Reproductive Rights Prof Blog

Editor: Caitlin E. Borgmann
CUNY School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Anti-Choice Advocates Track License Plates of Cars Parked at Clinics

Houston Chronicle: Anti-abortion activists adopt a new tactic: tracking license plates, by Brian M. Rosenthal:

Advocates say tactic is legitimate; critics contend that it is intimidation

On nearly every weekday morning between late 2010 and this spring, Eileen Romano stood outside a Beaumont abortion clinic to do what she could to fight a procedure she saw as morally wrong.

Unlike traditional so-called sidewalk advocates, however, Romano did not simply try to talk the arriving women out of having their abortions. She also sought to get the clinic closed with a tactic that is becoming increasingly common in the Texas anti-abortion community: tracking license plates.

Romano wrote down the numbers on the cars that parked outside the facility, checking to ensure the plates showed up twice - for a pre-abortion consultation required by state law and the procedure itself. If a car only came once, she said, it was a sign the doctor had done the abortion without a consultation, and the 63-year-old activist made a note to potentially report to state regulators. . . .

________________________________

I don't think the tactic of tracking license plate numbers can accurately be described as "new," but this purported rationale sounds ridiculously far-fetched: What if the driver was not there to obtain an abortion?  What if a patient came to the clinic a different way the second time?

-CEB

August 14, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Anti-Choice Movement's Tactics Don't Include Persuading Women

The Guardian: Welcome to the beginning of the end of the anti-abortion movement, by Jessica Valenti:

Trying to block women’s access to abortion is a last-resort option for a stuck movement – and a weak spot that pro-choicers should hammer on

The anti-choice movement has worked hard to convince people that it cares about women and what they want. Its (public) rhetoric went from calling women murderers to telling them they “deserve better” than abortion. The movement swears its protestors are kindly grandmothers, not terrifying bullies. It has even started calling itself a group full of feminists!

But no amount of re-branding can hide the true goal of the anti-choicers: forcing women to carry pregnancies they don’t want, by any means. And the truth is that trying to forcibly stop women from getting abortions is a last-resort option for a stuck movement. . . .

August 7, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New York City Restriction on Abortion Protest, Mentioned by Supreme Court, Appears Largely Ineffective

The New York Times: New York’s Abortion Protest Law Is Praised by Justices, but Few Others, by Benjamin Mueller:

A crowd of abortion opponents converged on Zena Khan outside of the Choices Women’s Medical Center in Jamaica, Queens, on a recent Saturday. As a blurred mustard sun broke through the morning haze, Ms. Khan sped past posters depicting dismembered fetuses, flip cameras trained on her face and protesters demanding that she get back in her car and leave. . . .

“Should I call the cops?” she asked the escorts, her hands flying like agitated birds around her head. “I’m not even pregnant.” . . .

To the unfamiliar observer, the scene, repeated almost every Saturday morning at Choices and other clinics that perform abortions in New York City, would appear to be nothing so much as unbridled chaos. But it is also seen as one model for how abortion protests in the United States should be managed. . . .

July 30, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mass. Governor Patrick Signs New Law Addressing Anti-Abortion Protest

The Washington Post/Reuters: Governor signs new law on abortion protests:

Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick (D) on Wednesday signed into law a measure allowing police to order anti-abortion protesters away from clinic entrances if their presence impedes public access.

The measure comes a month after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 2007 Massachusetts law prohibiting protests within 35 feet of the entrances of reproductive health facilities, a measure that the top court found violated the right to freedom of speech. . . .

July 30, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Concurring Opinions Offers a Round-Up of Comments on McCullen

Concurring Opinions: Nine Comments on McCullen, the Abortion Buffer Zone Case, by Ronald K.L. Collins:

I thought it might be interesting to share excerpts from some of the commentary on McCullen v. Coakley. Here are 9 views on the case. . . .

June 30, 2014 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Gail Collins on Embryonic Personhood

The New York Times - opinion column: The Eggs and Us, by Gail Collins:

The Abortion Wars Rage On

Let’s talk personhood, people.

Personhood is an anti-abortion movement that holds that life begins at conception, giving fertilized eggs all the rights of a human being. It might make it impossible to kidnap them for in-vitro fertilization. It could outlaw some forms of contraception.

Senator Rand Paul claims every fertilized egg is protected by the 14th Amendment. Many current Senate candidates are personhood supporters, including Cory Gardner, who is running a very close race in Colorado against Mark Udall.

No! Wait! Wait! Cory Gardner just changed his mind. Obviously, this is going to take a little unraveling. Give me a minute. . . .

June 28, 2014 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Contraception, In the Media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Anti-Choice Activists Plan 2015 Legislative Agenda for Already Beleaguered Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch: Abortion Battles May Increase in Ohio, by Kristen Mitchell:

Anti-abortion-rights activists in Ohio are working on a legislative agenda for 2015 that could continue to chip away at access to abortion.

Already this year, one clinic is in danger of closing because of a provision in last year’s budget and three others face the same outcome. In addition, legislation regulating how abortions are paid for has been introduced. . . .

June 23, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ohio Exemplifies Incremental Strategy to Ban Abortion

ThinkProgress:  Want To Understand Why Abortion Clinics Are Disappearing? Look No Further Than Ohio, by Tara Culp-Ressler:

This week, Ohio moved closer to shutting down the last abortion clinic in Toledo, the latest installment in a yearlong battle over a harsh new law that’s threatening clinics across the state. If state officials are eventually successful in what anti-choice activists refer to as an “incremental strategy” to end women’s access to legal abortion, the women who live in the northwestern area of Ohio will quickly run out of options. . . .

June 17, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Wisconsin Department of Justice to Pay Anti-Choice Advocate Thousands for Work as "Expert Consultant" in Trial over Admitting-Privileges Law

The Daily Page: Pro-life advocate Vincent Rue assists state in Wisconsin abortion law defense, by Judith Davidoff:

State Department of Justice lawyers were in court last week defending a 2013 Wisconsin law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic. During the four-day bench trial before U.S. Circuit Judge William Conley, one name came up during the cross-examination of each expert witness for the state: Vincent Rue. . . .

June 9, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Marco Rubio Responds to Criticism Over Ill-Advised Climate Change Comments by Dubiously Claiming Scientific High Ground on Abortion

ThinkProgress: Marco Rubio’s scientific blunder on abortion, by Tara Culp-Ressler:

Rubio_MarcoSen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has recently come under fire for failing to name a single source to justify his assertion that “there’s no scientific evidence” to prove humans are contributing to climate change, is defending his comments by claiming that at least he knows the science about abortion.

In an interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday, the senator said that liberals who criticize him for ignoring climate science are revealing their “hypocrisy” because they ignore the science supporting the idea that life begins at conception. Rubio claimed this concept is a “proven fact” that people on the left are ignoring. . . .

If Rubio is trying to use abortion politics to prove that he and his Republican colleagues have a clear grasp of science, though, he waded into the wrong issue area. . . . 

___________________________________________

I've written about the anti-choice movement's deliberate exploitation of the ambiguity of the term "life" here.

-CEB

May 15, 2014 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Politics, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

U.S. Anti-Choice Movement Provides Inspiration and Support to Activists in Europe

Many Europeans shake their heads in bemusement over anti-choice activists' fervent opposition to abortion by in this country.  But they may not be shaking their heads for much longer . . . .

Politico: U.S. anti-abortion groups inspire movement in Europe, by Sarah Wheaton:

U.S. abortion opponents are giving new life to the movement abroad, where once-stagnant European allies are pushing changes that could affect the whole continent.

A younger generation of anti-abortion activists has turned to the United States for legal advice, strategic training and transatlantic inspiration. They credit a distinctly American approach with forcing abortion, long a deeply private issue in Europe, into the public conversation. And for the Americans who travel overseas to assist, strengthening their cause internationally also strengthens their position at home. . . .

May 3, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 10, 2014

MSNBC Profiles Radical Anti-Choice Group, Abolish Human Abortion

MSNBC:  Meet the rebels of the anti-abortion movement, by Irin Carmon:

For the mainstream movement to ban abortion, graphic photos and aggressive language have generally gone out of style. The winning slogans, the ones Republican politicians prefer, are warmer, fuzzier: Thumbsucking ultrasound photos, or “women’s health” used as a pretext to shut down safe abortion clinics, including three in Texas this month alone. The losing slogans involve Akin-like “legitimate rape” and comparing Planned Parenthood to the Klan.

Abolish Human Abortion (AHA) begs to differ. Founded out of Norman, Oklahoma, and with chapters nationwide, AHA activists wear t-shirts emblazoned with “End Child Sacrifice” and proudly display photos of bloodied, fully developed fetuses. They protest outside churches – yes, churches – accusing them of not doing enough to end abortion, and talk scornfully of “pro-lifers” who make peace with rape exceptions to abortion bans. . . .

Watch here.

March 10, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, In the Media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

NPR Examines What's Behind the Push to Enact a Near-Total Abortion Ban in Spain

NPR - Parallels blog: Anti-Abortion Push Has Spain Debating Definition Of 'Progress,' by Lauren Frayer:

. . . The Spanish government is on its way to creating one of the toughest abortion laws in Europe — a near-total ban, except in cases of rape or grave risk to the mother's health. Serious birth defects will no longer be grounds for terminating a pregnancy.

In Europe, only the tiny island nation of Malta has a complete ban on abortion. . . .

Listen to the story here.

March 2, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Alabama Lawmaker Defends Her Anti-Choice Efforts with Comparison to Civil Rights Movement

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. . . .

February 27, 2014 in Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rolling Stone Debunks Myths About Abortion

Rolling Stone: The Seven Most Common Lies About Abortion, by Lauren Rankin:

Debunking anti-choice misinformation about women's health

Chances are, you know someone who has had an abortion. Statistically, it's a near-certainty: In the U.S., one in three women will have an abortion by the age of 45. But despite how incredibly common abortion is, it remains mired in stigma and misinformation. Much of what we may think we know about this subject is actually outright lies told by abortion opponents to dissuade women out of seeking safe and legal abortion care. . . .

February 27, 2014 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ignoring Public Sentiment, Anti-Choice Activists Attempt to Make Abortion "An Animating Issue" for GOP in 2014

TIME: Battles Over Abortion Flare in 2014, by Grace Wyler:

With campaign season on the horizon, reproductive health laws are defining the politics of state capitals and campaigns

As Republicans return to the campaign trail again after a disappointing 2012 election cycle, pro-life activists say they are emboldened and are looking to turn abortion into an animating issue for the Republican Party in 2014.

Their enthusiasm, coming as some in the party have cautioned a turn away from divisive social issues, is rising after a string of gains at the state-level last year. . . .

February 7, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Anti-Choice Groups Boycott Thin Mints

ABCnews: Anti-Abortion Groups Don't Want You to Buy Thin Mints, by M.L. Johnson:

Anti-abortion groups angry over what they see as the Girl Scouts' support for abortion-rights advocates, including Democratic Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, have launched a cookie boycott.

The groups have taken issue with tweets and Facebook postings that link to articles recognizing Davis, who shot to political stardom last year with a filibuster of abortion limits, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, another Democrat who supports abortion rights. . . .

February 6, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, Culture | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kansas Supreme Court Justices Pose Sharp Questions to Defense Lawyer Representing Dr. Tiller's Murderer

The Guardian: Kansas supreme court questions appeal of man who killed abortion provider:

Justices interrogated attorney over argument that Scott Roeder believed he saved lives by shooting Dr George Tiller

Justices on Kansas' highest court expressed skepticism Wednesday that a man convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting of a Wichita abortion provider should get a new trial because he believed he was saving the lives of unborn children.

All seven supreme court justices had pointed questions for the attorney representing Scott Roeder, who is serving at least 50 years in prison for killing Dr George Tiller in May 2009. Roeder gunned down Tiller in the foyer of the doctor's church, where he was serving as an usher just as a Sunday service was starting. . . .

January 29, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Second Circuit Upholds Part of NYC Law Regulating "Crisis Pregnancy Centers"

RH Reality Check: Federal Appeals Court Reinstates Portion of NYC Law Regulating Crisis Pregnancy Centers, by Jessica Mason Pieklo:

Reproductive rights advocates scored an important victory Friday, when afederal appeals court reinstated key components of a New York City law regulating crisis pregnancy centers.

A three-judge panel from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reinstated the portion of the 2011 law that requires crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to disclose whether or not a licensed medical provider works at the facility. . . .

January 20, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

More on Legislative and Litigation Outlook for Abortion in 2014

Politico: Shifting strategies for state abortion battles in 2014, by Natalie Villacorta:

Conservative states that ran into legal trouble passing some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation last year have shifted their approach for 2014: smaller instead of sweeping.

Rather than bans that directly challenge Roe v. Wade, many states are again going for more incremental measures that address the physical space requirements of clinics, physicians’ qualifications and the use of certain procedures. The move is hardly a retreat, abortion opponents say, but rather a strategic decision that they expect could be nearly as effective in less time. . . .

Texas may continue to be a key test case in 2014. About a dozen clinics have shut since a law took effect there in October requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. . . .

The 5th Circuit heard the case Monday, and it’s likely to uphold the statute, said law professor Caitlin Borgmann of City University of New York. Borgmann, who has worked extensively on reproductive rights, expects the case ultimately to go before the Supreme Court. . . .

January 7, 2014 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)