Reproductive Rights Prof Blog

Editor: Caitlin E. Borgmann
CUNY School of Law

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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)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

In Texas, Abortion Clinics Close But Anti-Choice "Pregnancy Medical Clinics" Thrive

Aljazeera America: Anti-Abortion Pregancy Clinics Thrive in Texas as Real Clinics Close, by Carolyn Jones:

Betsy Garcia hovers nervously outside an abortion clinic in McAllen, Texas. After accepting a pamphlet from someone on the street, she goes to a different building where a woman in a white coat greets her with warmth. The woman offers to show Betsy a graphic video about abortion, then the two pray in front of a crucifix before the teen exposes her belly for an ultrasound. "God is going to bless you in a tremendous way with this child," says the woman as she presses a rosary into the girl's hands. The final scene shows a radiant Betsy dandling her 6-month-old daughter on her lap. . . .

January 2, 2014 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Grand Jury Clears Texas Abortion Provider

The New York Times: Texas: Grand Jury Clears Abortion Provider, by Erik Eckholm:

A grand jury in Harris County found no evidence of criminal behavior by a Houston doctor who performs late-term abortions and was accused by anti-abortion groups of killing live-born babies. . . .

December 26, 2013 in Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Americans United for Life Promotes Private Lawsuits Against Abortion Clinics to Enforce Anti-Choice Laws

Feministing: The Latest Anti-Choice Trick: Letting "Ordinary Americans" Sue Clinics to Enforce Abortion Restrictions, by Maya Dusenbery:

Americans United for Life is the ALEC of the anti-choice movement.

Every year, the DC-based group releases a handbook filled with model legislation that abortion foes in state legislatures across the country can use to draft their own bills. It’s no coincidence that so many of the hundreds of anti-choice state laws passed in recent years–from ultrasound bills to telemedicine abortion bans–have been so similar. Often they were inspired by AUL’s models–sometimes even copied verbatim. In 2011, for example, AUL could take credit for 24 of the 92 anti-abortion restrictions passed in the states. . . . .

December 24, 2013 in Anti-Choice Movement, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Anti-Choice Advocates Refuse to Join Global Celebration of Mandela's Life

The Washington Post: As the world mourns Nelson Mandela, abortion foes protest, by David Gibson:

As world leaders and ordinary citizens gathered in a South African sports stadium on Tuesday (Dec. 10) to remember Nelson Mandela, abortion foes pushed a message that went against the global outpouring of praise: The anti-apartheid leader, they argued, backed a sweeping abortion rights law that negates any good he achieved. . . .

Abortion opponents began blogging and tweeting their objections, often in blistering tones, almost as soon as Mandela died on Dec. 5. . . . But the anti-abortion objections grew when Catholic leaders joined in the chorus of praise for Mandela. Pope Francis lauded Mandela for “promoting the human dignity of all the nation’s citizens and for forging a new South Africa built on the firm foundations of non-violence, reconciliation and truth.” . . .

December 10, 2013 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

TRAP Laws Prompt Abortion Clinic Closures

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. . . .

December 1, 2013 in Anti-Choice Movement, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

GOP's Own Policies Lead to the Later Abortions It Laments

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. . . .

November 30, 2013 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tennessee Prepares for 2014 Referendum on Abortion

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." . . .

November 25, 2013 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Female Voters Made the Difference in Defeat of Albuquerque 20-Week Abortion Ban

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. . . .

November 23, 2013 in Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Public Opinion, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Richard Storrow on Anti-Abortion-Rights Incrementalism and Assisted Reproductive Technology

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. . . .

November 21, 2013 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Assisted Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Albuquerque Voting on 20-Week Abortion Ban Today

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. . . .

November 19, 2013 in Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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. . . .

November 13, 2013 in Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)