Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Incredibly, the 6-week ban passed the house 73-29:
WSFA: Alabama House passes 4 abortion bills:
Four abortion bills are headed to the Alabama Senate after being approved by the Alabama House of Representatives Tuesday.
House representatives voted to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Both sides of the abortion debate agree the proposal could end up banning most abortions. . . .
Thursday, February 27, 2014
ThinkProgress: Meet The Lawmaker Who’s Trying To End Abortion In Alabama, by Tara Culp-Ressler:
On Tuesday, a panel of Alabama lawmakers advanced four stringent anti-abortion bills that would prevent women in the state from exercising their reproductive rights. The proposed legislation would ban abortions after just six weeks; force women to wait 48 hours before getting an abortion; make it more difficult for minors to end an unwanted pregnancy; and impose more emotional trauma on women who choose to have an abortion after discovering lethal fetal abnormalities. . . .
State officials are already warning that the heartbeat bill will provoke an immediate legal challenge. But the lawmaker who proposed the six-week abortion ban, Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin (R), is unperturbed. “I’m not really concerned about the challenges. We’ve had challenges before. We wouldn’t have some of the things we have now if it hadn’t been for Brown versus Board of Education,” McClurkin told a local ABC News affiliate, referring to the landmark court ruling that desegregated schools. . . .
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Anibel Faundes, et al., have posted Brazilians Have Different Views on When Abortion Should Be Legal, But Most Do Not Agree with Imprisoning Women for Abortion on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Unsafe abortions remain a major public health problem in countries with very restrictive abortion laws. In Brazil, parliamentarians − who have the power to change the law − are influenced by “public opinion”, often obtained through surveys and opinion polls. This paper presents the findings from two studies. One was carried out in February–December 2010 among 1,660 public servants and the other in February–July 2011 with 874 medical students from three medical schools, both in São Paulo State, Brazil. Both groups of respondents were asked two sets of questions to obtain their opinion about abortion: 1) under which circumstances abortion should be permitted by law, and 2) whether or not women in general and women they knew who had had an abortion should be punished with prison, as Brazilian law mandates. The differences in their answers were enormous: the majority of respondents were against putting women who have had abortions in prison. Almost 60% of civil servants and 25% of medical students knew at least one woman who had had an illegal abortion; 85% of medical students and 83% of civil servants thought this person(s) should not be jailed. Brazilian parliamentarians who are currently reviewing a reform in the Penal Code need to have this information urgently. . . .
MSNBC.com: Gender-based abortion ban gets green light, by Traci G. Lee:
The South Dakota House approved a bill last week that would make gender-based abortions illegal in response to concerns that families around the world value males over females.
House Bill 1162 would “prohibit the practice of sex-selective abortions” in South Dakota, adding further restrictions to the state’s restrictive abortion laws. As Mother Jones reported Tuesday, HB 1162 passed the Republican-controlled House by a vote of 60 to 10, paving the way for South Dakota to become the eighth state in the country to ban sex-selective abortions. . . .
The Charleston Gazette: House passes 20-week abortion ban, by Phil Kabler:
Legislation that would make it a felony to perform abortions on fetuses after 20 weeks' gestation passed an emotionally charged House of Delegates late Tuesday evening on a 79-17 vote. . . .
Monday, January 20, 2014
The New York Times: Proposed Abortion Restrictions in Spain Face Backlash, by Raphael Minder:
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s proposal to enact some of the toughest abortion restrictions in Europe has exposed his already unpopular government to a building political backlash and criticism from the European Parliament, while reinvigorating his Socialist opponents and opening divisions in his own conservative Popular Party.
On Sunday, demonstrators gathered in downtown Madrid to protest the government’s health care cuts and the abortion proposal, which was introduced in December and would allow the termination of a pregnancy only if it was the result of rape or if having the baby would significantly endanger the mother’s health. . . .
Monday, January 13, 2014
The New York Times: Supreme Court Won’t Hear Arizona Appeal on Abortion Ban, by Adam Liptak & Fernanda Santos:
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from Arizona officials seeking to revive a state law that barred most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The justices offered no reasons for turning down the appeal, as is their custom. . . .
This is good news. The law clearly banned abortions before viability, directly challenging a major part of both the Roe and Casey frameworks. As I stated in a recent New York Times article, "If they take the Arizona case, it seems like at least four of the justices are willing to reconsider the viability line as the point at which states can ban abortions." Although one has to be careful about reading too much into a denial of cert., hopefully this indicates that Justice Kennedy is not ready to jettison the viaiblity line he reaffirmed in Casey.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
The New York Times: Access to Abortion Falling as States Pass Restrictions, by Erik Eckholm:
A three-year surge in anti-abortion measures in more than half the states has altered the landscape for abortion access, with supporters and opponents agreeing that the new restrictions are shutting some clinics, threatening others and making it far more difficult in many regions to obtain the procedure.
Advocates for both sides are preparing for new political campaigns and court battles that could redefine the constitutional limits for curbing the right to abortion set by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and later modifications by the Supreme Court.
. . . A partial test is expected this month, when the Supreme Court announces whether it will hear Arizona’s appeal to reinstate its 20-week ban, which was overturned by federal courts. . . .
“If they take the Arizona case, it seems like at least four of the justices are willing to reconsider the viability line as the point at which states can ban abortions,” said Caitlin Borgmann, an expert on reproductive rights at the City University of New York School of Law. . . .
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Guttmacher Institute: Laws Affecting Reproductive Health and Rights: 2013 State Policy Review:
Reproductive health and rights were once again the subject of extensive debate in state capitols in 2013. Over the course of the year, 39 states enacted 141 provisions related to reproductive health and rights. Half of these new provisions, 70 in 22 states, sought to restrict access to abortion services. In sharp contrast to this barrage of abortion restrictions, a handful of states adopted measures designed to expand access to reproductive health services. Most notably, California enacted the first new state law in more than seven years designed to expand access to abortion, and five states adopted measures to expand access to comprehensive sex education, facilitate access to emergency contraception for women who have been sexually assaulted and enable patients’ partners to obtain STI treatment.
Twenty-two states enacted 70 abortion restrictions during 2013. This makes 2013 second only to 2011 in the number of new abortion restrictions enacted in a single year. To put recent trends in even sharper relief, 205 abortion restrictions were enacted over the past three years (2011–2013), but just 189 were enacted during the entire previous decade (2001–2010). . . .
Monday, December 30, 2013
The Times of India: Argentina Court Grants Abortion for Teen Rape Victim:
BUENOS AIRES: A court in Argentina ruled on Friday that a 14-year old rape victim could have an abortion, overturning a judge's earlier decision barring the girl from seeking the procedure.
The teenage girl discovered early last month that she was pregnant after being raped by her mother's partner. . . .
The News International: Huge crowds hold Madrid mass after new abortion law:
MADRID: Tens of thousands of Roman Catholics joined in an open-air mass in central Madrid on Sunday to celebrate the Holy Family, just days after the Spanish government agreed to tighten the abortion law.
As large crowds of believers packed the central Plaza de Colon square, many of them urged the government to go even further and implement an outright abortion ban without exceptions. . . .
Spain had only just liberalized its abortion laws in 2010.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
ThinkProgress: There Have Been So Many Attacks On Abortion In North Dakota, Some Women Assume It’s Now Illegal, by Tara Culp-Ressler:
This year, lawmakers in North Dakota approved the harshest abortion ban this country has seen since Roe v. Wade — cutting off access to legal abortion at just six weeks, before many women even realize they’re pregnant. And that’s not all. Lawmakers have also tried their best to shut down the last abortion clinic in the state, enacting sweeping new regulations that are specifically designed to force it out of business.
So far, both restrictive laws are being blocked from taking effect while legal challenges against them proceed. But the damage has already been done for many of the women who used to rely on their state’s only abortion facility, the Red River Women’s Clinic. The environment surrounding reproductive rights has become so hostile that many of them simply assume the procedure has been outlawed. . . .
Friday, December 13, 2013
On November 7-8, Washington and Lee Law School held a symposium, Roe at 40 - The Controversy Continues. Videos of the symposium panels and two keynote addresses -- one on each side of the issue -- are available here. I delivered the pro-choice keynote, and Michael Paulsen (University of St. Thomas Law School) delivered the pro-life keynote. Professor Paulsen argued that an embryo is a person from fertilization onward, and therefore that abortion is equivalent to murder. During the Q&A following the keynotes, I elaborated on the implications of Paulsen's position, using as illustrations cases from countries in which abortion is banned at all stages of pregnancy. Under these repressive laws, women are imprisoned and women die. El Salvador provides another such window into a world in which abortion is treated as murder. PBS reports on the consequences of El Salvador's abortion ban for women in that country. People who casually refer to abortion as "murder" need to be reminded of these women. Are they prepared to live with -- and to own up to -- these consequences?
PBS - Religion & Ethics Newsweekly: El Salvador Abortion Ban:
Strongly influenced by Catholic teachings, the country of El Salvador now forbids all abortions. Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from San Salvador on the consequences for many women when abortion is considered murder, regardless of the circumstances.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Miami Herald: Unsafe abortions: Haiti’s abortion crisis, by Jacqueline Charles:
. . .Abortion is illegal in Haiti but women and girls are losing their uteruses and their lives as they turn to clandestine, increasingly deadly ways to terminate their pregnancies. These unsafe abortions are leading to a public health crisis in a region with one of the world’s highest rates of unintended pregnancies, experts say. . . .
Saturday, November 23, 2013
MSNBC: Female voters defeated Albuquerque abortion ban, by Irin Carmon:
Earlier this week, voters in Albuquerque voted down a city-wide measure that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks, by a ten-point margin. According to voter data analyzed by ProgressNowNM, the pro-choice side has women to thank for it. . . .
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The New York Times: Albuquerque Voters Defeat Anti-Abortion Referendum, by Fernanda Santos:
Voters here on Tuesday defeated a ballot question that sought to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, delivering a critical setback to an anti-abortion movement that had sought to use this progressive city to recalibrate the national debate around women’s reproductive rights. . . .
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The Atlantic: Is This the End of One of the World's Harshest Abortion Laws, by Erica Hellerstein:
In July, a harrowing story dominated headlines in Chile: "Belen," an 11-year-old girl from the southern city of Puerto Montt, had been raped and impregnated by her mother's partner—and was not legally permitted to have an abortion. Belen vowed on television to have the baby. Chile's president praised her "depth and maturity." Outraged pro-abortion activists ransacked a cathedral in the capital, Santiago.
Now, four months later, the country is once again at a crossroads on abortion. On November 17, for the first time in history, Chileans will cast ballots in a presidential election where the top two candidates are women—not to mention childhood playmates with a turbulent past. And the outcome of the race could have major implications for reproductive rights in one of the few countries in the world where getting an abortion can still land you in jail. . . .
The American Prospect: 20-Week Abortion Bans: Coming to a City Near You?, by Amelia Thompson-Deveaux:
If you want to take a plunge into the roiling id of the anti-choice movement, go to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tomorrow, the half-million residents of the state's most populous city will vote on a ballot measure that would ban abortion after 20 weeks. . . .
If the ballot measure passes on Tuesday, it could go into effect as soon as early December. But it will almost certainly face a legal challenge. Caitlin Borgmann, a professor of law at the City University of New York, says there are a couple of tacks the measure’s opponents, who will likely be led by the ACLU of New Mexico, could take. In addition to arguing that the 20-week ban violates the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, they could contend that the restriction runs afoul of New Mexico’s Equal Rights Amendment. But, she adds, any court would be wading into unchartered waters. “It’s a clever new tactic,” Borgmann says. “It’s a sign that [anti-choice activists] have realized that they may be able to achieve locally what they can’t do statewide, particularly when you’re talking about something like later abortions when you have so few providers.”
TIME: Vote Lands Albuquerque at Center of Abortion Battle, by Grace Wyler:
National groups collide in New Mexico's largest city as residents weigh the first municipal ban of late-term abortions in the U.S.
Students leaving afternoon classes at the University of New Mexico last Thursday were greeted with a raucous spectacle: abortion protesters had flooded the campus, passing out flyers and occasionally yelling slurs from across the quad. . . .
This circus has become familiar in Albuquerque, where city residents will vote Tuesday on the nation’s first-ever municipal referendum to ban abortions after 20 weeks. The vote — which would effectively end late-term abortions in New Mexico — has turned this low-key, progressive city of a half million people into the latest flash point in the abortion culture wars. . . .
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
USA Today: Steady stream of abortion cases headed toward high court, by Richard Wolf:
A steady stream of abortion cases are heading toward the Supreme Court, making it only a matter of time before the justices are likely to consider a new wave of state restrictions. . . .
"It's a pivotal moment," says Caitlin Borgmann, a City University of New York law professor who writes a blog on reproductive rights. "The restrictions are now getting to a point where they're actually shutting down clinics." . . .