Wednesday, November 6, 2013
The Christian Science Monitor: What close loss in Virginia governor's race tells national Republicans, by Linda Feldmann:
In deep blue New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie won reelection easily. But in purple Virginia, the tea party-aligned Republican candidate for governor, Ken Cuccinelli, lost to Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. . . .
Taken together, New Jersey and Virginia provide lessons for the Republicans nationally, political analysts say.
Take abortion. Governor Christie opposes abortion rights in a state where a majority supports them, but it’s not a defining issue for him. In Virginia, Cuccinelli’s strong opposition to abortion – including support for a failed measure that would have required a vaginal ultrasound before an abortion and a new law putting significant restrictions on abortion clinics – put him out of step with unmarried women in his state, a key voting bloc. . . .
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Call for Papers: Intersections in Reproduction: Perspectives on Abortion, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, and Judicial Review
Call for Papers: Intersections in Reproduction: Perspectives on Abortion, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, and Judicial Review:
Abortion and reproductive technologies have historically occupied separate realms in law, policy, and academia. In spite of some obvious and natural overlap, scholarship exploring the relationship between abortion and assisted reproduction is sparse. In 2014, Judith Daar (Whittier Law School) and Kimberly Mutcherson (Rutgers Law-Camden) will co-guest edit an issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics devoted to articles reflecting on this relationship. JLME is a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics.
The guest editors are open to a wide range of scholarship from authors steeped in various aspects of reproductive justice, reproductive rights and reproductive technologies who can explore the future of assisted reproduction and abortion as matters of scholarly concern and legal regulation, especially when viewed as part of a larger movement for reproductive rights and reproductive justice. The term reproductive technologies should be interpreted broadly in this context to go beyond IVF and include a range of techniques used in conjunction with assisted methods of conception.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Voting on a non-binding resolution calling for abortion to be made legal across the EU “as a human rights and public health” concern was postponed by MEPs this afternoon, with a majority voting to send it back to the European Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee.
The report, which was drafted by Portuguese Socialist MEP Edite Estrela, had fuelled intense lobbying from anti-abortion groups, particularly over the human rights argument and on its calls to ensure that conscientious objection to providing abortion should be monitored to ensure that it does not limit access to safe abortions. . . .
ThinkProgress: Abortion Stigma Is Hurting Women, But Here’s How We Can Start Getting Rid Of It, by Tara Culp-Ressler:
Tuesday marks the beginning of the “1 in 3 Week of Action,” a grassroots effort to push back on the pervasive abortion stigma that continues to impact women’s experiences with their reproductive health. Despite the fact that abortion is a very common aspect of women’s health care, many people feel like they’re not allowed to talk openly about it — largely because they’ve internalized society’s shame-based message that having an abortion means they’ve done something wrong. The events held during the “1 in 3 Week” hope to change that. . . .
Sunday, October 20, 2013
NBC Washington: Va. Gov. Candidates Battle over Abortion:
In the Virginia governor's race, the perennial hot-button issue of abortion keeps creeping into the dialogue.
Each candidate portrays the other as an extremist, although on opposite ends of the spectrum, on an issue that could have an impact in a state where 54 percent of the approximately 4.8 million voters are women. Polls have shown Democrat Terry McAuliffe with a wide lead over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli among female voters. . . .
SFGate: After Tiller' review: nuanced look at abortion, by David Lewis:
"After Tiller" doesn't take long to enter incendiary territory, as we see Dr. George Tiller's wrapped body being removed from a Wichita, Kan., church, where he was shot and killed in 2009 for performing third-trimester abortions at his clinic.
That could have easily been a documentary in itself, but filmmakers Martha Shane and Lana Wilson take the story in a more interesting - and thought-provoking - direction: profiling the only four doctors in the country who still openly offer the controversial third-trimester procedures (opposed by many on both sides of the abortion debate). . . .
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The Washington Post: Maryland Board of Physicians closes probe of abortion doctor after woman’s death, by Lena H. Sun:
The Maryland Board of Physicians has closed its investigation into allegations that an abortion doctor provided improper care to a woman who died in February after the procedure, according to a copy of the letter sent to the physician. . . .
Monday, October 14, 2013
The Huffington Post/AP: Kansas Abortion Lawsuits Have Cost The State Over $913,000, by John Hanna:
Kansas has paid more than $913,000 to two private law firms that are helping the state defend anti-abortion laws enacted since conservative Republican Gov. Sam Brownback took office, and such expenses appear likely to grow.
The attorney general's office disclosed the figures in response to requests from The Associated Press. More than $126,000 in legal fees stem from two lawsuits filed this summer against restrictions enacted just this year. . . .
Sunday, October 13, 2013
ABC News: Court Says Nebraska Teenager Too Immature to Decide on Abortion, by Sidney Lupkin:
A Nebraska teenager in foster care was denied access to an abortion, because the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled she wasn't mature enough to make that decision on her own, according to a court opinion published this month. . . .
Under the governing Supreme Court case law, courts are supposed to grant a teenager permission for an abortion if (1) she is sufficiently mature to make the decision on her own or (2) the abortion would be in her best interests (or, under some states' laws, if telling her parents would not be in her best interests). Here, the biological parents' rights were reportedly terminated based on their abuse and neglect. One would think that would satisfy the second part of the test, but the court apparently found that inquiry to be inapplicable, at least as applied to the teenager's biological parents, given that their rights were terminated. There is a sad irony in the courts' further determination that "the young woman wasn't mature enough to make the abortion decision on her own because she was financially dependent on her foster parents and had never lived on her own or mentioned any work experience." It seems those were the very factors that led her to make the mature decision that parenthood was not a realistic option.
American-Statesman: Study: 22,286 Texas Women Could Be Denied Abortions, by Chuck Lindell (Oct. 2):
A University of Texas study indicates that more than 22,200 Texas women would be prevented from obtaining an abortion in the next year if stricter regulations go into effect later this month, a court filing shows.
The study results, submitted to federal court this week by abortion providers seeking to block the regulations, was conducted by UT’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project, a three-year collaboration that measures the impact of state laws affecting reproductive health. . . .
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Californians seeking an abortion have more access to care under a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) Wednesday.
The law authorizes nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, and certified nurse midwives to perform aspirations, a type of first-trimester abortion that involves inserting a small tube through the cervix to remove the fetus. Before the bill was passed, only doctors could perform such procedures. . . .
See also: The Los Angeles Times: New California abortion law: More dangerous than skydiving?, by Robin Abcarian:
. . . The low complication rate, of course, did not stop antiabortion groups from rallying against the bill, including some who used breathtakingly disingenuous arguments.
Last May, for instance, Steve Macias, a California Republican Party officer and executive director of the antiabortion group Cherish California’s Children, said the new law would legalize back-alley abortions. He also claimed that first-trimester abortions are more dangerous than skydiving. . . .
San Jose Mercury News: Santa Clara University president triggers abortion uproar, by Tracy Seipel & Josh Richman:
A decision by Santa Clara University's president to drop health insurance coverage of elective abortions for the Catholic university's faculty and staff has triggered a serious rift at the school. . . .
The thorny issue echoes a nationwide debate at Catholic universities over their institutional identities and ability to consider the convictions of those who do not identify with -- or who disagree with -- certain principles the Catholic tradition holds as central.
The uproar at SCU comes on the heels of a contentious vote this week by trustees of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, another Jesuit school that decided not to provide coverage for elective abortions. . . .
The Los Angeles Times: Loyola Marymount drops health coverage for 'elective' abortions, by Larry Gordon:
Employees will instead be offered a separate plan to cover the procedures. The decision is seen as a compromise between abortion foes and a more liberal group.
Amid a debate about the role of Catholic colleges in a secular society, Loyola Marymount University this week decided to drop staff health insurance coverage for "elective" abortions and instead offer employees a separate, unsubsidized plan to cover those procedures.
The move was seen on campus as a compromise between traditionalist alumni and faculty — who think the university should have nothing to do with abortion — and a more liberal group who contend LMU should not impose religious doctrine on the large number of non-Catholics it enrolls and employs. . . .
The New York Times: Abortion Vote Exposes Rift at a Catholic University, by Ian Lovett:
LOS ANGELES — Not three weeks have passed since Pope Francis said the church had grown “obsessed” with abortion, declaring, “We have to find a new balance.” But on the campus of Loyola Marymount University, overlooking this city’s west side, a fight over abortion now threatens to rip the school asunder. . . .
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The Daily News: Nancy Pelosi should be denied Holy Communion over abortion rights stance: Vatican official, by Leslie Larson:
Raymond Cardinal Leo Burke says the California Democrat has 'obstinately' separated her religious and political lives, which he calls a 'grave error.'
A Vatican official has come out in support of denying communion to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for her support of abortion rights.
Raymond Cardinal Leo Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome — the Vatican's Supreme Court — slammed the California Democrat for "obstinately" persisting in grave sin by supporting the policy, even "after repeated admonitions." . . .
Friday, September 20, 2013
The Guardian (op-ed): Why women have a right to sex-selective abortion, by Sarah Ditum:
As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter why any woman wants to end her pregnancy. If it's to select for sex, that's her choice
When you talk about being pro-choice, sex selective abortion is often slung at you as the triumphant gotcha. "You love women so much you want them to be in charge of what grows inside their bodies, but what about the women who are aborted, have a go at answering that? ZING!"
The answer is actually remarkably simple, and it's this: it doesn't matter whether what's growing inside you is liable to end up as a man or a woman. What matters is whether the person it's growing inside – the person who is going to have to deliver the resulting baby, at not inconsiderable personal peril – actually wants to be pregnant and give birth to this child. . . .
Pope Francis offered an olive branch of sorts to the doctrine-minded, conservative wing of the Catholic Church on Friday as he denounced abortions as a symptom of today's "throw-away culture" and encouraged Catholic doctors to refuse to perform them.
Francis issued a strong anti-abortion message and cited Vatican teaching on the need to defend the unborn during an audience with Catholic gynecologists. . . .
Thursday, September 19, 2013
The New York Times: Pope, Criticizing Narrow Focus, Calls for Church as ‘Home for All’, by Laurie Goodstein:
Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis sent shock waves through the Roman Catholic church on Thursday with the publication of his remarks that the church had grown “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he had chosen not to talk about those issues despite recriminations from critics.
His surprising comments came in a lengthy interview in which he criticized the church for putting dogma before love, and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalized. . . .
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
SCOTUSblog is publishing a symposium on Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice:
This past June, the Court granted cert. in Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition of Reproductive Justice, in which it will consider the constitutionality of an Oklahoma law which prohibits the off-label use of abortion inducing drugs. . . .
The list of invited contributors is available here. Posts by Priscilla Smith (Yale Law School) and O. Carter Snead (Notre Dame Law School) are already available here and here, and more commentators will be posting their analyses throughout the week here.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Slate: The Cleverest New Anti-Abortion Law, by Emily Bazelon:
Will the Supreme Court strike down Oklahoma’s devious attempt to stop doctors from prescribing the safest kind of medical abortion?
The biggest-ever wave of abortion restrictions has been flooding the states since Republicans victories in the 2010 election. The canny genius behind these new laws is that they reduce access to abortion in the name of protecting women’s health. The statutes are written to seem reasonable, sober, and safety based, perhaps none more so than the 2011 Oklahoma law making it harder for doctors to prescribe the drugs used to induce a medical abortion. A challenge to the Oklahoma law promises to be the next big Supreme Court case about abortion. . . .
ThinkProgress: Everything You Need To Know About The Abortion Case That’s Headed To The Supreme Court, by Tara Culp-Ressler:
If you had no idea that abortion was slated to come before the Supreme Court this year, you’re not alone. Thecomplicated case that’s up for debate,Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, has flown under the radar precisely because it’s fairly complex and doesn’t immediately seem to be all that important. But it could have huge implications for the current laws in over a dozen states across the country — and depending how the justices rule, it could ultimately set the precedent for the future of the entire United States’ access to reproductive health care.
Here’s what you need to know about the potentially landmark case . . . .
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Fifth Circuit Denies Abortion Providers Standing To Challenge Louisiana Law Imposing Strict Liability for Performing Abortions
The TownTalk/AP: Appeals court rules against La. abortion providers:
A federal appeals court has ruled that a group of Louisiana abortion providers lack the standing to challenge part of a 1997 law that can make them liable for damage caused by an abortion procedure and denies them access to a state-run fund for paying malpractice judgments.
A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned a ruling last year by U.S. District Judge Helen “Ginger” Berrigan, who said Louisiana cannot enforce the 1997 law. . . .
The law at issue essentially subjects abortion providers to strict liability simply for performing an abortion and excludes them from the benefits of Louisiana's medical malpractice reform regime. In deciding the original, preenforcement challenge to this law, the Fifth Circuit held in 2001 that plaintiffs could not obtain relief because the law creates only a private cause of action not enforced by the state. I wrote about Okpalobi v. Foster here: Legislative Arrogance and Constitutional Accountability.