Friday, April 4, 2014
A federal judge is set to hear arguments in a legal challenge to a North Dakota law that bans abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks into pregnancy. . . .
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Health Clinics Challenge New Restrictive Regulations in Texas That Could Shut Down Yet More Abortion Providers
The New York Times: Abortion Providers in Texas Sue Over a Restrictive Rule That Could Close Clinics, by Erik Eckholm:
Health clinics offering abortions in Texas filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday to block a new state rule that could shut down more than half of the state’s remaining providers this fall, forcing women seeking an abortion in southern and western Texas to drive several hundred miles each way or go out of state.
The rule, part of a sweeping anti-abortion law passed last year, requires that all clinics providing abortions at any stage of pregnancy, including nonsurgical drug-induced abortions, meet the costly building standards of ambulatory surgery centers. . . . .
The new suit comes less than a week after a federal appeals court refused to overturn another provision of the 2013 law that has already forced several clinics to close, leaving the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas without abortion services. . . .
“The greater the evidence that this rule will cause more clinics to close, and leave large areas of the state without abortion providers, the greater their chance of success,” said Caitlin E. Borgmann, an expert on reproductive law at the CUNY School of Law. . . .
Friday, March 28, 2014
ACLU press release: Governor Tomblin Vetoes West Virginia Abortion Ban:
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a bill today that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks. This bill, similar to one a federal appeals court struck down in Arizona last year, would have denied women basic health care.
“The governor rightly saw this bill as a blatantly unconstitutional restriction on women’s health,” said Sara Bird, president of the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia. “Every pregnancy is different, and we can’t know all of the circumstances a woman is facing. A woman who is planning for a child but develops complications doesn’t need politicians interfering with her decision, nor does any other woman.”
Earlier this year, thousands of West Virginians took action by sending letters, making phone calls, and signing petitions to let their legislators know they want politicians to stay out of women’s health care.
“This law would have taken away a woman’s ability to make a deeply personal and private decision for herself and her family,” said Talcott Camp, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “Politicians have no place in matters that are best left to a woman, her family and her doctor.”
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Reuters: Federal judge strikes down Arkansas early abortion ban, by Steve Barnes:
A federal judge on Friday struck down an Arkansas law that would ban most abortions starting at 12 weeks of pregnancy, one of the most restrictive such statutes enacted in the United States, declaring the measure unconstitutional. . . .
Friday, March 7, 2014
Rio Grande Valley in South Texas Now Without Abortion Providers After Two More Clinics Shut Down in Wake of New Law
The New York Times: Abortion Law Pushes Texas Clinics to Close Doors, by Manny Fernandez:
Shortly before a candlelight vigil on the sidewalk outside, employees of the last abortion clinic in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas shut the doors early Thursday evening, making legal abortion unavailable in the poorest part of the state in the wake of tough new restrictions passed last year by the Texas Legislature. . . .
See also: CBS: 400-mile stretch of Texas now without an abortion clinic
Friday, February 7, 2014
News & Observer: Attorney general says North Carolina will appeal abortion ultrasound ruling, by Craig Jarvis:
Attorney General Roy Cooper said Friday that the state will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that strikes down the narrated ultrasound provision of an abortion-regulation bill.
“While I oppose laws like this that force the state into women’s medical decisions, the state will appeal this ruling because legitimate constitutional questions remain that should be decided by a higher court,” Cooper said in a statement his office released. “It is the duty of the Office of Attorney General to defend state laws regardless of whether I agree with them.” . . .
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory recently expressed his opposition to an appeal.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Jezebel: Louisiana Abortion 'Emergency Rule' Fight Ends For Now, by Hillary Crosley:
Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals have dropped the “emergency” abortion regulations which threatened to close clinics statewide. Don't start throwing the confetti yet; this doesn't mean they won’t stop trying.
“The Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) is rescinding its November 2013 emergency rule for outpatient abortion facilities licensing standards,” spokesperson Olivia Watkins said in a statement on the decision. “The Department will reissue a revised rule and notice of intent at a later date.” . . .
Anchorage Daily News/AP: Judge grants restraining order against state in abortion rules case:
Judge John Suddock approved the order Tuesday at the request of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, which has sued the state. . . .
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The Diocese of Helena is defending its decision to fire an unwed Butte Central teacher because she is pregnant.
Shaela Evenson “made a willful decision to violate the terms of her contract,” which requires her to follow Catholic teachings in both her personal and professional life, Superintendent Patrick Haggarty said Tuesday. “It’s a sensitive issue, and it’s unfortunate all around.” . . .
The Missoulian: Montana AG barred from defending abortion consent laws, by Charles S. Johnson:
A Helena district judge has blocked the state from defending two state laws that require minors to obtain parental consent before obtaining abortions.
Planned Parenthood of Montana, which challenged the laws, claimed victory Tuesday. A spokeswoman said the group now will ask District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock of Helena to permanently enjoin the two laws to stop them from being enforced. . . .
Sunday, January 26, 2014
The New York Times: Texas Woman Is Taken Off Life Support After Order, by Manny Fernandez:
A Fort Worth hospital that kept a pregnant, brain-dead woman on life support for two months, followed a judge’s order on Sunday and removed her from the machines, ending her family’s legal fight to have her pronounced dead and to challenge a Texas law that prohibits medical officials from cutting off life support to a pregnant woman.
On Friday, a state district judge ordered John Peter Smith Hospital to remove the woman, Marlise Muñoz, from life-support machines by 5 p.m. on Monday. . . .
wsoctv.com: Gov. McCrory against appealing NC abortion speech case, by Emery P. Dalesio:
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory opposes a court fight to reverse a federal judge's ruling invalidating part of a state law that would have required abortion providers to describe a pre-procedure ultrasound's image to every patient, the Republican governor's office said Saturday. . . .
Saturday, January 11, 2014
DallasNews: Texas denies pregnant woman's grieving family the right to say goodbye, by Jacquielynn Floyd:
Marlise Munoz died the week after Thanksgiving.
Doctors believe she suffered a pulmonary embolism -- a blood clot to the lungs -- that cut off her oxygen. When her husband, Erick, found Marlise in their Tarrant County home, she wasn’t breathing and had no pulse.
She was gone.
If there is any mercy in the sudden loss of this happy young wife and mother, it’s that she doesn’t know she has since lingered in a hopeless twilight, her respiration artificially supported by machines.
She made it clear she didn’t want this. Her grieving husband and parents don’t want it either. But a not-very-well known statute under state law says Marlise, 33, doesn’t have the same right to a peaceful, natural death as other Texans because she is pregnant. . . .
DallasNews: Texas laws unclear in case of pregnant Fort Worth woman kept on life support, by Brittney Martin:
Conflicting Texas statutes are contributing to confusion about whether a hospital must keep a pregnant Tarrant County woman on life support against the wishes of her family. . . .
Thursday, January 2, 2014
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. . . .
Monday, December 30, 2013
Texas Department of State Health Services Finalizes Abortion Regulations, Including Ambulatory Surgical Center Requirement
The Texas Tribune: State Agency Finalizes Abortion Regulations, by Becca Aaronson:
The Texas Department of State Health Services finalized strict new abortion regulations on Friday, claiming that none of the 19,000 public comments on the rules provided evidence that they are unconstitutional.
“The department is aware of no comments that explain how particular abortion-seeking patients will face unconstitutionally long travel distances, unconstitutionally long wait times or unconstitutionally high costs for abortion services in any particular part of the state,” according to the department’s background and justification for the rules, published in the Texas Register. . . .
Thursday, December 19, 2013
ThinkProgress: There Have Been So Many Attacks On Abortion In North Dakota, Some Women Assume It’s Now Illegal, by Tara Culp-Ressler:
This year, lawmakers in North Dakota approved the harshest abortion ban this country has seen since Roe v. Wade — cutting off access to legal abortion at just six weeks, before many women even realize they’re pregnant. And that’s not all. Lawmakers have also tried their best to shut down the last abortion clinic in the state, enacting sweeping new regulations that are specifically designed to force it out of business.
So far, both restrictive laws are being blocked from taking effect while legal challenges against them proceed. But the damage has already been done for many of the women who used to rely on their state’s only abortion facility, the Red River Women’s Clinic. The environment surrounding reproductive rights has become so hostile that many of them simply assume the procedure has been outlawed. . . .
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Detroit Free Press: Michigan's controversial abortion law to be targeted by opponents in 2014, by Dave Eggert:
Incensed Democrats and abortion rights advocates are vowing that Republican lawmakers overreached so much with new restrictions on abortion coverage in Michigan’s public and private health insurance plans that it will cost them in the 2014 elections.
A ballot drive to repeal or override the law is being considered. If enough signatures are collected, the statewide vote would coincide with November legislative races and keep the issue fresh in the minds of voters in 11 months. . . .
Friday, December 13, 2013
CharlotteObserver.com: New abortion clinic rules long way off, by Craig Jarvis:
More than four months after a sweeping abortion-regulation bill was signed into law, the new rules it requires for certifying clinics are still a long way from being written.
Anticipated with dread by abortion-rights groups and with optimism by anti-abortion advocates, the rules could put some clinics out of business if they are written stringently enough. Most likely, the struggle to balance opposition to abortion with legitimate medical concerns will return to the General Assembly for a final decision. . . .
Monday, November 25, 2013
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." . . .
Sunday, November 24, 2013
West Virginia Gazette-Mail: Poll: Plurality of W.Va. voters oppose more abortion regulations, by Lori Kersey:
A new poll commissioned by an abortion rights agency suggests that West Virginians do not support more regulations that some say are meant to close abortion clinics.
Planned Parenthood sponsored the poll, which found that 49 percent of voters in West Virginia oppose adding more restrictions to the state's abortion clinics. Twenty-eight percent of people support more restrictions and 23 percent are not sure, according to the poll. . . .