May 23, 2013
Rebecca Cook on Brazilian Maternal Mortality CaseRebecca J. Cook (University of Toronto Faculty of Law) has published Human Rights and Maternal Health: Exploring the Effectiveness of the Alyne Decision. The article is available on readcube. Here is the abstract:
This article explores the effectiveness of the decision of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in the case of Alyne da Silva Pimentel Teixeira (deceased) v. Brazil, concerning a poor, Afro-Brazilian woman. This is the first decision of an international human rights treaty body to hold a state accountable for its failure to prevent an avoidable death in childbirth. Assessing the future effectiveness of this decision might be undertaken concretely by determining the degree of Brazil’s actual compliance with the Committee’s recommendations, and how this decision influences pending domestic litigation arising from the maternal death. Alternative approaches include: determining whether, over time, the decision leads to the elimination of discrimination against women of poor, minority racial status in the health sector, and if it narrows the wide gap between rates of maternal mortality of poor, Afro-Brazilian women and the country’s general female population. Determining the effectiveness of this decision will guide whether to pursue a more general strategy of judicializing maternal mortality.
April 24, 2013
Gosnell Case Highlights Differing Views Over the Effects of TRAP Laws
NPR: Philadelphia Case Exposes Deep Rift In Abortion Debate, by Julie Rovner:
This is the sixth week of the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the physician charged with five counts of murder in the deaths of a woman and infants at the Philadelphia abortion clinic he owned and operated.
The case and its grisly details have prompted considerable debate about a variety of issues, including whether the media has covered it sufficiently.
But it has also laid bare some of the very issues at the heart of the still-simmering debate over abortion 40 years after the Supreme Court made it legal. Most directly, it raises the question of whether increasing regulation on abortion clinics make places like Gosnell's clinic more or less likely to exist. . . .
Listen to the story here.
April 16, 2013
Roundup of Media Analysis of Gosnell Case, its Significance, and the Purported Media "Blackout"
Feministing: Quick Hit: Gosnell's clinic and the cost of dignity in health care, by Maya Dusenbery:
As we’ve already mentioned, the conservative claims of a liberal media “blackout” surrounding the trial of Kermit Gosnell are totally ridiculous. Feminist bloggers and journalists, including us, have been covering this terrible story from the beginning. Our own Lori wrote an article in the Grio two years ago on the racial segregation of Gosnell’s clinic and what this story says about safe abortion access for low-income women of color. . . .
The Atlantic: 14 Theories for Why Kermit Gosnell's Case Didn't Get More Media Attention, by Conor Friedersdorf
The New York Times - Public Editor's Journal: Politics Aside, the Gosnell Trial Deserves — and Is Getting — More Coverage, by Margaret Sullivan
Slate: Kermit Gosnell: The Alleged Mass-Murderer and the Bored Media, by David Weigel
The Atlantic: If More Funding Went to Safe, Legal Abortions, Would Kermit Gosnell Have Happened?, by Jeff Deeney
April 15, 2013
How Obama’s Proposed Budget Affects Reproductive Rights
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. . . .
April 09, 2013
Arizona Governor Refuses Anti-Abortion Provision in State Medicaid Program
azdailysun.com: Brewer omits anti-abortion provision in Medicaid plan, by Howard Fischer:
PHOENIX -- Saying the move would make no sense, Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday refused to insert an anti-abortion provision into her plan to expand the state's Medicaid program.
Brewer noted she signed legislation last year to preclude funds from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System from being used to pay for services provided by Planned Parenthood.
State and federal laws already preclude public funds from paying for elective abortions. But proponents said they feared that these family planning dollars would end up underwriting the organization's abortion costs. . . .
March 16, 2013
The Costs of the Catholic Church's Opposition to Contraception
MSNBC: The Catholic Church’s costly stance on contraception, by Meredith Clark:
The election of Pope Francis on Wednesday has reignited the discussion about the future of the Catholic Church and whether it will address the ever-growing gap between doctrine and modern society. The cost of its intransigence is not simply a moral one; the church’s anti-contraception stance has a major economic impact for its 1.2 billion members, both in the developing world and the U.S. . . .
March 07, 2013
International Women's Day: Women's Global Health Still at Risk
The Huffington Post: International Women's Day 2013: 7 Sadly Disturbing Truths About Women's Bodies (HOW YOU CAN HELP), by Eleanor Goldberg:
On International Women’s Day, we have a number of groundbreaking accomplishments to celebrate. This year alone, women in the U.S. won the right to serve on the front lines in combat and President Obama inched closer to pushing for equal pay for men and women.
Global health for women has also seen some major boons, too. The number of mothers who die during childbirth has been reduced by almost 50 percent and HIV drug prices have fallen by more than 99 percent since 2000.
But we’re not done fighting yet. . . .
NYC Stirs Controversy with Posters on Teen Pregnancy
The New York Times: Posters on Teenage Pregnancy Draw Fire, by Kate Taylor:
The curly-haired baby looks out from the poster with sad eyes and tears dripping down his tawny cheeks.
“I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen,” the text next to his head reads.
In another poster, a dark-skinned little girl casts her eyes to the sky and says, “Honestly Mom ... chances are he won’t stay with you. What happens to me?”
These images, part of a public education campaign targeting teenage pregnancy that the city unveiled this week, are drawing mounting criticism from reproductive health advocates, women who had children as teenagers, and others . . . .
The two ads described here, in addition to stigmatizing pregnant teens and reinforcing stereotypes, are disturbing in the way they target teen mothers through the fictional accusations of their own babies. Did the mayor's office forget that it takes two to create a pregnancy? Blaming "bad mothers" is a time-worn, punitive, and utterly unproductive way to try to address the social realities of poverty and sex and race discrimination. Read PPNYC's response to the ads here.
March 02, 2013
What Will the Sequester Mean for Reproductive Health and Access?
Center for American Progress: Cutting Title X Family Planning in the Sequester Hurts Women’s Reproductive Health, by Lindsay Rosenthal:
If the automatic across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester are allowed to take effect tomorrow, Title X—our nation’s family-planning program—could be cut by $15 million in fiscal year 2013.* The cut would be a significant blow to Title X, which has already been cut by more than $23 million over the past two fiscal years—limiting access to family-planning services and causing clinics to cut back on staff and hours.
For more than 40 years, Title X has served primarily low-income women, who rely heavily on community health centers for their reproductive health care. . . .
ThinkProgress: Five Ways The Sequester Will Harm Women, by Lindsay Rosenthal:
If sequestration is allowed to take effect as scheduled on March 1, $1.2 trillion will be automatically removed from the federal budget in across-the-board spending cuts that would potentially reverse our economic recovery. These cuts — which take money out of critical investments in education, public health services and research, disaster preparedness, and national security — would have devastating consequences in communities around the country and would harm all Americans in a number of ways.
Sequestration also institutes several cuts to key public investments that would disproportionately harm women. Low-income women and women of color will be hit hardest by the sequestration. Here are the top five ways in which the sequestration harms women . . . .
February 27, 2013
Teen Birth Rate Nearly One-Third Higher in Rural Areas of U.S.
The Hill - Healthwatch: Study: Teen birth rate highest in rural areas, by Elise Viebeck:
The teen birth rate in rural areas of the United States is nearly one-third greater than in other parts of the country, according to a new study.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found declining teen birth rates across the country have been slower to take effect in rural counties. . . .
February 20, 2013
Funding Cuts in Wisconsin Mean Closing of Planned Parenthood Clinics
Huffington Post - Politics Blog: Planned Parenthood Wisconsin Closes Four Clinics Due to State Funding Cuts, by Laura Bassett:
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced the closure of four family planning health centers on Monday as a result of the state legislature's elimination of funding to the health care provider.
The clinics in Beaver Dam, Johnson Creek, Chippewa Falls and Shawano, which serve approximately 2,000 patients, will close between April and July of this year. Planned Parenthood says that it is the only provider of reproductive health care in each of those four communities. . . .
February 20, 2013 in Abortion, Contraception, Poverty, Reproductive Health & Safety, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
February 19, 2013
Philadelphia Board of Health Urges Federal and State Funding for Abortion Services
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Phila. health board urges public abortion funds, by Marie McCullough:
The Philadelphia Board of Health announced Friday that it had adopted a resolution calling on federal and state elected officials to provide public funding for abortion services. The board also urged more support for family planning funds. . . .
February 01, 2013
Call for Submissions: Sarah Weddington Prize for Student Scholarship in Reproductive Rights
Law Students for Reproductive Justice and the Center for Reproductive Rights:
Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) and the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) invite submissions for the eighth annual Sarah Weddington Writing Prize for New Student Scholarship in Reproductive Rights.
The 1st place winning submission will have a presumption of publishability and will receive expedited review by New York University School of Law’s Review of Law and Social Change. Winning authors will also receive cash prizes: $750 (1st place), $500 (2nd place), or $250 (3rd place).
This year’s theme: “Economic (In)Justice of Reproductive Regulation”
LSRJ & CRR seek student scholarship exploring the economic justice implications of laws and regulations that affect reproductive health and rights in the U.S. Papers may explore a range of issues, such as: tensions between affirmative state obligations and individual rights; consequences of health insurance regulation and the needs of individuals seeking preventative and/or “elective” reproductive care (e.g. should reproductive technologies and contraception be covered, and if so, how?); the impact of state support for specific practices (e.g. breastfeeding, vaccinations, birthing options) on the ability of women and families to make decisions about their care; and the role of the state in health care regulation and funding (e.g. how will Medicaid expansion affect reproductive health access? Who is most benefitted and/or who is left out of the Affordable Care Act?). These ideas are examples of topics that would fit the theme; however, many more issues could be fruitfully explored through the lens of economic justice.
Papers should have a domestic focus, but may draw on international and comparative materials. Authors are asked to apply a reproductive justice lens and/or human rights framework to their analyses of the issues. We encourage writing that amplifies lesser heard voices, applies an intersectional approach to legal thinking, suggests innovative solutions, and/or takes into account the practical realities and the lived experiences of the people affected.
Papers must be at least 20 pages in length (not including footnotes), double-spaced in 12-point font with footnotes in 10-point font, conforming to Bluebook citation format. Only original scholarship by current law students or 2012 graduates will be accepted. Papers being considered for publication elsewhere are ineligible for the first place prize but will be considered for second and third place. Papers already contracted for publication as of March 2013 will not be accepted. Winners will be selected by an outside panel of legal and academic judges.
December 11, 2012
Dorothy Roberts on Punishment of Black Mothers through Prison and Foster Care Systems
Dorothy E. Roberts (University of Pennsylvania Law School) has posted Prison, Foster Care, and the Systemic Punishment of Black Mothers on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This article is part of a UCLA Law Review symposium, “Overpoliced and Underprotected: Women, Race, and Criminalization.” It analyzes how the U.S. prison and foster care systems work together to punish black mothers in a way that helps to preserve race, gender, and class inequalities in a neoliberal age. The intersection of these systems is only one example of many forms of overpolicing that overlap and converge in the lives of poor women of color. I examine the statistical overlap between the prison and foster care populations, the simultaneous explosion of both systems in recent decades, the injuries that each system inflicts on black communities, and the way in which their intersection in the lives of black mothers helps to make social inequities seem natural. I hope to elucidate how state mechanisms of surveillance and punishment function jointly to penalize the most marginalized women in our society while blaming them for their own disadvantaged positions.
November 16, 2012
Study Examines What Happens When Women Are Denied Abortionscare2 blog: Women Denied Abortion More Likely To End Up On Welfare, by Jessica Pieklo:
As abortion access has grown increasingly more restricted across the country a new report has, for the first time, quantified what happens when women who need abortions are denied them. The answers are grim.
Researchers from the University of San Francisco, California launched the Global Turnaway Study that documented the experiences of women who were seeking to terminate a pregnancy but were turned away from abortion services. The study found these women were three times more likely than women who successfully obtained abortions to fall below the poverty live within the next two years. Other take-aways from the study include the findings that 76 percent of those who were turned away already received some form of public assistance and 67 percent of those turned away were below the poverty line. . . .
November 01, 2012
Michele Bratcher Goodwin at the University of Utah: The New Reproductive Battlefront
Monday November 5, 12:15 p.m. MST
(2:15 p.m. EST, 11:15 a.m. PST)
Michele Bratcher Goodwin, the 47th Annual Leary Lecturer, is the Everett Fraser Professor in Law at the University of Minnesota. She holds joint appointments at the University of Minnesota Medical School and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
Women's reproduction dominates recent political platforms and debates. However, relatively little attention has focused on the criminal policing targeted at pregnant women across America. Since the late 1980s, state legislatures have enacted punitive feticide laws that ostensibly apply to a broad range of activities, including falling down steps, suffering drug addiction, refusing cesarean sections, and attempting suicide. Legislators and prosecutors from both political parties have decided that a very strong "stick" should be used against pregnant women. Indeed, despite the fact that early feticide laws were intended to protect women from third party harms to their pregnancies, such as domestic violence, because women are more likely to be the targets of domestic violence during their pregnancies, now fetal protection laws—in 38 states—lead to unreasonable arrests and senseless convictions of pregnant women. The scope of the problem is difficult to measure. Yet, what is clear from the legal cases and news reports is that most of the victims are poor and many are women of color. In this year’s Leary Lecture, Professor Goodwin examines the expanded use of criminal laws and civil commitments to shape new reproductive health norms. Watch Live Online >>.
Free and open to the public. No registration required. One hour CLE.
Call 801-585-3479 or visit law.utah.edu.
November 1, 2012 in Fetal Rights, Law School, Lectures and Workshops, Politics, Poverty, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Race & Reproduction, Scholarship and Research, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
October 24, 2012
A Voice Against Florida’s Amendment 6, Which Would Ban Publicly Funded Abortions
RH Reality Check – blog: "No on Anti-Choice Amendment 6:" The Right Move for Florida, by Samantha Daley:
As a young woman of Color residing in Florida, I’m very interested in and affected by the anti-choice antics in Tallahassee. When I heard about Amendment 6, I just had to tell the world about the next attack on reproductive rights. This attempt directly affects me as a young Black woman. I’m constantly facing stereotypes and attacks on my rights, and this I will not accept. I will not allow politicians to infringe upon my rights, and I will do everything in my power to keep politicians out of my doctor’s office! . . .
October 23, 2012
Federal District Judge Halts Arizona Law that Cuts Planned Parenthood's Medicaid Funding
Reuters: Judge blocks Arizona law that bars funding to Planned Parenthood, by Tim Gaynor:
(Reuters) - A federal judge blocked Arizona on Friday from applying a new law that bars Planned Parenthood clinics from receiving money through the state to provide medical care because the women's health organization also performs abortions. . . .
October 08, 2012
Filipinos Support Reproductive Health Bill Despite Powerful Catholic Church
NBCnews.com: Philippines takes on Catholic church to push birth control, sex education, by Karen Lema:
MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine President Benigno Aquino is squaring off against his country's powerful Catholic church in a bid to give people free access to the means to limit the size of their families.
The predominately Catholic country has one of Asia's fastest-growing populations together with significant levels of chronic poverty. While neighbors have accelerated towards prosperity, the Philippines has lagged.
Economists say high population growth is a primary factor for that, but the church disagrees. It says population growth is not a cause of poverty and that people need jobs, not contraception. . . .
October 8, 2012 in Abortion, Contraception, International, Poverty, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexuality Education | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
October 05, 2012
Abortion Stigma Affects Low-Income Women's Views on Hyde Amendment
RH Reality Check: Evidence-Based Advocacy: What Do Low-Income Women Think About Public Funding for Abortion?, by Steph Herold:
September 30th marks the anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, which prevents Medicaid coverage of abortion in most circumstances. When activists and advocates talk about Hyde, we discuss the injustice of health care denial, the importance of grassroots abortion funds, and the stories of people who’ve sacrificed rent, food, and monthly bills in order to pay for an abortion their insurance won’t cover. And rightly so—there’s no denying that the more we talk about the horrific ramifications of the Hyde Amendment and the more awareness we raise, the better. We know what we think about Hyde. But what do women who are on Medicaid, the very people who are most affected by Hyde, think about the restrictions it places on their insurance coverage? . . .