Saturday, November 30, 2013
The New York Times: Abortion Cases in Court Helped Tilt Democrats Against the Filibuster, by Jeremy W. Peters:
Within hours of each other, two federal appeals courts handed down separate decisions that affirmed sharp new limits on abortion and birth control. One on Oct. 31 forced abortion clinics across Texas to close. The other, on Nov. 1, compared contraception to “a grave moral wrong” and sided with businesses that refused to provide it in health care coverage.
“These are the kinds of decisions we are going to have to live with,” a blunt Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, warned his caucus later as it weighed whether to make historic changes to Senate rules. . . .
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Huffington Post: An Historic Push to Protect Reproductive Rights, by: Sen. Richard Blumenthal & Rep. Judy Chu
The antiabortion bill introduced just days ago in the Senate -- mirroring the House's 20 week restrictions -- is a nonsensical, unconstitutional nonstarter. But it is still dangerous -- more for what it reflects in the nation than its chances of passing. . . .
This assault on essential, constitutionally protected rights has gone on too long. We are introducing the Women's Health Protection Act of 2013 this week to end it, once and for all. . . .
Saturday, November 16, 2013
The New Republic: How Blue States Could Push Back For Abortion Rights, by Nora Caplan-Bricker:
Wednesday, a group of legislators introduced a different kind of abortion bill into the U.S. Senate. The Women’s Health Protection Act would outlaw all regulations on abortion that “are more burdensome than those restrictions imposed on medically comparable procedures, … do not significantly advance women’s health or the safety of abortion services, and … make abortion services more difficult to access.” In layman’s terms, it would make all of the nearly 200 laws impeding abortion rights that have been enacted at the state level since 2011 illegal. “Enough is enough,” said Representative Judy Chu at a press conference on Capitol Hill. “We’ve been playing defense far too long. It’s time to stop playing Whac-A-Mole in each state. We need to provide a national response in fighting this.” . . .
Slate: Finally!, by Dahlia Lithwick:
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The New Republic: Did Lindsey Graham Sponsor the Abortion Ban Because Marco Rubio Wouldn't?, by Nora Caplan-Bricker:
On Thursday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a bill that would outlaw abortion at 20 weeks, a companion to a measure that passed the House of Representatives this June and an echo of laws that have already passed in more than a dozen conservative states. Anti-abortion activists have been looking for a sponsor the legislation since it passed the lower chamber, and Graham has pro-life bona fides tracing back to his introduction of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in 1999. And though President Barack Obama has vowed to veto the bill if, by some fluke, it passes the Senate, its appearance in the capital still seems a natural way for the national party to channel the rabid vitality of its state-level cousins. Only one thing seems strange: Wasn’t this bill supposed to be Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s pet project? . . .
Sunday, November 3, 2013
The Hill: Graham readies 20-week abortion ban, by Mario Trujillo:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday he is proud to lead the charge in the Senate to ban abortions after 20 weeks of a pregnancy.
Graham is expected to introduce a bill this week. He dismissed the assertion he is leading the effort to shore up his conservative base ahead of the 2014 election. . . .
"When do you become you: At 20 weeks of a pregnancy?" Senator Graham asks. He then trots out the scientifically dubious claim that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks. "That is what a rational humane society would do — protect a child who can feel pain from an abortion," Graham declares. But for Graham there's a big "unless": "unless there is the life of the mother, rape or incest involved." The fetus that is the product or rape or incest can't feel pain? Or is less of a "child?"
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
The Hill - Healthwatch blog: Conservatives want more time to fight against birth control mandate, by Elise Viebeck:
Conservative House members expressed a desire Tuesday to fund the government only until Dec. 15 in order to force a fight over ObamaCare's birth control mandate.
Members of the House GOP discussed a proposal that would reopen the government through mid-December, just weeks before a provision of the mandate takes effect on Jan. 1 for religiously affiliated groups. . . .
The modified policy will allow the employees of religious institutions to obtain free birth control directly from their insurance company.
The institutions themselves will not have to "contract, arrange, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage," according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Critics say the policy still does not go far enough to protect groups that oppose contraception. . . .
Sunday, October 13, 2013
The Huffington Post: Ted Cruz Calls Birth Control 'Abortifacients', by Laura Bassett:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Friday repeated the misguided conservative talking point that the birth control coverage rule included in Obamacare forces employers to cover abortion-inducing pills.
Cruz told the crowd at the 2013 Values Voter Summit that the Obama administration is forcing Christian-owned businesses like Hobby Lobby to provide "abortifacients" or pay millions of dollars in fees. Hobby Lobby is one of several religious-owned businesses currently suing the administration over its requirement that most employers include contraception coverage in their health insurance plans. . . .
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." . . .
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Senate Appropriations Committee Votes to Expand Abortion Coverage for Women of D.C. and the Peace Corps
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2013
CONTACT: Meghan Groob, 202-417-7547, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON – The Senate Appropriations Committee voted today to expand abortion coverage by lifting two separate coverage bans for D.C. residents and Peace Corps volunteers. The State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill includes a provision to bring the same coverage for abortion care to Peace Corps volunteers and trainees as available in other areas of federal law. The committee also effectively voted to end the D.C. abortion ban – which prevents Washington, D.C., from using its own locally raised funds to pay for abortion care for low-income women – by excluding the ban from any of appropriations bills.
"As many of the states continue their march to outlaw abortion, it's encouraging to see the Senate vote to restore equity and fairness to two groups of women who have been unfairly targeted in the past," said Vania Leveille, American Civil Liberties Union senior legislative council. "With these votes, we are one step closer to the day when all women have access to the reproductive health care coverage they need, whatever their situation."
Under current policy, the Peace Corps is prohibited from providing abortion coverage for volunteers with no exceptions – unlike other federal abortion coverage restrictions, which have exceptions for when a woman's life is endangered, or if she is the survivor of rape or incest. The Peace Corps equity provision in the State and Foreign Operations bill would end the practice of singling out Peace Corps volunteers by ensuring abortion coverage in cases of life endangerment, rape, and incest. Earlier this year, the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) introduced the Peace Corps Equity Act, which puts forward the same equity provisions.
The D.C. abortion ban was reinstated in 2011 after being reversed in 2009. The ACLU has long sought an end to the ban, arguing that Congress should respect the District of Columbia's autonomy and allow it to use, like other states, its own local, non-federal revenue to provide abortion care to women enrolled in Medicaid.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Politico: CBO: Abortion Ban Would Raise Deficit, by Jake Sherman:
Nearly every single House Republican voted last week to increase government spending and push the nation further into debt — all to limit abortion access for some women.
The official budget scorekeeper of Congress says the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks, would increase Medicaid costs by as much as $400 million. . . .
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Rep. Carolyn Maloney Pushes for Federal Legislation to Regulate Advertisements of "Crisis Pregnancy Centers"
Metro US: Maloney, Quinn fight for truth in advertising for 'crisis pregnancy centers', by Danielle Tcholakian:
Recent support from Rep. Carolyn Maloney has invigorated New York City Council. Rep. Maloney is pushing Congress to pass a new federal bill, stating, "No woman deserves to be misled or lied to about legal medical family planning services." . . .
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The Daily Beast: The Uncertain Science of Fetal Pain, by Michelle Goldberg:
As the Republican-led House of Representatives passes a far-reaching bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks based on the science of ‘fetal pain,’ Michelle Goldberg reports on whether the unborn can feel hurt.
Despite being passed by the House of Representatives, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortion after 20 weeks, has no chance of becoming law as long as Democrats control the Senate and the White House. It’s significant, though, as evidence of a broad new legislative assault on Roe v. Wade, one that aims to use the uncertain science of fetal pain to ban abortion before viability. . . .
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The Atlantic: The Point Michael Burgess Was Trying to Make About Fetal Masturbation, by David A. Graham:
The Texas lawmaker's comments are really just another way to talk about the doggedly debated topic of whether fetuses feel pain.
Another week, another awkward remark about pregnancy from a Republican lawmaker.
Last week, it was Rep. Trent Franks' comments about the frequency of pregnancy from rape, the validity and meaning of which have been subject to a tediously hair-spliting debate. This week, it's Rep. Michael Burgess, a Texan, with this:
Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful. They stroke their face. If they're a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain? . . .
Time - Swampland blog: House Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban, by Kate Pickert:
In what some conservatives are calling the most important abortion measure to be considered by Congress since 2003’s partial birth abortion ban, the House today passed a bill that would make it illegal to terminate pregnancies after 20 weeks. The bill, which passed 228-196, is not expected to have an impact on federal abortion law. The Senate is unlikely to take up the bill and the White House has already threatened to veto such legislation if it ever lands on President Obama’s desk. . . .
The Washington Post - The House abortion bill likely won’t make it into law. But it still matters., by Juliet Eilperin:
The House bill that would ban abortions starting at 20 weeks, which passed Tuesday night 228 to 196, presents a clear challenge to federal law. But the White House has issued a veto threat, and the measure lacks the votes right now to pass the Senate.
Does it matter?
From a political standpoint, the answer is yes. . . .
Before passing the ban, GOP leaders added an exception for cases of rape, undermining all the moving rhetoric about "welcom[ing] young children who can feel pain into the human family." "Young children" who are the product of rape don't get welcomed into the human family?
CNN: House GOP leaders add rape exception to abortion bill, by Deirdre Walsh:
House Republican leaders are hoping to head off a repeat of last week's controversy over the issue of whether there should be an exception for cases of rape and incest in a GOP sponsored bill banning late term abortions by adding that exception before the House debates the measure on Tuesday. . . .
Thursday, June 13, 2013
ABC News - The Note blog: Pelosi Slaps Down Reporters Asking Questions on Abortion, by John Parkinson
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today bickered with a conservative reporter who asked her to explain the moral difference between live-birth murder and abortions executed during the final four months of pregnancy.
Pelosi began her news conference today by criticizing a Republican-sponsored bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks without exceptions for rape and incest. The bill, H.R. 1797, the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” passed out of the House Judiciary committee Wednesday behind GOP support. . . .
The New York Times: House Panel Advances Bill to Restrict Abortions, by Jeremy W. Peters:
The 20-to-12 vote by the House Judiciary Committee on the Republican-sponsored Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is the latest instance in which abortion opponents, emboldened by a series of victories in the states, have pursued a new legislative strategy that aims to focus public attention on the disputed theory that fetuses can feel pain. . . .
Monday, May 20, 2013
The Hill - Floor Action Blog: Dems look to crack down on anti-abortion 'crisis pregnancy centers', by Peter Kasperowicz:
Democrats in the House and Senate are looking to stop what they say are deceptive advertising practices by anti-abortion health clinics that imply they offer abortion services, but instead encourage birth and promote adoption.
The legislation is aimed at crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which are clinics often set up by a church or other anti-abortion groups. Democrats in Congress and other pro-abortion groups say these clinics are known to indicate they can perform abortions in order to attract pregnant women patients, and then try to convince them to carry their babies to term. . . .
The text of the bill is available here.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The Washington Post: Women’s health groups want Peace Corps volunteers to have insurance coverage for abortions, by Lisa Rein:
Yet women on the paid Peace Corps staff, along with other federal employees, federal prisoners, women on Medicaid and Native Americans, have long received insurance coverage for abortions in cases of rape or incest or if their health is in danger. In January, women in the military got the same access. . . .
Monday, April 15, 2013
ACLU (blog): Reproductive Rights and Yesterday's Budget Release, by Sarah Lipton-Lubet:
President Obama yesterday released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2014. Here are five things you should know about how it affects reproductive rights:
Home Rule for the District of Columbia
As he has each year of his presidency, President Obama removed the D.C. abortion ban from his budget proposal. That ban prohibits the District of Columbia from using its own locally raised funds to pay for abortion care for low-income D.C. residents. By contrast, all other states are permitted to use non-federal revenues to pay for abortion care if they so choose. . . .
Thursday, April 4, 2013
SCOTUSblog - SCOTUS for law students: SCOTUS for law students: Prostitution and Free Speech, by Stephen Wermiel:
Prostitution seems like an unlikely topic for a battle over freedom of speech, but that is precisely the focus of an important case to be argued in late April that tests the limits of the federal government’s ability to attach conditions to federal spending.
The case is Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc., to be argued on April 22.
The dispute involves a challenge by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to regulations implementing a federal law that provides funds to help combat the spread of HIV and AIDS throughout the world. . . .