September 29, 2012
State Restrictions on Abortion Evoke "World Before Roe"
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. . . .
Ohio Nuns Spread Misinformation About Contraception Via YouTube
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. . . .
September 28, 2012
Akin Admits Arrest 25 Years Ago for Protesting at Abortion Clinic
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. . . .
Canadian Parliament Declines to Reopen Abortion Debate
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. . . .
Pro-Choice Advocates Plan to Reopen Dr. Tiller's Clinic
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. . . .
Uruguay Congress Votes to Allow First-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. . . .
September 25, 2012
Helen Alvare on I. Glenn Cohen’s "Regulating Reproduction: The Problem with Best Interests"
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.
Program Providing Access to Contraceptives in NYC Schools Meets Little Resistance From Parents
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. . . .
September 23, 2012
Study Shows More than 2 in 5 U.S. Women Don't Use Contraception
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. . . .
Kristine Knaplund on Children of Assisted Reproduction Technology
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.