations.
A survey of medical students has found that almost half believe doctors should be allowed to refuse to perform any procedure to which they object on moral, cultural or religious grounds, such as prescribing contraception or treating someone who is drunk or high on drugs. . . .
NPR “Tell Me More”: Debate Boils Over African-American Abortions:
As part of its "Too Many Aborted" campaign, the Radiance Foundation created many controversial racially-targeted billboards that were taken down on July 10. Today they're releasing videos calling out black leaders for not supporting the pro-life movement. To discuss both sides of the abortion debate, host Michel Martin speaks with Radiance Foundation co-founder Ryan Bomberger and Religious Coalition of Reproductive Choice president and CEO Reverend Carlton Veazey. . . .
The Kansas City Star: Anti-abortion groups push for further restrictions in Kansas, by Fred Mann:
A petition has begun circulating for Gov. Sam Brownback to convene a special session this fall to consider a so-called “heartbeat bill” that would ban abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Another group plans to introduce a bill calling for a state constitutional amendment guaranteeing the rights of personhood to every human being from the beginning of biological development, including fertilization. . . .
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Arizona Capitol Times: With law on hold, availability of nonsurgical abortions continues - for now, by Maggie Pingolt:
WASHINGTON – A sharp drop in surgical abortion procedures in Arizona has been offset in recent years by a corresponding rise in nonsurgical procedures — the abortion pill.
And the availability of those pills is unlikely to change for at least a month. A law that was set to take effect Wednesday, requiring that only physicians administer the abortion pill, has been put on hold until at least Aug. 22 pending the outcome of a court challenge.
The lawsuit filed by Arizona Planned Parenthood has also delayed implementation of other parts of the law that would stiffen consent requirements for women seeking abortions and would increase standards for ultrasound imaging.
But the fight over the abortion pill, and who can administer it, is the focus of the controversy. . . .
Carolina Journal: GOP Searches For One More Vote on Abortion Bill, by David N. Bass:
RALEIGH — When the state House takes up a series of veto overrides in late July, an abortion-related measure could have one of the tightest margins, but supporters say they’ll have enough legislators on board to make it law.
Unlike other attempts to overcome a veto by Gov. Bev Perdue, however, backers of the Abortion-Woman’s Right to Know Act may find it easier getting a three-fifths majority for an override in the House than in the Senate.
House Bill 854 passed the House 71-48 in June. Aside from the state budget, approved 73-46, the bill garnered more votes than any of the five other House measures vetoed by Gov. Bev Perdue. It also gained the most bipartisan backing. . . .
July 21, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Politics, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Courthouse News Service: U.S. Sues 'Agressive' Abortion Protester, by Ryan Abbott:
WASHINGTON (CN) - The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division sued a man it calls one of "the most vocal and aggressive anti-abortion protestors," who has targeted patients at the Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington clinic for more than 10 years.
According to the federal complaint, Maryland resident Richard Retta has violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act by intimidating and interfering with patients for more than a decade. . . .
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Ms. Magazine: The States' War on Women, by Virginia Chamlee:
In recent months we’ve become well aware of how U.S. House Republicans are trying to decimate services of vital importance to women. Don’t take your eyes off your local statehouse, though: There, legislators have pushed the war on women equally far, cracking down on reproductive rights and cutting funding for education and health programs that largely benefit women and children.
Under the guise of deficit reduction, lawmakers argue that the cuts are necessary, all the while preserving tax breaks for corporations and the rich. In Florida, for example, Republican Gov. Rick Scott has sought to repeal the corporate income tax—despite vetoing more than $615 million from the state budget in May, slashing both public education and health services for women and children. Reductions in health care and social services, though ostensibly affecting everyone, have an inordinately negative impact on women, who comprise a majority of the public-service workforce—nurses, teachers and social workers—and depend more than men on public services such as Medicaid, family planning and community colleges. . . .
U.S. Institute of Medicine Recommends Free Contraception and Other Reproductive Health Services as Part of Healthcare Overhaul
Los Angeles Times/Reuters: U.S. health body backs free birth control for women, by Andrew Seaman:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Institute of Medicine recommended providing women free birth control and other preventive health services under the country's healthcare overhaul.
The IOM report, commissioned by the Obama administration, recommended that all U.S.-approved birth control methods -- including the "morning after pill," taken shortly after intercourse to forestall pregnancy -- be added to the federal government's list of preventive health services.