Saturday, September 29, 2012
Bloomberg News: Laws Revive 'World Before Roe' as Abortions Require Arduous Trek, by Amanda J. Crawford:
In the year since Carrie Klaege moved to Arizona and started a non-profit program to help poor women afford abortions, she’s watched access to the procedure get tougher for her clients.
Following a rash of new laws, abortions are no longer available at clinics outside Tucson and Phoenix and women must wait 24 hours after required ultrasound tests before terminating pregnancies -- forcing some to travel hundreds of miles and stay overnight. Klaege said she’s now making connections in other states where she could send women if the courts allow a ban on later abortions to take effect. . . .
The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio nuns release contraception video on YouTube, by JoAnne Viviano:
A group of Roman Catholic nuns in central Ohio has produced a short anti-contraception video hoping to get it in front of Catholics in all 50 states, starting with swing states, before the presidential election.
The "You Deserve to Know the Truth: Contraception" video, posted on YouTube by The Children of Mary order, invokes a number of statistics, studies and comments -- even lyrics to the Bloodhound Gang's “The Bad Touch."
The video opens by saying oral contraception can make women less desirable by interfering with chemical hormones. . . .
Friday, September 28, 2012
Politico: Akin speaks about old arrest at abortion clinic, by Seung Min Kim:
Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin disclosed Friday that he was arrested more than two decades ago at an anti-abortion protest.
His remarks came after Right Wing Watch, an arm of the liberal People for the American Way, circulated a video in which Akin is talking to a group of people about the arrest. The video was captured in 2011, the organization claimed. . . .
AllVoices: Canadian Politics: Abortion motion on when life begins defeated, by Karl Gotthardt:
Despite fears that the Canadian Conservative government was attempting to reopen the abortion issue, which was settled by the Supreme Court while Brian Mulroney was in power in 1988, the Canadian Parliament handily defeated the motion 203-91. The 91 votes in favour of the motion were registered by conservative Members of Parliament.
The conservative government in Canada was accused of wanting to reopen the debate in order to undermine Canada's liberal abortion law. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who voted against the motion, had said all along that he had no interest in reopening the debate. . . .
Jezebel: Dr. Tiller’s Former Abortion Clinic is Reopening For Business, by Katie J. M. Baker:Trust Women Foundation, a non-profit abortion-rights group, has purchased Dr. George Tiller's former Wichita abortion clinic, which had been on the market ever since Tiller was murdered at church by an anti-choicer.
This is fantastic news, since Kansas only has three abortion clinics, and all of them are in the Kansas City area. Thanks to new state restrictions, the much-needed clinic won't offer the controversial late term abortions of Tiller's day, but they will perform first and early second trimester abortions. . . .
NPR: Lawmakers in Uruguay Vote to Legalize Abortion, by Korva Coleman:
Uruguayan lawmakers have very narrowly approved a bill allowing women limited access to abortion. As the Los Angeles Times reports, it's a big change for a country that outlaws the procedure. Should it take effect, Uruguayan women can legally terminate their pregnancies in the first 12 weeks.There are conditions. . . .
BBC News: Uruguay Congress votes to legalise abortion:
The bill was approved by 50 votes to 49 after 14 hours of debate.
The law must now be approved by the Senate, which voted for a previous version of the text last December. President Jose Mujica has said he will approve the law if passed by Congress. . . .
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Helen M. Alvare (George Mason University School of Law) has posted A Response to Professor I. Glenn Cohen's 'Regulating Reproduction: The Problem with Best Interests' on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This response to Professor I. Glenn Cohen’s article, Regulating Reproduction: The Problem with Best Interests, argues that rules restricting whether, when, or with whom a person reproduces serve an important societal purpose and need not be abandoned simply because they cannot technically be supported by a “best interests of the resulting child” (“BIRC”) rationale due to the “non-identity” problem. The non-identity problem refers to the fact that such rules could result in a particular child not being conceived at all, or in the creation of a different child at another time. While Professor Cohen correctly notes that such rules might be misunderstood to suggest that some human lives are “not worth living,” this response proposes that it is possible – and necessary – to avoid that unacceptable message, without at the same time accepting the extreme conclusion that adults need never constrain their behaviors respecting conception. This result can be achieved by re-conceiving the BIRC rationale as an effort to remind parents – prior to the moment when parenting begins (conception) – of what the law both needs and assumes them to be: fit parents who act in their children’s best interests. The state should retain the ability to exhort adults that a child’s future flourishing is influenced by the parents’ situation at the moment of conception – e.g. the parents’ age, marital status, and any kin relationship, among other factors – and reproductive regulation often serves this important objective.
The New York Times: More Access to Contraceptives in City Schools, by Anemona Hartocollis:
A New York City pilot program to distribute morning-after pills and other contraceptives to high school students has encountered little resistance from parents since it began early last year, health officials said Sunday.
The officials said the program was an expansion of a similar program run by privately operated school-based health centers around the city for several years. The newer program uses doctors from the health department, who prescribe contraceptives, and school nurses. . . .
Sunday, September 23, 2012
The Huffington Post: Birth Control Study: Over 2 In 5 Women In The United States Don't Use Contraception, by Emma Gray:
Despite the availability of contraception, over two in five women in the United States forgo any form of protection during sex, says a new survey, possibly because they misjudge how likely they are to get pregnant.
The Contraception in America study, conducted by medical communications company Strategic Pharma Solutions and sponsored by pharmaceutical company Teva Women's Health, looked at 1,000 women between the ages of 18 and 49, and also surveyed 100 OB-GYNs and 101 primary care physicians who treat women, reported ScienceDaily. . . .
More than three decades
after the birth of the first child conceived through in vitro fertilization,
few states have comprehensive statutes to establish the parentage of children
born using assisted reproduction techniques (ART). While thousands of such
children are born each year, courts struggle to apply outdated laws. For
example, does a statute terminating paternity for a man who donates sperm to a
married woman apply if the woman is unmarried? In 2008, the Uniform Probate
Code (UPC) added two much-needed sections on the complicated parentage and
inheritance issues that arise in the field of assisted reproduction. Yet it is
unclear whether states will enact these new UPC sections; few states have
enacted comparable provisions of the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA). The issues
can be controversial, particularly regarding children born years after an
intended parent’s death, or when the discussion turns to enforcement of a
contract for a gestational carrier, the preferred term for a surrogate mother.
This article explores the legal landscape for children conceived through assisted insemination (AI), in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and other techniques. The article discusses the differences between the UPA and UPC sections that concern assisted reproduction. It examines the critical normative and ethical questions answered by these statutes and analyzes the likelihood that states will adopt either uniform act. The article looks briefly at gestational carrier agreements to consider whether and how they should be enforced. The article concludes by noting the need for legislation, the virtues of the UPC over the UPA, and the hope that states will address all those who use ART, including gay and lesbian couples, and single parents.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Anna E. Carpenter (Georgetown University Law Center) has posted Women and HIV/AIDS: Towards a Jurisprudence of Social and Economic Rights on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This article argues that traditional HIV/AIDS prevention efforts focused on addressing individual risk factors are not sufficient to end the spread of the disease among women. Rather, systemic factors rooted in economic and gender inequality are the primary drivers of the HIV epidemic among women. As a result, the U.S. response to HIV/AIDS must address these factors, namely poverty and violence. The article then argues for a commitment to a social and economic rights framework as a key part of efforts to end the HIV epidemic. The social and economic rights critical to ending the HIV epidemic are those that would lift women and their families out of poverty, help them secure stable housing, give them the economic means to leave violent relationships, and give them access to health care. These rights include a right to a minimum level of economic support, a right to housing, and a right to health. The article finally articulates how a positive rights framework would offer descriptive, practical, and aspirational benefits necessary to eradicate the HIV epidemic among U.S. women.
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Law Allowing Nurse Practitioners and Other Clinicians to Perform Abortions
The Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown signs abortion, mammogram bills:
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation extending an ongoing pilot program allowing nurse practitioners and other clinicians to perform non-surgical abortions, his office announced this afternoon.
Senate Bill 623, by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, was supported by Planned Parenthood and opposed by abortion rights opponents. . . .
The Huffington Post: Paul Ryan: Contraception Mandate 'Will Be Gone' On 'Day 1', by Chris Gentilviso:
GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan sees no place for the Obama Administration's contraception mandate.
At a Saturday campaign event in Orlando, Fla., the Associated Press reports that Ryan was asked about whether he would press Vice President and fellow Catholic Joe Biden on his views in relation to the 2012 Democratic Party platform. . . .
WebMD: Which Birth Control Methods Are Best for Teens?, by Daniel J. DeNoon:
More than 40% of teens are sexually active. Nearly all of them use some kind of birth control. But fewer than 1 in 20 uses the most effective contraceptives. . . .
Mary Ziegler (Saint Louis University School of Law) has posted Roe's Race: The Supreme Court, Population Control, and Reproductive Justice on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Questions of race and abortion have shaped current legal
debates about defunding Planned Parenthood and banning race-selection abortion.
In these discussions, abortion opponents draw a close connection between the
eugenic or population control movements of the twentieth century and the
contemporary abortion-rights movement. In challenging legal restrictions on
abortion, abortion-rights activists generally insist that their movement and
its predecessors have primarily privileged reproductive choice.
Notwithstanding the centrality of race to abortion politics, there has been no meaningful history of the racial politics of abortion that produced or followed Roe v. Wade. This article closes this gap in the abortion discussion by focusing on the racial politics of abortion in the 1970s. In the 1970s, some population controllers did have ties to the eugenic legal reform movement or a particular interest in limiting the growth of poor, non-white populations. Those groups most closely involved with the abortion-rights movement, however, primarily focused on family planning for white, middle-class families, emphasizing the importance of environmental stewardship and sexual liberation. Arguments treating the abortion-rights, population control, and eugenics movements as indistinguishable from one another are flawed.
At the same time, by reinterpreting Roe, feminists created new opportunities to reshape the racial politics of abortion. By defending their own understanding of the opinion against antiabortion attack, feminists were able to redefine abortion as a right that belonged to women irrespective of its political consequences.
The article shows that, by grounding the discussion in proper historical context, discussion of race and abortion will be more principled and productive. Abortion opponents can fairly discuss the history of the family planning movement, but blurring any distinction between the abortion-rights movement and its predecessors is problematic and misleading. In turn, abortion-rights activists should address the past relevance of population-based claims, acknowledging the contributions of those who worked to redefine abortion as a woman’s right.
Scott Burris and Matthew Weait on Criminalization and Moral Responsibility for Knowing Sexual Transmission of HIV
Scott Burris (Temple University – James E. Beasley School of Law) and Matthew Weait (University of London – Birkbeck College, School of Law) have posted Criminalisation and Moral Responsibility for the Sexual Transmission of HIV on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
The essay that follows is an
effort to take on a narrow but important question in a serious, though limited,
way. The question is whether there is a MORAL case for lifting primary
responsibility for Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention from the
shoulders of those who know they are infected. The question is important
because, for many people, it feels so obviously right to require those with HIV
to accept this responsibility that punishing them as criminals if they fail to
do so seems a natural, logical and entirely fair next step. As far as we can
tell, objections to HIV exposure or transmission laws to date have rested on
practical, rather than moral concerns. We will ask whether there is a good
moral case to be made against criminalisation.
There are two important things we will not do. We will not address the use of criminal law to deter or punish people who deliberately expose others to HIV with the aim of causing harm or with callous disregard of a significant risk of transmission. Like other commentators, we regard trying to harm others as wrongful and subject to prosecution regardless of the weapon used; our only concern in such a case, from the HIV perspective, is that a defendant not be punished more harshly only because the chosen weapon was the virus3 The second thing we will not do is attempt a moral analysis that is culturally comprehensive. The people of the world have developed many powerful systems of moral thought. We investigate our moral question within just one, the Western tradition of deontological ethics and liberal political philosophy. Our purpose is not, ultimately, to define for all people and all places a morality of HIV exposure, but to test whether the case for assigning primary moral responsibility for HIV to the person infected is as strong as it is assumed to be.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Illinois Supreme Court To Decide Whether Challenge to State's 17-Year-Old Parental Notice Law May Proceed
The Chicago Sun-Times: State attorney general argues for law requiring parental notification when minors get abortions, by Dave McKinney:
Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the American Civil Liberties Union both support abortion rights, but they faced off in the state’s highest court Thursday over an unenforced 1995 state law requiring that parents be notified before their minor children obtain abortions.
In the latest wrinkle in a 17-year legal battle, the ACLU of Illinois asked the state Supreme Court Thursday to uphold a June 2011 appeals court ruling tossing out a Cook County judge’s decision to dismiss a challenge to Illinois’ long-dormant parental notification law. . . .
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Reuters: This election, abortion rights activists are looking for just a few good women, by Patricia Zengerle:
This fall, there is going to be a relatively small group of women voters who may be very, very sick of hearing from NARAL Pro-Choice America by Election Day on Nov. 6.
Like most of those involved in politics this election year, the abortion rights advocacy group says that women will determine the outcome of the contest on Nov. 6 between Democratic President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
But unlike most, the group has identified, by name and address, the thousands of women across the country that it thinks might make the difference – and it plans to go after their votes, and in a big way, but in small numbers – in many cases as few as 1,000 or 2,000 in an individual county. . . .
A woman who aborted her own baby in the final phase of her pregnancy has been jailed for eight years.
Sarah Louise Catt, 35, of Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire, took a drug when she was full term, 39 weeks pregnant, to cause an early delivery. . . .
New York Daily News: Abortion count jumps by 26% in Arizona: report, by Charlie Wells:
The state’s new abortion tracking has increased reporting accuracy, says Arizona Health Director Will Humble.
A new report shows a 26 percent jump in the number of abortions in Arizona, a state where lawmakers just approved some of the toughest abortion rules in the country.
Despite the spike, people on both sides of the issue aren’t exactly sure what is responsible for the state’s highest abortion rate in the past decade. . . .