May 06, 2013
Large Majority of Women Favor Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill
Reuters (Health): Most women back over-the-counter birth control pill, by Genevra Pittman:
Close to two-thirds of women favor making contraceptive pills available over the counter, according to a new nationally-representative survey.
In addition, about 30 percent of women using either no birth control or a less effective method - such as condoms - said they would likely take the Pill if it was sold without a prescription, researchers found. . . .
April 12, 2013
Why Is Trend on Abortion Regulation Counter to That of Gay Rights and Marijuana Use?
The Washington Post - The Fix blog: If gay marriage and pot are now OK, why isn’t abortion?, by Juliet Eilperin & Scott Clement:
As abortion opponents are scoring a string of victories in the states, it raises a question: why are conservatives gaining ground in this one arena, even if they’re losing in the battle over gay marriage and marijuana?
A few factors help explain this contradiction. . . .
March 26, 2013
Opposition to Abortion and Marriage Equality No Longer Go Hand in Hand
The Washington Post - WonkBlog: States are cracking down on abortion—and legalizing gay marriage. What gives?, by Sarah Kliff:
Tuesday marked for a watershed day for gay rights activists as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on a case with the potential to legalize same-sex marriage across the country.
Across the country and 1,500 miles west of Washington, an equally notable event took place: North Dakota enacted the country’s most restrictive abortion law, barring all procedures after six weeks.
For decades, support (or opposition) for gay marriage and abortion went hand in hand. They were the line-in-the-sand “values” issues that sharply divided the political parties.
Not anymore. . . .
February 11, 2013
Anti-Abortion Sentiment Declines in BritainThe Guardian: Anti-abortion feelings declining – poll, by Ben Quinn:
Survey finds that percentage of population wanting ban on abortion has fallen from 12% in 2005 to 7% today
Anti-abortion sentiment in Britain is declining, according to a YouGov poll which also found that support for keeping or even relaxing the current 24-week limit on terminations is on the rise. . . .
January 24, 2013
Should the Abortion Rights Movement Drop the "Pro-Choice" Label?
The Atlantic: The End of Pro-Choice: Will 'No Labels' Really Help the Abortion Debate, by Lily Rothman:
If someone told you that the director of the Washington office of Planned Parenthood had said that politicians should vote to keep abortion safe and legal, the news would not be particularly surprising. But if you heard that the same woman had referred to that brand of lawmaking as "pro-abortion," the shock factor might change. The phrase "pro-abortion" is taboo. But, in March 1975, when that Planned Parenthood higher-up, Jeannie I. Rosoff, spoke to the Wall Street Journal, her wording would not have seemed so odd—the alternative to "pro-abortion" was not in common usage yet. In fact, elsewhere that WSJ article, an edition of Alan L. Otten's "Politics & People" column, was the very first print appearance of the phrase "pro-choice". . . .
Roe v. Wade 40th Anniversary Round-Up
Adapted from Feministing: Daily Feminist Cheat Sheet: 40 years of "Roe v. Wade" Edition, by Alexandra Zbrodsky (more links provided at Feministing):
Center for Reproductive Rights (video): Happy 40th anniversary, Roe!
Another poll shows seven out of ten Americans oppose overturning Roe.
The Economist: Abortion law: Roe turns 40
Ezekiel Reis Burgin on why abortion rights are critical to him as a trans man.
Jill Filipovic on the broader implications of Roe.
Naomi Cahn and June Carbone ask: Did the pro-life movement lead to more single moms?
Let's not forget about those who risk their lives for women's autonomy.
The Nation reprints a 1973 editorial about Roe.
A New York Times op-ed reminds us of the lengths to which women will go to end untenable pregnancies.
January 18, 2013
Maya Manian on Personhood Legislation
Maya Manian (University of San Francisco School of Law) has posted Personhood Legislation, Abortion Regulation, and Side Effects on Women's Health on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
State personhood laws pose a puzzle. These laws would establish fertilized eggs as persons and, by doing so, would ban all abortions. Many states have consistently supported laws restricting abortion care. Yet, thus far no personhood laws have passed. Why? This Article offers a possible explanation. I suggest that voters’ recognition of the implications of personhood legislation for health issues other than abortion has led to personhood’s defeat. In other words, opponents of personhood proposals appear to have successfully reconnected abortion to pregnancy care, contraception, fertility, and women’s health in general. Public concern over the “side effects” of personhood laws seems to have persuaded even those opposed to abortion to reject personhood legislation. If this is so, personhood opponents may have struck on a strategy that could apply more broadly. As this Article explains, various anti-abortion regulations — not just personhood laws — have deleterious “side effects” on women’s health. Focusing the public’s attention on these spillover effects could create stronger support for access to abortion care and thereby better promote women’s health across the full spectrum of women’s healthcare needs.
January 17, 2013
Roe at 40: Still Controversial, Or Not That Important?
It depends on whom you ask:
The New Yorker: Political Scene: Abortion Rights Forty Years After Roe v. Wade (podcast featuring Jeffrey Toobin):
Forty years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade—the anniversary is on January 22nd—the debate over the case, and abortion, hasn’t cooled off. If anything, it has only become more controversial. . . .
Slate: Most Americans No Longer Think the Abortion Debate is All That Important, by Abby Ohlheiser:
Here's the main takeaway from a new Pew study on abortion: Most Americans have more important things to care about than the abortion debate. That being said, a majority are against overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that turns 40 this month. . . .
The Washington Post: 40 years after Roe v. Wade, abortion foes are winning -- and losing, by David Gibson:
Four decades after Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, many opponents of the decision are in a celebratory mood while those backing abortion rights are glum, feeling that momentum is turning decisively against them.
Yet in reality, little has changed in the fiercest and most protracted battle of the nation’s bitter culture war. . . .
Majority of Americans Oppose Overturning Roe v. Wade
Reuters: As "Roe v. Wade" turns 40, most oppose reversing abortion ruling, by Mary Wisniewski:
Most Americans remain opposed to overturning the controversial Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which 40 years ago legalized abortion at least in the first three months of pregnancy, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The poll by the Pew Research Center found that 63 percent of Americans believe that Roe v. Wade should not be completely overturned, compared to 29 percent who believe it should be. . . .
The Pew report is available here.
December 02, 2012
Vast Majority of Irish Support Abortion Law Reform
Irish Central: Over 85 percent of Irish people support limited abortion, by Patrick Counihan:
The vast majority of Irish people support a change to abortion legislation in the wake of the death of Indian mum-to-be Savita Halappanavar.
A new opinion poll for the Sunday Business Post newspaper shows that eight out every 10 people support legislation based on the 20-year-old X Case ruling on abortion by the Supreme Court. . . .
November 27, 2012
Virginia State GOP Leaders Poised To Drop Fetal Personhood Effort
The Examiner: Virginia Republicans to let 'personhood' bill die this week, by Steve Contorno:
A late effort to bring new life to a bill which would grant a fetus the same rights as an everyday citizen has likely failed, an early sign that Virginia Republicans may be less inclined to press forward on controversial social issues that overshadowed this year's session when they return to Richmond in January. . . .
The Huffington Post: Bob Marshall: Virginia GOP Pressures Me '7 Days A Week' To Drop Anti-Abortion Agenda, by Laura Bassett:
Virginia Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William), the author of the state's fetal personhood bill, says he has always been a bit of a thorn in the side of the mainstream Republican Party. But since the 2012 election, he said, the party is "more overtly gun-shy" about dealing with abortion, and the pressure from GOP leadership to back off of his socially conservative agenda is constant. . . .
October 23, 2012
Poll Shows Americans Overwhelmingly Support Access to Contraception
The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: Poll finds broad support for contraception access, by Sam Baker:
Vast majorities of Americans support access to contraception, according to a new poll commissioned by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
The survey found widespread support for the thrust of President Obama's contraception mandate, which a recent Gallup poll indicated is a winning issue with female voters. American adults also overwhelmingly believe that lawmakers who oppose abortion should support contraception, according to Monday's poll. . . .
October 17, 2012
Women Favor Obama's Stance on Contraception and Abortion
The Hill - Healthwatch blog: Poll: Female voters give Obama edge on contraception, abortion, by Sam Baker:
President Obama's contraception mandate is helping him enormously with female voters, a new USA Today/Gallup poll says.
The survey found that Mitt Romney has made enormous gains with female voters — the candidates were tied among women who are likely to vote, and Obama had a nine-point lead among registered female voters. Concern over the economy has helped Romney erode what was once a sizable gender gap. . . .
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? . . .
August 27, 2012
CBS News Poll Finds Abortion Stance Not Decisive for Most Voters
CBS News: Poll: Abortion views not a litmus test for most voters, by Stephanie Condon, Fred Backus, Anthony Salvanto, Jennifer De Pinto, Sarah Dutton:
The issue of abortion rights was thrust into the spotlight this month after the Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin made some controversial remarks on the matter. A new CBS News poll, however, shows that most voters, Democrats and Republicans alike, are willing to look past the issue when it comes to supporting a political candidate. . . .
July 12, 2012
Planned Parenthood's Anti-Romney Ad Campaign Persuades Women in Swing States
The Huffington Post: Planned Parenthood's Anti-Romney Ads Swaying Women in Swing States, by Laura Bassett:
Planned Parenthood Action Fund's $1.4 million ad campaign spotlighting Mitt Romney's positions on women's issues is making an impression on the opinions of female voters in key swing states, according to post-run ad testing commissioned by the group.
According to Hart Research surveys conducted in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Des Moines, Iowa, before and after PPFA's ads ran, women who definitely recalled seeing the ads (half of women in Florida, 55 percent in Iowa) said that they were far less likely to vote for Romney than women who did not recall seeing the ads. The number of women in both states who responded that Mitt Romney is "out of step with my opinions on issues affecting women" increased by 11 percent after the PPAF ad campaign ran. . . .
June 11, 2012
Popularity of "Pro-Life" Label Belies Complexity of Public Opinion on Abortion
Deseret News: Pro-life advocates gain label support, but abortion remains complicated, divided issue, by Sara Israelsen-Hartley & Lois M. Collins:
A historic low 41 percent of Americans consider themselves pro-choice, while 50 percent of Americans say they're pro-life, a new Gallup poll shows.
Pro-lifers are celebrating, but the other side counters that a single statistic can't paint a realistic picture of the divided and nuanced feelings that Americans have about abortion. . . .
May 29, 2012
More on the Gallup Poll
The Washington Post: Pro-choice and pro-life? On abortion, Americans say ‘it’s complicated.’, by Robert P. Jones:
Last week, Gallup released new data that, at first glance, appeared to show a significant change in Americans’ perspectives on abortion. The number of Americans who identify as “pro-choice” has dropped six points since last July, from 47 percent to 41 percent, while half (50 percent) of Americans identify as “pro-life.” Given the charged election year atmosphere, it is not surprising that some have leapt to the conclusion that this shift represents a dramatic sea change in support for the legality of abortion.
But such interpretations raise the question of whether these binary, politicized labels accurately capture Americans’ nuanced views on abortion. . . .
Analysis and Opinion on Recent Gallup Poll on Abortion
Los Angeles Times: Analysis: Are the new Gallup numbers on abortion meaningful?, by David Lauter:
Gallup received considerable attention Wednesday for new poll numbers showing that the share of Americans who call themselves “pro-choice” on the abortion issue has hit a record low of 41% while 50% now call themselves “pro-life.”
Attention-getting for sure, but what, if anything, does it mean? . . .
Slate Magazine: The Problem With Polling About Moral Beliefs, by Amanda Marcotte:
Another year, another Gallup poll on abortion for anti-choicers to misleadingly represent in a bid to deceive the country into believing they're winning in the court of public opinion. Of course, Gallup shares the blame for this travesty, since it publishes its polling results with a lead about the poll that asks if people identify as pro-choice or pro-life. Inevitably, "pro-life" polls well, much better than it would if it were more accurately phrased as "anti-choice" or "anti-abortion," because it's a fuzzy-wuzzy term that deliberately distracts from the legal and sexual freedom issues at the heart of the abortion debate. This year, the poll found that 50 percent of Americans relate to the empty term "pro-life," and only 41 percent to the term "pro-choice.". . .
The Washington Post (op-ed contributor): Why Americans are becoming more pro-life, by Ashley McGuire:
For decades, abortion was thought of as an issue that riled up religious zealots in the Bible Belt. “Enlightened” Americans, however, saw abortion as the key to women’s liberation and a more egalitarian society.
Their notions about history and progress assured them that abortion was an essential part of the path forward, for women and for society more broadly.
Wednesday’s news that Gallup is now recording the lowest level of self-described pro-choicers in its history of tracking the abortion issue is no doubt an unwelcome hiccup in their vision for America. . . .
February 29, 2012
Democrats See Political Opportunity in Republican Opposition to Contraceptive Coverage Mandate
The New York Times: Democrats See Benefits in Battle on Contraception Access, by Jennifer Steinhauer & Helene Cooper:
With the cameras running and the microphones on, Congressional Democrats express outrage over Republican efforts to limit the types of health care that employers have to offer to their workers, particularly contraception. This is a fight Democrats are perfectly pleased to have.
As the issue of contraception access comes to the Senate this week, White House officials and Senate Democrats are increasingly hopeful that it will cut in their favor, believing that voters will conclude that Republicans are overreaching under the rubric of religious freedom. . . .