Reproductive Rights Prof Blog

Editor: Caitlin E. Borgmann
CUNY School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Friday, April 4, 2014

Federal Court Hears Arguments Today on North Dakota's Early Abortion Ban

ABC News:  Federal Judge Hears Arguments in ND Abortion Case:

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. . . .

April 4, 2014 in Abortion Bans, In the Courts, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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. . . .

April 3, 2014 in In the Courts, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 28, 2014

West Virginia Governor Tomblin Vetoes 20-Week Abortion Ban

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.”

March 28, 2014 in Abortion Bans, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Federal Judge Strikes Down Arkansas 12-Week Abortion Ban

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. . . .

March 15, 2014 in Abortion Bans, In the Courts, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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

March 7, 2014 in State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 7, 2014

North Carolina Will Appeal Ruling on Pre-Abortion Ultrasound Mandate

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.

February 7, 2014 in Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Louisiana TRAP Rule Temporarily Dropped

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.” . . .

February 6, 2014 in State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

State Court Judge Temporarily Blocks New Alaska Rules on Medicaid Funding for Abortions

Anchorage Daily News/AP: Judge grants restraining order against state in abortion rules case:

An Anchorage judge has approved a temporary restraining order on the state’s new rules further defining a medically necessary abortion for purposes of Medicaid funding.

Judge John Suddock approved the order Tuesday at the request of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, which has sued the state. . . .

February 6, 2014 in Abortion, In the Courts, Poverty, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Montana Diocese Fires Unwed Catholic School Teacher Because of her Pregnancy

The Missoulian: Montana diocese defends firing of unwed pregnant Catholic school teacher:

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.” . . .

February 5, 2014 in Pregnancy & Childbirth, Religion and Reproductive Rights, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

State Court Blocks Montana From Defending Abortion Parental Consent Laws

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. . . .

February 5, 2014 in Abortion, In the Courts, State and Local News, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pregnant, Brain-Dead Woman Is Removed from Life-Support Pursuant to Court Order

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. . . .

January 26, 2014 in Fetal Rights, In the Courts, Pregnancy & Childbirth, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

N.C. Governor Opposes Appeal of Ruling Invalidating Pre-Abortion Ultrasound Requirement

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. . . .

January 26, 2014 in In the Courts, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Texas Keeps Woman on Life Support, Against Her and Her Family's Wishes, to Incubate Her Fetus

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. . . .

January 11, 2014 in Fetal Rights, Pregnancy & Childbirth, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

In Texas, Abortion Clinics Close But Anti-Choice "Pregnancy Medical Clinics" Thrive

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. . . .

January 2, 2014 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Texas Department of State Health Services Finalizes Abortion Regulations, Including Ambulatory Surgical Center Requirement

Texas flagThe 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. . . .

December 30, 2013 in State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

North Dakota's Flurry of Abortion Restrictions Leaves Some Women Believing Abortion is Banned

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. . . .

December 19, 2013 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Michigan Democrats Vow Abortion Insurance Restriction Will Cost GOP in 2014

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. . . .

December 15, 2013 in Abortion, Politics, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 13, 2013

North Carolina TRAP Rules Still a "Long Way Off"

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. . . .

December 13, 2013 in State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tennessee Prepares for 2014 Referendum on Abortion

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." . . .

November 25, 2013 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Poll Shows West Virginians Oppose More Abortion Regulations

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. . . .

November 24, 2013 in Public Opinion, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)