May 14, 2013
Catholic/Secular Hospital Mergers Threaten Access to Reproductive Health Care
The New York Times: Hospital Mergers Reset Abortion-Access Battle, by Kirk Johnson:
Politicians seeking to restrict access to abortion, a marked trend this year from North Dakota to Arkansas, tend not to get much traction in this part of the country.
Washington is heavily Democratic, leaning left especially on social issues. A majority of voters even put into law a statutory right to abortion in 1970 — the only state ever to do that. The governor, Jay Inslee, a Democrat, is pushing the Legislature even now to pass a law at a special session on Monday requiring health insurers to pay for elective abortions, another first for the state if it makes it to Mr. Inslee’s desk.
But now a wave of proposed and completed mergers between secular and Roman Catholic hospitals, which are barred by church doctrine from performing procedures that could harm the unborn, is raising the prospect that unelected health care administrators could go where politicians could not. . . .
H/T: Grayson Barber
In addition to prohibiting abortions and certain kinds of end-of-life care, Catholic hospitals also refuse to provide contraception (often including emergency contraception for rape survivors), sterilizations, and infertility services. For more about the threats posed by these mergers, see the MergerWatch website.
May 09, 2013
Proving Fetal Homicide in Cleveland Kidnapping Case Could Be Difficult
TIME: The Challenge of Proving Fetal Homicide in the Cleveland Kidnapping Case, by Kate Pickert:
If the man accused of imprisoning three women for a decade inside his Cleveland home is convicted of the charges filed against him, it seems unlikely he will ever be released from prison. This week, prosecutors charged Ariel Castro with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. . . .
Some may be wondering why Castro wasn’t also charged with homicide. One of his victims, Michelle Knight, reportedly told investigators she became pregnant five times while in captivity and that Castro beat and starved her each time until she miscarried. . . .
April 25, 2013
Senate Bill Would Cover Some Abortions for Peace Corps Volunteers
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. . . .
April 17, 2013
Khiara M. Bridges on Pregnancy as Injury
Khiara M. Bridges (Boston University School of Law) has posted When Pregnancy Is an Injury: Rape, Law, and Culture on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This Article examines criminal statutes that grade more severely sexual assaults that result in pregnancy. These laws, which define pregnancy as a “substantial bodily injury,” run directly counter to positive constructions of pregnancy within culture. The fact that the criminal law, in this instance, reflects this negative, subversive understanding of pregnancy creates the possibility that this idea may be received within culture as a construction of pregnancy that is as legitimate as positive understandings. In this way, these laws create possibilities for the reimagining of pregnancy within law and society. Moreover, these laws recall the argumentation that proponents of abortion rights once made – argumentation that one no longer hears and sees in the debates surrounding abortion. However, recent developments in antiabortion argumentation – namely the notion accepted in Carhart II that it is abortion that injures women – counsel the retrieval of the argument that unwanted pregnancies are injuries to women. Thus, the sexual assault laws are means to legitimatize a claim that may serve as an effective counterdiscourse to prevailing antiabortion argumentation.
March 16, 2013
Rep. Gingrey Backpedals on Rape Comments
The Hill - Healthwatch: Rep. Gingrey, mulling Senate bid, regrets defending Todd Akin, by Cameron Joseph:
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who is weighing a campaign for Senate, said he regrets defending former Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) infamous "legitimate rape" remarks.
Gingrey, an obstetrician, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he had made "a very awkward attempt to explain the unexplainable" when he backed Akin in January. He disavowed his earlier remarks, calling them "stupid.". . .
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. . . .
March 05, 2013
The Guardian Offers Timeline of "2012 War on Women"
The Guardian: The War on Women, by Heather Long:
2012 was a tough year for American females as various aspects of female health and reproduction repeatedly took center stage. Politicians and pundits, mainly Republican, made degrading and factually incorrect remarks about rape and contraception. But Democrats also left their mark with an ill-timed snipe at stay-at-home mom Ann Romney, reinvigorating the "mommy wars".
Here are the key moments in the 2012 War on Women . . . .
March 5, 2013 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Contraception, Fetal Rights, In the Media, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Parenthood, Politics, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexual Assault, Sexuality, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
No End in Sight to GOP Ignorance and Insensitivity on Pregnancy Resulting from Rape
Huffington Post: Celeste Greig, California Republican, Claims Pregnancy From Rape Is Rare:
The president of California's oldest and largest GOP volunteer group took a wrong turn while trying to criticize GOP candidates' missteps on women's reproductive rights when she argued that pregnancies resulting from rape are rare "because the body is traumatized."
Celeste Greig leads the California Republican Assembly, which former President Ronald Reagan once called "the conscience of the Republican Party." It works to elect conservative Republicans to public office. . . .
There is already a petition asking for Greig's resignation here.
February 28, 2013
House Approves Expanded Violence Against Women Act
The New York Times: House Renews Violence Against Women Measure, by Ashley Parker:
The House on Thursday gave final approval to a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, sending a bipartisan Senate measure to President Obama after a House plan endorsed by conservatives was defeated. . . .
The legislation’s approval underscored the divide in the Republican party as it struggles to regain its footing with women after its 2012 electoral drubbing among female voters. . . .
January 24, 2013
New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize as "Tampering with Evidence" Abortions Caused By Rape
In case anyone was under the misconception that male Republicans were getting the message about abortion and rape:
The Huffington Post: New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortions After Rape as 'Tampering With Evidence', by Laura Bassett:
A Republican lawmaker in New Mexico introduced a bill on Wednesday that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term in order to use the fetus as evidence for a sexual assault trial. . . .
January 16, 2013
Reining in Republicans on the Topic of Rape
The Susan B. Anthony List will train Republicans on how to discuss rape:
Feministing: Susan B. Anthony List to create training programs to help Republicans talk about rape, by Samhita Mukhopadhyay:
The only instruction that Republicans need about talking about rape these days is to…stop. Or, well, keep talking–so we can continue to learn about their curious and frightening logix about pregnancy, sex, consent, and magic uteri. I imagine Susan B. Anthony list’s training is going to be some form of–”doh, just stop talking about it!” But these fine men just can’t help themselves, because they actually believe what is coming out of their mouths. . . .
And they seem to need it:
The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: Rep. Gingrey: Todd Akin 'partly right' about rape and pregnancy, by Sam Baker:
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) said former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) was "partly right" when he made controversial comments that women cannot become pregnant from a rape.
Akin, then the Republican Senate nominee in Missouri, said a woman cannot become pregnant from a "legitimate rape" because the female body can "shut that whole thing down."
Gingrey, who is an OB-GYN, said in a town-hall meeting that Akin was partially correct, according to a report in the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal. . . .
January 06, 2013
Sen. Patty Murray on House Republicans' Failure To Take Up Bill Reauthorizing Violence Against Women Act
CNN opinion: House GOP failed women on Violence Against Women Act, by Patty Murray:
(CNN) -- This week, just over 250 days since the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan and inclusive bill to extend the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives allowed the clock to run out on protections that bill would have provided to millions of women across our country. . . .
January 03, 2013
Obama Signs Defense Authorization Act Including Health Coverage for Servicewomen and Military Dependents in Cases of Rape and Incest
Stand with Servicewomen press release: President Signs Defense Bill That Includes Shaheen Amendment Providing Equal Health Care for Servicewomen:
Bill Provides Equal Health Care Coverage for Servicewomen and Military Dependents in Cases of Rape and Incest
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has signed the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act into law, which includes the Shaheen Amendment, a provision that provides equal health care for servicewomen and military dependents who are survivors of rape and incest by extending to them the same abortion coverage provided to other women enrolled in federal health care.
The amendment repealing the ban was offered by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in May and adopted, with bipartisan support, by the Senate Armed Services Committee. House and Senate negotiators agreed to include the provision in the final defense bill and both chambers passed the bill last week.
“From the time I joined the Army in 1971, I was told that my principal job as an officer was to take care of my troops. We are a step closer to accomplishing that goal today,” said Major Gen. Dennis Laich, USAR (Ret.). “Women serve with courage and distinction in every branch of our service. I applaud Senator Shaheen for her tireless work to making sure these women receive the support they deserve.”
Just prior to the bill’s passage, Gen. Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state, joined dozens of military leaders in signing a letter urging congressional support for the amendment.
“This isn't about politics or ideology; it's about basic fairness and equity,” said Major General Gale Pollock, USA (Ret.). “The discriminatory policy preventing our women in uniform from receiving equal healthcare has gone on for too long and I am proud that Congress and the president have finally acted to right this wrong. Our servicewomen are fortunate to have a champion like Senator Shaheen, as well as strong supporters on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, fighting on their behalf.”
For more information, please visit www.standwithservicewomen.org
December 10, 2012
Sarthak Garg and Keshav Gaur on Reproductive Rights of Surrogate Mothers in India
Sarthak Garg & Keshav Gaur (both of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law) have posted Reproduction Rights of Women: Ethical or Viable Role of Surrogate Mother on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Reproductive behavior is governed by complex biological, cultural and psychological relations, hence reproductive health and rights must be understood within the context of relationships between men and women, communities and societies. This research encompasses with these problems which concerned about the reproductive health and rights of the women. It furthermore explains the vulnerability of women and gender biased violence against them. This paper also laid stress on the impact of men’s action over the reproductive health and rights of the women and the key initiatives to deliver reproductive rights and services to the women. Though, this paper also focuses on the rights of the surrogates’ mother and the initiatives taken by the government for the enhancement of the surrogacy and their rights in India. In this research we conceptualize the incidents related to the surrogacy and the legal issues in the global scenario. However, we also gestate the landscape of surrogacy in India, as it is new concept for India and not acceptable as well on various portfolios so we also laid focus on the social and economic background for the profound this concept in the grass root level. While construing this research we also analysis the Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) bill, in that we critically analysis it’s positive and negative aspects for the concept of surrogacy in India. Eventually, this research also laid impact over the commissioning parents and their rights regarding surrogacy. In the conclusion our research concludes procreating a child in surrogate woman’ womb is grateful gift to those mothers who cannot conceive child.
December 09, 2012
The Senate Approves Bill To Provide Insurance Coverage for Abortion for Military Rape Victims
The Huffington Post: Abortion for Military Rape Victims Passes Senate, by Laura Bassett:
In a historic bipartisan vote on Tuesday, the Senate passed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's (D-N.H.) amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that would extend abortion insurance coverage to victims of rape in the military. If the House of Representatives decides to include the measure in its version of the defense bill, military servicewomen who have become pregnant from rape will no longer have to pay out of pocket for an abortion procedure for the first time since 1981. . . .
November 13, 2012
Ireland Feels Pressure for Abortion Reform from a Variety of FrontsTIME: Ireland's Abortion Debate Heats Up, by Sorcha Pollak:
The first clinic offering abortions on the island of Ireland opened its doors in the Northern Irish city of Belfast on Oct. 18, but the 400 pro-life protesters gathered outside were determined that no abortion procedures would happen there that day. Buses full of antiabortion demonstrators stood on the sidewalks carrying banners and placards outside the clinic, which is operated by Marie Stopes International, a U.K.-based organization that works worldwide providing reproductive- and sexual-health care services. “We knew we couldn’t sit back and live in a country where unborn babies were being violently destroyed every day,” says Bernadette Smyth, founder of Precious Life, a Northern Irish pro-life group, speaking after her organization’s participation in the protests. “The question of abortions is not a health issue, it’s a criminal one. Marie Stopes will be carrying out abortions illegally.” . . .
October 25, 2012
Republicans React to Mourdock's Comments on Rape and Abortion
USA Today: Aide: McCain stands by Mourdock, by Catalina Camia:
Sen. John McCain said through an aide that he stands by Richard Mourdock for the Indiana Senate.
In a CNN interview on Wednesday, the Arizona senator said he would not continue to support Mourdock unless he apologized for saying that when a woman becomes pregnant from rape, "it is something that God intended.". . .
The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: Scott Brown rejects Mourdock's abortion view, by Elise Viebeck:
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) on Wednesday distanced himself from Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock (R) and his view that "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended.". . .
October 09, 2012
Argentine Court Sparks Debate After Blocking Rape Victim's Abortion
Fox News Latino/EFE: Argentine court blocks abortion for rape victim:
A court order that barred a rape victim Tuesday from having an abortion has sparked a heated controversy in Argentina.
The embattled judicial ruling came in response to a motion by the Pro-Vida (Pro-Life) group to stop the interruption of a 32-year-old woman's pregnancy. . . .
September 15, 2012
Sue Tolleson-Rinehart on Women’s Rights and Politics
Sue Tolleson-Rinehart (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) has posted Women's Rights and the Politics of Health: Contraception, Health Reform, and the 2012 Election on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
What are the very surprising politics of, not just abortion, but birth control, in health reform? Abortion is the perennial women's health Rubicon, but birth control, access to contraception, has been settled for decades, even to the extent of being considered a fundamental right, and the stimulus of Justice Douglas's construction of the right to privacy. And yet the politics of health reform and women's rights in the 2012 election has come to include a surprising juxtaposition of attempts to redefine rape, restrict abortion, and posit contraception as a threat to religious liberty. Will this dispute mobilize a measurable number of voters, and if so, in which direction will the preponderance of mobilization lie? President Obama is the current beneficiary of a substantial gender gap, but whether women voters, and young, single women voters in particular, will turn out as they did in 2008 is the question. Will threats to their access to contraception mobilize them more than social conservative voters will be mobilized by the growing boldness of the pro-life movement? This paper just asks the question: it does not yet offer an answer.
September 15, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Contraception, Politics, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health & Safety, Scholarship and Research, Sexual Assault | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
August 24, 2012
Anti-Choice Doctor Promotes Myths About Rape and Pregnancy
CNN - Anderson Cooper 360: Akin's claims called 'utter hogwash':
Doctors are debunking Rep. Todd Akin's misinformation on rape and pregnancy. Anderson Cooper talks to Dr. David Grimes about those claims and his reaction to Dr. Wilke's false information they are based upon.
See the video here.