Reproductive Rights Prof Blog

Editor: Caitlin E. Borgmann
CUNY School of Law

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Guardian Offers Timeline of "2012 War on Women"

The Guardian: The War on Women, by Heather Long:

2012 was a tough year for American females as various aspects of female health and reproduction repeatedly took center stage. Politicians and pundits, mainly Republican, made degrading and factually incorrect remarks about rape and contraception. But Democrats also left their mark with an ill-timed snipe at stay-at-home mom Ann Romney, reinvigorating the "mommy wars".

Here are the key moments in the 2012 War on Women . . . .

March 5, 2013 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Contraception, Fetal Rights, In the Media, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Parenthood, Politics, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexual Assault, Sexuality, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Planned Parenthood's Remarkably Successful Campaign Strategy

The Washington Post (Blog): Inside Planned Parenthood's campaign strategy, by Sarah Kliff:

Planned Parenthood Action Fund earned an honor this campaign cycle that had nothing to do with women’s health: It was the most effective political group in the 2012 election.

Over 98 percent of its spending was in races that ended with the desired result, according to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation. . . .

December 9, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Call for Symposium Papers: "Gender Matters: Women, Social Policy and the 2012 Election"

Call for Symposium Papers

Gender Matters: Women, Social Policy and the 2012 Election 

April 2, 2013 at American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC

The American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law and Women and the Law Program invite papers for a symposium on gender, social policy and the election of 2012. The organizers welcome papers that explore how current or proposed social polices affect the lives of women and their families, and/or that analyze what role, if any, rhetoric about those polices may have played in the recent election. Abstracts from professors or practitioners (sorry, no student pieces) addressing gender and health care, labor and employment, taxation, fiscal policy and social welfare or other relevant social policy are due by midnight January 7, 2013.  Papers selected will be presented at a symposium on April 2, 2013 at American University Washington College of Law, and strongly considered for publication.  To read the full Call for Papers and to submit an abstract online, please visit the symposium website. Please contact the organizers at gendersymposium2013@gmail.com with any questions.

November 20, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Conferences and Symposia, Law School, Scholarship and Research, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rasmussen Post-Election Survey Shows More People Identifying as Pro-Choice

Rasmussen Reports: 54% Are Pro-Choice, 38% Pro-Life:

More voters than ever now identify themselves as pro-choice when it comes to abortion, and most rate the issue as important to how they vote.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 54% describe themselves as pro-choice on the issue of abortion, while 38% say they are pro-life. (To see survey question wording, click here.) . . .

November 16, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Contraception is a Human Right, Not a "Gift"

Slate - XX Factor blog: Romney Calls Contraception a "Gift" Just As the U.N. Declares It a Right, by Amanda Marcotte:

Will Saletan here at Slate wrote an excellent piece recapping Romney's latest encounter with his mortal enemy, the recording device. Romney, while speaking to his disappointed donors yesterday, was recorded blaming his loss on the teeming masses with all their incessant demands for wanting extravagant luxuries that can only be properly handled by their social betters, such as health care and the right to live in the same country they grew up in. . . .

November 15, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Contraception, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Christian Conservatives See Need to Regroup Following Election

The New York Times: Christian Right Failed to Sway Voters on Issues, by Laurie Goodstein:

Christian conservatives, for more than two decades a pivotal force in American politics, are grappling with Election Day results that repudiated their influence and suggested that the cultural tide — especially on gay issues — has shifted against them.

They are reeling not only from the loss of the presidency, but from what many of them see as a rejection of their agenda. They lost fights againstsame-sex marriage in all four states where it was on the ballot, and saw anti-abortion-rights Senate candidates defeated and two states vote to legalize marijuana for recreational use. . . .

November 12, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Congress, Politics, Religion, Sexuality | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Susan B. Anthony List Pres. Says Romney Should Have Been More Aggressive on Abortion

The Hill - Healtwatch Blog:  Social conservatives say Romney should have hit harder on abortion, by Sam Baker:

Mitt Romney should have spent more time debating President Obama on abortion, a leading abortion-rights opponent said Wednesday.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said Romney took a weak position on abortion that set the tone for Senate candidates. She said Romney was "wobbly" on social issues and called on conservatives to redouble their focus on abortion. . . .

November 12, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Choice" Words from Barbara Boxer on Romney's Abortion Stance

The Hill - Healthwatch Blog:  Boxer says Romney doesn't stand with women on abortion rights, by Ramsey Cox:

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is not on the side of women. 

On MSNBC’s “The ED Show” Thursday, Boxer said Romney “has nothing in his heart that indicates ... that he stands with women.” 

Boxer was attacking Romney on his abortion-rights stance, saying he doesn’t trust women to make decisions about their own bodies. . . .

October 30, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Congress, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 26, 2012

How Mourdock Is Helping To Give Romney A Free Pass on Abortion

Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock is only the latest of an alarming number of GOP candidates and current members of Congress who favor forcing rape survivors to carry resulting pregnancies to term.  But all the attention riveted on this extreme view is distracting us from the only slightly less extreme position that abortion should be banned, except when pregnancy results from rape and incest. That is the position held by Mitt Romney (at the moment, anyway) and many "moderate" Republicans. It's a position that would take us back to pre-Roe days, when panels of male doctors passed judgment on whether a woman had a good enough reason to deserve an abortion.  

It is also ideologically inconsistent: if conception marks the beginning of personhood, then Mourdock's position actually makes sense.  The fact that most of us, including many "pro-life" politicians, find Mourdock's statement abhorrent shows that, while many or most of us believe that abortion is a morally weighty decision, we aren’t prepared to treat an embryo as a person.  That recognition has enormous significance for the policy debate over abortion.  But no one seems to want to touch it with a ten-foot pole.  Harold Pollack, writing for the Nation, details the radical nature of Romney's view but oddly refuses to question it, adding that "[l]iberals such as myself should respect the moral depth and sincerity of the pro-life position."

It is not disrespectful to demand that a presidential candidate explain how his official position on abortion comports with public reason. Romney should be questioned closely: Is abortion murder?  If so, then why does he disagree with Mourdock?  And does he think the woman should be punished?  If abortion is not murder, why does Romney limit his exceptions to rape and incest?  How would he police these exceptions?  Does he think women have no other compelling reasons to seek abortion?  Is he comfortable with the government substituting its own moral judgment for the woman's?  Instead of seeking clarification on these critical questions, reporters and debate moderators give Romney a free pass because he seems reasonable when compared with GOP colleagues like Mourdock.  

The media focus on Mourdock and his bedfellows is not unlike the recent flurry of indignation over state-mandated transvaginal ultrasounds, which seemingly made everyone forget the offensiveness of "regular" pre-abortion ultrasound mandates.  The disturbing views of Akin, Mourdock, and other Republican politicians ought to be occasion to open up an honest public debate about the moral status of developing human life.  The hard question for Romney shouldn't be whether he still supports these candidates.  It should be how he can defend his own extreme and ideologically inconsistent position on abortion.

-CEB

October 26, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion Bans, Congress, Fetal Rights, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

When Did Banning Abortion With Rape and Incest Exceptions Become Moderate?

Mitt-RomneyThe Nation: Romney's So-Called 'Moderate' Stance Would Outlaw 90 Percent of Abortions, by Harold Pollack:

Mitt Romney is blanketing swing states with commercials embracing a more moderate stance on reproductive health issues than we’ve come to expect from the governor in the months since his Republican primary campaign. His central argument for “moderation” is that he would not support banning all abortions—instead, he would make an exception for cases of rape, incest or abortions necessary to save the life of the woman. He has also floated the idea of permitting abortions in the case of a threat to the health of the woman, but has since walked this back.

If Todd Akin and Rick Santorum set the standards for Republican discourse, then indeed Romney holds a more moderate and civil stance. But the contrast here merely indicates how far the legal and culture-war goalposts have moved. . . .

October 25, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion Bans, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reproductive Justice for Women of Color Depends on Their Right to Vote

Center for American Progress: A Dual Disenfranchisement: How Voter Suppression Denies Reproductive Justice to Women of Color, by Liz Chen:

A slew of recent voter identification laws are increasingly threatening the voting rights of people of color. This erosion of our most basic civil right comes alongside historic levels of attacks on reproductive health services. The two are not unrelated. Women of color stand at the crossroads of what is in essence a double disenfranchisement. When they are denied the opportunity to participate in civic life, they also lose the ability to voice their opinions and hold lawmakers accountable on the reproductive health issues that directly affect them. . . .

October 25, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Politics, Race & Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NYT Editorial on Global Harm for Women if Romney Wins

The New York Times – editorial: A World of  Harm for Women:

If Mitt Romney and his vice-presidential running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, were to win next month’s election, the harm to women’s reproductive rights would extend far beyond the borders of the United States. . . .

October 23, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion Bans, Contraception, International, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Obama Used Issues of Contraception and Planned Parenthood Funding as Weapons Against Romney in Debate

The Hill - Healthwatch blog: Obama slams Romney over birth control issue, by Elise Viebeck:

The president touts healthcare law provisions requiring most employers to provide coverage for birth control.

President Obama touted his healthcare law's birth control coverage mandate and criticized Mitt Romney for supporting a bill that would allow any employer not to follow it, prompting a tart response from the Republican nominee. . . .

Healthwatch:  Obama brought up Planned Parenthood four times in debate, by Elise Viebeck:

President Obama brought up federal funding for Planned Parenthood four times in Tuesday's debate, perhaps in a sign that he believes the issue can help him with female voters.   

Mitt Romney has been gaining ground with that crucial demographic since his much-touted performance in the first presidential debate on Oct 3. . . . 

October 18, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Contraception, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Contraception Mandate and Religiously Affiliated Employers

The Volokh Conspiracy:  Repeating "That Is A Fact" Does Not Make It So, by Jonathan Adler:

Near the end of Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden said the following:

With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy — any hospital — none has to either refer contraception. None has to pay for contraception. None has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.

VP Biden may well believe this, but it is not true. In February HHS finalized the regulations mandating the inclusion of contraception in employer-provided health plans and exempting houses of worship, but not religious universities, hospitals and charities. At the time the Administration announced its intent to accommodate other religious employers, but no such accommodation has been forthcoming. This is because creating such an accommodation is difficult. Some religious institutions self-insure, so shifting the obligation to insurers would not do the trick (and it’s not clear HHS has the authority to impose such a requirement anyway). In March, HHS issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and postpone enforcement of the existing rules against religious employers, but did not detail any regulatory change that would effectively relieve objecting religious institutions from paying for contraception. This is one reason why there are over two-dozen lawsuits against the contraception mandate pending in federal court. . . .

October 18, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Contraception, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Pro- and Anti-Choice Advocacy Groups' TV Ads Target Swing States

The Hill – Healthwatch blog: Abortion groups target swing-state voters, by Elise Viebeck:

Groups on both sides of the abortion debate are focusing their advertising on swing-state voters in the closing weeks of the presidential campaign.

As Mitt Romney nabbed headlines with his comment that abortion bills would not be part of his agenda, voters in four swing states were already viewing a slew of ads from Planned Parenthood's political wing, on the left, and the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, on the right.

The two groups have spoken loudest for their sides of the abortion debate this presidential election, particularly through television spots aimed at convincing undecided voters of the dangers of the opposing candidate. . . .

October 18, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Politics, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Abortion Not a Decisive Issue for Many Catholics Voters

RosaryThe New York Times – The Caucus blog: An Abortion Question Shows Divide Among Catholics, by Laurie Goodstein:  

 

In a historic first, both candidates for vice president are practicing Roman Catholics, and late in their debate on Thursday night, they fielded the abortion question asked through the prism of religion.

 

“Tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion,” asked the debate moderator, Martha Raddatz of ABC News.

 

The candidates’ responses revealed an almost perfect archetypal contrast in how contemporary Catholics these days relate to their faith, and why what some call “the Catholic vote” is a constituency as deeply divided as the rest of the electorate. . . .

 

Catholics for Choice press release: Abortion in the Vice-Presidential Debate: Catholics Are Still More Concerned about the Economy:

Last night’s vice-presidential debate concluded with a brief, five-minute discussion about abortion and religion. Both candidates expressed their party’s position, their own personal perspective and how it related to their Catholic faith.

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, responded: “The candidates are right that women and men do consider their faith when they are facing a decision about abortion, but neither candidate stood back and looked at the bigger picture.

“In this election, as in previous elections, Catholics are simply not voting on the abortion issue. . . .

October 17, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Politics, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reaction to Governor Romney's "Binder Full of Women"

The New Republic: Mitt the Jerk: a Woman’s View of the Debate, by Amy Sullivan:

BinderAt the risk of going all Maureen Dowd here, I’d like to suggest that in the second presidential debate on Tuesday night, we met Mitt the Man. He’s always been there, surfacing briefly at the Republican National Convention to implausibly claim that he has always believed wife Ann’s job raising their sons “was a lot more important than mine”—as if Romney sincerely believed that for decades he pursued a less important career path. . . .

CNN Opinion: Romney's empty 'binders full of women', by Maria Cardona:

Mitt Romney showed up Tuesday night talking about "binders full of women" being brought to him when he was governor. Sounds kind of kinky and certainly not something you want to be touting. . . . In fairness, "binders" was most likely a slip of the tongue. . . .

Even as a slip of the tongue, this odd phrase betrays Romney's true lack of understanding, knowledge and comfort level on women's equality. And besides the binders comment, there are several problems with the story Romney told Tuesday night.

First of all, it is not true. The "binder" of women's résumés was prepared before the election by the Massachusetts Government Appointments Project, a coalition of nonpartisan women's groups. When Romney won, the women -- not in binders -- gave him the résumés. . . .

The Washington Post (Blog): Why we need feminist theology: Romney and 'binders full of women' by, Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite:

Why did Mitt Romney’s reference to “whole binders full of women” in response to a question from a town hall attendee in Tuesday night’s second presidential debate at Hofstra University simply drive many women up the wall?

Romney’s seemingly off-hand remark sparked outrage. . . .

October 17, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, In the Media, Politics, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Anti-Abortion Leaders Ask Activists to Accept Romney's Ambiguous Statements on Abortion, For Now

Mitt-RomneyThe Washington Post - On Faith blog: Analysis: As Mitt Romney moves to the middle, anti-abortion activists try to cover his right flank, by David Gibson:

As Mitt Romney has moved to the center in an effort to overtake President Barack Obama in the campaign’s homestretch, he has by necessity muted — or even muddied — his previous opposition to abortion rights, a shift that has left some abortion foes aghast.

But veteran anti-abortion leaders say they are confident that Romney remains committed to their agenda and, in the final weeks before the Nov. 6 vote, they are busy trying to keep rank-and-file activists from pouncing on the Republican candidate’s ambiguous statements. Their fear? That going after Romney could prompt defections and cost the GOP a surprisingly strong shot at winning the White House. . . .

October 17, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Women Favor Obama's Stance on Contraception and Abortion

Obama2The Hill - Healthwatch blog:  Poll:  Female voters give Obama edge on contraception, abortion, by Sam Baker:

President Obama's contraception mandate is helping him enormously with female voters, a new USA Today/Gallup poll says.

The survey found that Mitt Romney has made enormous gains with female voters — the candidates were tied among women who are likely to vote, and Obama had a nine-point lead among registered female voters. Concern over the economy has helped Romney erode what was once a sizable gender gap. . . .

October 17, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Contraception, Politics, President/Executive Branch, Public Opinion, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Paul Ryan on Abortion

The New York Times (op-ed): Paul Ryan, Catholic Dissident, by Michael Peppard:

DURING last week’s vice-presidential debate — the first time two Catholics have shared such a stage — a question about abortion was inevitable. To some viewers, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s stance — that he personally opposes abortion but does not believe in imposing those beliefs on others — came across as a wishy-washy mélange of moral intuitions. In contrast, Representative Paul D. Ryan, who laid out his ticket’s policy to “oppose abortion with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother,” appeared to represent the principled, Catholic anti-abortion position. . . .

The Washington Post - She the People blog: Paul Ryan’s abortion response reflects the Achilles’ Heel of the GOP, by Rahiel Tesfamariam:

When moderator Martha Raddatz asked Vice President Biden and Republican presidential candidate Paul Ryan about their views on abortion at last week’s debate, she was immediately critiqued for couching the question in religious terms. There were many critics who didn’t think that “a woman’s right to choose” debate should be reduced to the theology of political candidates. I’m in agreement with my Washington Post colleague Sally Quinn who states that “it was the right thing to do.” . . .

The New Yorker:  Of Babies and Beans:  Paul Ryan on Abortion, by Adam Gopnik:

Watching the political debates this season always puts this writer, perhaps irresponsibly, in mind of seventies movie comedies: Romney seems like the smug country clubber in a hundred National Lampoonish movies, the one Chevy Chase takes the girl away from, while Paul Ryan last night seemed exactly like the authority-pleasing, solemn student-body president who either gets pantsed midway by the stars of “Porkys” or else blissfully turned on to grass in the final reel by Bill Murray. Joe Biden watching Ryan, meanwhile, put me in mind of nothing so much as the great, grouchy, aged Eddie Albert in Elaine May’s matchless original, “The Heartbreak Kid,”narrowing his eyes in disbelief as he listens to the slick, oleaginous (and already married!) Charles Grodin courting his beautiful blond daughter: “ I heard everything you said… and I will tell you, quite honestly, I was very impressed. Very impressed. And I think I can also say, quite honestly… I have never heard such a crock of horseshit in my life.”. . .

PrawfsBlawg's Rick Garnett responds to Gopnick's article here.

October 17, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Politics, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)