January 9, 2013
On "Parenthood," Rare Television Episode Dealing with Abortion
Salon: “Parenthood” bravely tackles abortion, by Willa Paskin:
Because they happen with such rarity, I feel obliged to take note when they do: There was an abortion on prime-time television last night. On “Parenthood,” shy, quiet high-schooler Drew and his increasingly manly eyebrows found out that his girlfriend Amy was pregnant. Amy decided to have an abortion . . . .
Paul Ryan Cosponsors Embryonic Personhood Bill
Huffington Post: Paul Ryan Cosponsors New Fetal Personhood Bill, by Laura Bassett:
Despite the deep unpopularity of fetal personhood bills in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has again decided to cosponsor the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a bill that gives full legal rights to human zygotes from the moment of fertilization. . . .
Federal Court Dismisses Notre Dame's Challenge to Contraception Mandate
The Hill - Healthwatch: Judge boots Notre Dame's case against birth-control mandate, by Elise Viebeck:
A federal judge has dismissed the University of Notre Dame's suit against the Obama administration's birth-control coverage policy.
U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller wrote Monday that Notre Dame's claims of injury are not ripe and that the school does not have standing to bring them.
Miller cited the Obama administration's promise to accommodate religious institutions like Notre Dame that insure themselves. . . .
January 8, 2013
First Circuit Upholds Massachusetts Buffer Zone Law for Abortion Clinics
The Boston Globe: Federal appeals court again upholds Mass. abortion clinic buffer zone law, by Martin Finucane:
A federal appeals court has again upheld the buffer zone law for Massachusetts abortion clinics, saying that the regulation protects the rights of patients while, at the same time, allowing others to express their opinions.
“Few subjects have proven more controversial in modern times than the issue of abortion,” the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit said in its ruling today. “The nation is sharply divided about the morality of the practice and its place in a caring society. But the right of the state to take reasonable steps to ensure the safe passage of persons wishing to enter health care facilities cannot seriously be questioned. . . .
Gail Collins on Roe's 40th Anniversary
The New York Times op-ed column: The Woes of Roe, by Gail Collins:
Forty years ago this month, the Supreme Court handed down the great abortion rights decision Roe v. Wade. To be honest, you’re not going to be seeing a whole lot of cake and Champagne. Time magazine recognized the occasion with a downbeat cover story. (“They’ve Been Losing Ever Since.”) Gallup polls suggest support for abortion rights is fading, particularly among young Americans, and that more people now regard themselves as “pro-life” than “pro-choice.”
On the other hand — I know you had faith that eventually we’d get to the other hand — the polls depend on the question. According to the Quinnipiac poll, if you ask Americans whether they agree with the Roe decision, nearly two-thirds say yes. . . .
Time Magazine Cover Story Says Pro-Choice Movement Has Been "Losing Ever Since" Roe v. Wade
Time Magazine: What Choice?, by Kate Pickert:
It's 8 a.m. on a Wednesday, and Tammi Kromenaker is on the phone, trying to untangle an insurance snafu.
After 15 minutes of arguing with a billing operator, the director of the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo, N.D., begins preparing for the patients who will soon arrive. Staff members trickle in. One puts a DVD of old sitcoms on the waiting-room television. Another straightens a pile of magazines. Someone brews a pot of coffee. By 10 a.m., the clinic is bustling with patients. . . .
January 7, 2013
Contraception Mandate Commentary Round-Up
The Hill - Healthwatch: Group cheers Obama birth-control mandate, by Elise Viebeck:
The left-leaning National Women's Law Center (NWLC) praised the Obama administration's birth-control coverage mandate as it took effect Jan. 1 for many health plans.
The policy remains controversial among employers who disagree with birth control or consider some forms equal to abortion. It is the subject of more than 40 legal challenges now pending in the courts. . . .
UPI.com: Religious convictions vs. the 'morning-after pill', by Michael Kirkland:
A bitter fight is heading for the U.S. Supreme Court, between employers who say their religious convictions make them abhor contraception -- especially the "morning after pill" seen by many as an abortion-inducing drug -- and the Obama administration, which says contraception is a healthcare right under the law. . . .
The Volokh Conspiracy: Contraception Mandate Faces Justice Sotomayor and the Seventh Circuit, by Jonathan H. Adler:
It’s been a significant week for litigation over the contraception mandate. On December 20, a motions panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit denied employer Hobby Lobby’s motion for an injunction pending appeal. As a private employer, Hobby Lobby is not eligible for the safe harbor from enforcement, and will be subject to the mandate at the start of the new year. As a consequence, Hobby Lobby filed an emergency application for a stay with the Supreme Court, which Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied with a brief four-page opinion. According to Justice Sotomayor, Hobby Lobby could not meet the extraordinarily demanding standard for such an injunction. Lyle Denniston has a brief report on SCOTUSBlog, and Ed Whelan critiques the decision on Bench Memos (see also here). for what it’s worth, I am not as convinced as Whelan that Hobby Lobby’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act are “indisputably clear.” While I think religious institutions have a strong RFRA-based free exercise claim, and that religious institutions — and not the government — define the contours of what the exercise of a given religious faith requires — I am not sure that private, for-profit corporations can avail themselves of RFRA in the same way as avowedly religious institutions., even when privately held by religiously devout individuals, nor am I aware of any case law that would clearly establish this point (but see below). . . .
Police Raid Abortion Clinic in Rio de Janeiro
Forbes: Police Raid Rio de Janeiro Abortion Clinic, by Kenneth Rapoza:
Police raided an abortion clinic late Saturday in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Bonsucesso following tips that the clinic was also selling drugs. While abortions are tolerated in Brazil by law enforcement, they are illegal except when a woman’s life is in danger, under-aged, or the pregnancy was due to rape. . . .
This type of raid is not new or uncommon. See: International Consortium for Medical Abortion: Abortion persecution in Brazil.
Sex Ed Magazine Stirs Controversy in Myanmar
With its glossy pages of pouting models and racy romance tips, Myanmar's first sex education magazine has got the usually demure nation hot under the collar as it cashes in on new-found cultural freedom. "Hyno" has sparked fevered debate since hitting Myanmar's bookstores in November where it has become a must-read among the young and curious, just a few months after the end of direct censorship in the former junta-ruled nation. . . .
Supreme Court Will Not Review Anti-Abortion Group's Challenge to FEC PAC Disclosure Rules
Reuters: Supreme Court won't hear challenge over PAC disclosures, by Terry Baynes & Jonathan Stempel:
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a challenge to federal regulators' method for determining which political groups need to register as political action committees and reveal their donors.
Without comment, the court declined to hear the appeal of The Real Truth About Abortion, an anti-abortion group that had sued in 2008 to challenge numerous Federal Election Commission rules that govern disclosures of political spending. . . .
Supreme Court Declines to Review Challenge to Obama's Stem Cell Research Policy
The Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court rejects challenge to Obama stem cell policy, by David G. Savage:
The Supreme Court has turned away a challenge to President Obama’s policy of expanding government-funded research using embryonic stem cells that scientists say may offer hope for new treatments for spinal injuries and Parkinson’s disease.
The court’s action brings a quiet end to a lawsuit that briefly threatened to derail all funding for such research. . . .
January 6, 2013
Guttmacher Institute Releases 2012 State Policy Review on Reproductive Health and Rights
Guttmacher Institute: Laws Affecting Reproductive Health and Rights: 2012 State Policy Review:
Reproductive health and rights was once again the subject of extensive debate in state capitols in 2012. Over the course of the year, 42 states and the District of Columbia enacted 122 provisions related to reproductive health and rights. One-third of these new provisions, 43 in 19 states, sought to restrict access to abortion services. Although this is a sharp decrease from the record-breaking 92 abortion restrictions enacted in 2011, it is the second highest annual number of new abortion restrictions. . . .
January 6, 2013 in Abortion, Contraception, Fetal Rights, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Scholarship and Research, Sexuality Education, Sexually Transmitted Disease, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP), Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Anti-Abortion Gala to Feature Paul Ryan
Politico: Paul Ryan to raise profile at anti-abortion event, by Kathryn Smith:
Paul Ryan has kept a low profile since Election Day — but he’ll retake the spotlight again soon as the headliner at an anti-abortion organization’s fundraiser.
The Susan B. Anthony List announced Friday that the House Budget Committee chairman and former vice presidential nominee will be the keynote speaker at its annual gala in April. . . .
Volunteers Defy Chile's Abortion Ban, and Risk Own Safety, to Provide Information on the Procedure
The New York Times: Taking Calls on Abortion, and Risks, in Chile, by Aaron Nelsen:
SANTIAGO, Chile — Every time the phone rings, Angela Erpel feels her nerves swell. Sometimes it is a scared teenager on the other end, or a desperate mother of three. There are the angry ones, too, with callers playing the sounds of crying babies or sending text messages with pictures of aborted fetuses.
Then Ms. Erpel, 38, a sociologist who volunteers at Chile’s Safe Abortion Hot Line, gathers herself and settles into a familiar dialogue on the use of misoprostol, a drug that will induce a medical abortion. . . .
Sen. Patty Murray on House Republicans' Failure To Take Up Bill Reauthorizing Violence Against Women Act
CNN opinion: House GOP failed women on Violence Against Women Act, by Patty Murray:
(CNN) -- This week, just over 250 days since the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan and inclusive bill to extend the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives allowed the clock to run out on protections that bill would have provided to millions of women across our country. . . .
Pregnancy Centers, “Darlings of the Pro-Life Movement,” on the Rise
The New York Times: Pregnancy Centers Gain Influence in Anti-Abortion Arena, by Pam Belluck:
WACO, Tex. — With free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, along with diapers, parenting classes and even temporary housing, pregnancy centers are playing an increasingly influential role in the anti-abortion movement. While most attention has focused on scores of new state laws restricting abortion, the centers have been growing in numbers and gaining state financing and support. . . .