Sunday, December 1, 2013
Bloomberg Businessweek: The Vanishing Abortion Clinic, by Esmé E. Deprez:
Amy Hagstrom Miller fired 34 people in November. “It’s hard to look people in the eye and say they don’t have a job anymore, not because of anything they or we did incorrectly or because we weren’t caring for women in a fabulous way,” she says. “It’s illogical.” Miller, founder and chief executive officer of Whole Woman’s Health, based in Austin, had to stop or sharply curtail abortions at four of her six Texas clinics because a new state law requires doctors performing the procedure to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. To get an abortion, the mostly poor women who relied on Miller’s establishment in McAllen, on the state’s border with Mexico, will now have to drive 150 miles to Corpus Christi or to the local flea market, where illegal, do-it-yourself drugs start at $15 a pill. . . .
Saturday, November 30, 2013
The Daily Beast: The GOP’s Late-Term Abortion Strategy Is Backfiring, by Sally Kohn:
Right wing politicians who are push laws to restrict a woman’s access to later-term abortions presumably do so because they don’t want women having abortion after 20 weeks. But new research from medical school-based scholars finds that other policies that conservative Republicans are pushing, including restrictions on access to clinics as well as constrained access to health insurance, actually result in more women seeking later-term abortions. In other words, not only are Republicans hypocrites—but their hypocrisy is backfiring.
Diana Greene Foster and Katrina Kimport are professors in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences in the School of Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. Between 2008 and 2010, Foster and Kimport studied the cases of 272 women who had received an abortion at or after 20 weeks of gestation, as well as of 169 women who received first-trimester abortions. These women were interviewed just one week after their abortions and asked a variety of questions including what led to the delay in their medical care. The results are striking and profoundly important for those who seek to promote—or constrict—the rights of women to access and exercise their own reproductive freedom. . . .
Monday, November 25, 2013
The Wall Street Journal: Abortion Fight Hits Tennessee, by Cameron McWhirter:
The battleground over abortion is shifting to Tennessee, where campaigns are heating up on a referendum that is a year away.
The referendum, pushed by anti-abortion groups for years, would add an amendment to the state constitution stating, "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion." The amendment would apply to all abortions, including those stemming from "circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother." . . .
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. . . .
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Concurring Opinions: Why is Reproductive Technology a Battleground in the Abortion Debate?, by Richard Storrow (CUNY Law School):
Caitlin Borgmann has made the convincing argument that incrementalism in the anti-abortion movement developed from the failure of the movement’s initial post-Roe strategy to win the hearts and minds of the undecided. The strategy of equating abortion with murder and vilifying women who have abortions was far too strident to be persuasive and too off-putting to have emotional appeal. The strategy was eventually abandoned in favor of chipping away at Roe by degrees. Incrementalism takes the long view toward outlawing abortion in any form, but its progress, ironically, is asymptotic, tending toward prohibition without ever achieving it. This is because incrementalism’s objective is to render access to abortion illusory. Even if Roe remains in place, rendering abortion inaccessible will mean that it is legal in theory but not in practice. Although alternatives to incrementalism have appeared in recent years as certain factions within the movement have grown restive, incrementalism remains the primary strategy of the anti-abortion movement today.
The incrementalist strategy now includes arguments for limiting assisted reproduction by raising concerns about its use at all four stages of the cycle of human reproduction: pre-conception, pre-implantation, post-implantation, and even post-birth. Although seemingly an odd direction for the anti-abortion movement to take, it should not come as a complete surprise; after all, the moral status of the embryo has played a major role in the development of the legal regimes that regulate assisted reproduction in other countries, particularly those with strong commitments to Roman Catholicism. . . .
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
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
20-Week Abortion Ban May Be Languishing in U.S. Senate, but Anti-Choice Advocates Pursue Same Measure Locally Via Albuquerque Ballot Initiative
The Washington Post: Albuquerque’s considering the abortion ban languishing in the Senate, by Niraj Chokshi:
In a week and a day, voters in Albuquerque, N.M., may succeed where Congress is stalled: They could ban abortions at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Last week, a measure to ban the practice was introduced in the Senate after a similar bill passed the House in June. But even the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), doesn’t expect it to garner enough votes to pass. Its fate may be at best uncertain and at worst doomed federally, but voters in Albuquerque will have a chance to weigh in on what could be the nation’s first such ban at the city level next Tuesday. And proponents see it as part of a new strategy that involves pushing abortion restrictions at the local — rather than state or federal — level. . . .
Sunday, November 10, 2013
RH Reality Check: Anatomy of the War on Women: How the Koch Brothers Are Funding the Anti-Choice Agenda, by Adele M. Stan:
In the dog days of summer, the “war on women” erupted into a full-fledged conflagration, as heated battles to roll back reproductive rights in the U.S. Congress and in state legislatures across the nation were met with protests from women’s rights groups and grassroots uprisings. While the religious right had, over the years, used its influence to restrict access to abortion and contraception and push for feticide and personhood laws, nothing quite like the anti-choice legislative frenzy seen this past summer had taken place before the Koch brothers entered the war, bringing reinforcements from their legion of wealthy associates. . . .
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
The Los Angeles Times: High court's refusal to hear Oklahoma appeal is blow to abortion foes, by David Savage & Molly Hennessy-Fiske:
Though abortion rights groups praise the decision, the justices could hear at least two other key cases from Texas and Arizona.
The legal push in some Republican-controlled states to restrict abortion rights suffered a setback Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Oklahoma's appeal seeking to reinstate a law that effectively banned the use of abortion-inducing drugs.
The court's decision delivered a surprise victory for abortion rights groups and was seen as a sign that while conservative justices may be open to giving states new powers to restrict abortion, they are not ready to impose sweeping new limits that would significantly interfere with women's constitutionally protected rights. . . .
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Salon: The Right's War on Pregnant Women, by Katie McDonough:
It is no secret that this has been a banner year for laws attempting to recriminalize abortion. During the first six months of 2013, states adopted 43 provisions to ban abortion, impose medically unnecessary restrictions on providers or otherwise regulate the procedure into nonexistence.
But framing the current assault on reproductive rights exclusively in terms of abortion rights erases another, equally dangerous reality faced by women who intend to carry their pregnancies to term: laws that establish personhood for fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses aren’t just a threat to women’s access to abortion — they are also being used to criminalize and incarcerate pregnant women. . . . .
Saturday, November 2, 2013
MSNBC: 'I'm showing my son mercy', by Irin Carmon:
. . . Oklahomans brag that theirs has become the reddest state. Republicans hold super majorities in both chambers and every single seat in the U.S. Congress. Republican Mary Fallin is governor. Every single Oklahoma county rejected Barack Obama–twice. The changed political landscape allowed Oklahoma to become a staging ground for the anti-choice movement’s strategy to undermine Roe v. Wade, one seemingly narrow restriction at a time.
“We are the guinea pigs,” said Ryan Kiesel, a former state lawmaker who is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma. . . .
Friday, November 1, 2013
Feministing: Quick hit: Anti-choicers split on Medicaid expansion, by Veronica Bayetti Flores:
Anti-choice organizations seem to be split on their support of the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, which expands access to health care for the poorest Americans. Putting aside that abortion care actually is health care (despite the highly unjust restriction on federal funding of abortion care), it seems that the more extreme anti-choice organizations in particular are not very excited about expanding general access to health care for the poor. . . .
Thursday, October 24, 2013
The Huffington Post: Stealth Attack: What You Need to Know About the New Abortion Laws, by Alicia Gay:
The ACLU has enlisted the help of comic artist Jen Sorensen to help illustrate (literally) the coordinated, national efforts that anti-abortion groups are waging across the country to outlaw women's health clinics and block access to abortion care. Jen uses sharp wit and humor to reveal the tactics our opponents are using to undermine our private and personal decisions.
Ultimately these attacks are no laughing matter. During the 2013 state legislative session over 300 anti-abortion restrictions were introduced. From motorcycle vaginas to claims that"women don't get pregnant that often from rape," we have seen some politicians and their political allies go to ridiculous lengths to push through anti-choice measures. These politicians MUST think we are stupid if they think we want politicians playing doctor.
Read and share the comic. Then stand with us to fight back! . . .
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
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. . . .
A Sedgwick County judge said Tuesday he will decide in five to 10 days whether to dismiss a protection from stalking order against a Wichita pastor accused of harassing the director of a Wichita clinic that provides abortions. . . .
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
The Nation: Mexico's Abortion Wars, American-Style, by Kathryn Smith:
After Mexico City liberalized its abortion law, a fierce backlash followed. Is its striking resemblance to the US “pro-life” movement a coincidence?
When Mexico City’s law changed in 2007, allowing elective abortions in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, it was a substantial victory for reproductive rights advocates in a country, and a region, where the Catholic Church dominates daily life. Across Latin America, access to legal abortion is a rarity, and in 2007, all eyes turned to Mexico City to see how the experiment would play out—and whether it could be replicated. . . .
After decriminalization, however, a fierce backlash unfurled across Mexico. . . .
The New York Times: Albuquerque Becomes Latest Focal Point in Abortion Wars, by Erik Eckholm:
. . . Albuquerque has become the latest flash point in the abortion wars, with Operation Rescue, the militant group based in Kansas, calling it the “late-term abortion capital of the country.” This is because a private clinic, Southwestern Women’s Options, is one of only a few nationwide that offers abortions after the sixth month of pregnancy. . . .
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
New Republic: Pro-Lifers Aren't Even Trying to Make Abortion Restrictions Sound Nice Anymore, by Molly Redden:
The year 2011 was “The Year of Abortion Restrictions,” when states enacted more new laws narrowing abortion rights than in any other year since Roe v. Wade. Part of this was the record number of statehouses captured by conservatives in the midterms. But in hindsight another reason for abortion foes’ success is clear: On their surface, many of them hardly seemed like abortion restrictions at all. . . .
The era of warm and fuzzy-sounding abortion laws, though, may be behind us. . . .
The Huffington Post: Anti-Abortion Laws Take Dramatic Toll on Clinics Nationwide, by Laura Bassett:
More than 50 abortion clinics across the country have closed or stopped offering the procedure since a heavy wave of legislative attacks on providers began in 2010, according to The Huffington Post's nationwide survey of state health departments, abortion clinics and local abortion-focused advocacy groups.
At least 54 abortion providers across 27 states have shut down or ended their abortion services in the past three years, and several more clinics are only still open because judges have temporarily blocked legislation that would make it difficult for them to continue to operate. . . .