April 24, 2013
Judge Announces He Will Permanently Enjoin North Dakota Medication Abortion Ban
RH Reality Check: Judge To Permanently Block North Dakota Abortion Ban, by Jessica Mason Pielko:
Women in North Dakota got good news Thursday when District Court Judge Wickham Corwin announced at the conclusion of a three-day trial over the constitutionality of North Dakota’s medication abortion ban that he plans to issue a ruling permanently blocking the state’s onerous restrictions on medication abortion as unconstitutional. . . .
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.
The Legacy of the Gosnell Case: Unnecessary, Burdensome Regulation of Abortion Providers
RH Reality Check: While We're Debating the Gosnell Case, Anti-Choicers Are Getting to Work, by Gwen Emmons:
. . . Major news outlets have only recently begun to cover Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial, but coverage has focused on the sordid details of Gosnell’s clinic. What’s missing from the headlines is the legacy of the Gosnell case. In Pennsylvania, abortion providers and the women they serve are already feeling the sting of anti-choice legislators all too eager to use the Gosnell case as a flimsy excuse for rolling back reproductive rights and access even further in the state. And it’s only a matter of time until another state invokes Kermit Gosnell’s name in defense of yet another piece of anti-choice legislation. . . .
April 16, 2013
Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Closure of Mississippi's Only Abortion Clinic
The New York Times: Ruling Prevents Closing of Mississippi's Sole Abortion Clinic, by Campbell Robertson:
A federal judge in Mississippi on Monday blocked part of a state law that would have forced the closing of the state’s only abortion clinic. The ruling is not final, but it did keep the law from going into effect while a decision on its constitutionality is made, keeping Mississippi, at least temporarily, from becoming the first state in the country without an abortion clinic. . . .
April 12, 2013
Virginia Board of Health Passes Onerous TRAP Rules That Could Force Clinics to Close
Reuters: Virginia becomes latest state to tighten abortion rules, by Gary Robertson:
Virginia on Friday required abortion clinics to meet stricter hospital-style standards that could force some go out of business, making it the latest state to tighten rules on the procedure.
The rules, passed overwhelmingly by the Virginia Board of Health, could force abortion providers to undertake costly renovations, widening hallways and installing new ventilation system and awnings. Opponents of the move said it could force some to close, while supporters contended it would improve safety.
Supporters of the new rules burst into applause after the panel's 11-2 vote, while opponents erupted in shouts of "shame." Board Chairman Bruce Edwards ordered police to clear the hearing room to end the tumult. . . .
April 09, 2013
Alabama Governor Signs Burdensome TRAP Law
The Raw Story: Alabama governor signs bill that may close state’s few remaining abortion clinics, by Stephen C. Webster:
Alabama on Tuesday became the latest state to tightly regulate facilities where abortions are performed, placing onerous new requirements on doctors that could force the state’s five remaining abortion clinics to shut down.
“As a physician, and as a governor, I am proud to sign this legislation,” Governor Robert Bentley (R)said in an advisory. “This bill provides appropriate standards of care. It has been endorsed by pro-life groups across Alabama. This is a key piece of legislation in the House Republican Agenda, and I am honored to stand with legislative leaders and sign this bill.” . . .
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. . . .
April 04, 2013
Constant Litigation Over Abortion Restrictions Does Harm Even When The Measures Are Blocked
The New Republic: Fetal Heartbeat Abortion Laws Are Dangerous Even If Judges Reject Them, by Molly Redden:
On March 6, the Arkansas legislature enacted the toughest abortion law in the nation, banning the procedure after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The accomplishment stood for all of 20 days before North Dakota, with a law Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed on Tuesday, banned abortion at about six weeks. Both laws prohibit abortions once providers can detect a fetal heartbeat, a milestone with no meaning to the federal laws governing abortion. (The Arkansas law requires providers to do so with an abdominal ultrasound, and the North Dakota one by any technology available, including a transvaginal probe, which can detect a heartbeat weeks earlier than an abdominal ultrasound.) The North Dakota law, by requiring that providers try to detect a heartbeat so early, effectively bans abortions for women who might not even realize they are pregnant. In practice, it might make transvaginal ultrasounds mandatory for women seeking abortions early in their pregnancies.1 But the effects of these laws are not intended to be felt only by women living in Arkansas and North Dakota. The people who support these laws dream that they will provide a legal basis for overturning Roe v. Wade. . . .
Indiana House Passes Bill Targeting Providers of Medication Abortion
Reuters: Indiana House passes bill aimed at limiting use of abortion pill, by Susan Guyett:
The Indiana House on Tuesday approved a bill requiring clinics that administer the so-called abortion pill to also have full surgical facilities, a move that would force Planned Parenthood to halt all abortion services at a central Indiana clinic. . . .
North Dakota's Sole Abortion Clinic Vows to Stay Open
The Washington Post - WonkBlog: North Dakota's only abortion clinic isn't going anywhere, by Sarah Kliff:
Tammi Kromenaker directs the Red River Women’s Clinic, the only abortion clinic in North Dakota. With three full-time staffers, it serves women in North Dakota, South Dakota and parts of Minnesota. The clinic, in Fargo, N.D., has been open for 15 years now, since 1998. . . .
Alabama Passes Burdensome TRAP Law
It seems as if the press is starting to understand and describe incremental restrictions as part of a broader movement to dismantle abortion rights:
The Christian Science Monitor - DC Decoder: Alabama joins flood of states restricting abortion. What's behind this?, by Linda Feldmann:
The Alabama and Virginia legislatures just passed new measures, following stricter actions in North Dakota and Arkansas. To understand this latest wave, look to the tea party.
The Alabama bill, passed by the state Legislature late Tuesday, includes a requirement that an abortion provider have admitting rights at a local hospital – a rule that may sound minor, but could prove challenging to achieve in a state with strong opposition to abortion. Supporters say it is aimed at protecting women’s health, while opponents say it is medically unnecessary and aimed at denying women access to abortion. . . .
The New York Times: Alabama Legislature Passes New Limits on Abortion Clinics, by Erik Eckholm:
The Alabama Legislature late Tuesday adopted stringent new regulations for abortion clinics that supporters called a step to protect women but that others called medically unnecessary and a disguised effort to force the closing of the state’s five abortion clinics. . . .
March 28, 2013
2011 Pennsylvania Abortion Regs Proved Costly to Many Facilities
NPR: Pennsylvania Tightens Abortion Rules Following Clinic Deaths, by Jeff Brady:
A Philadelphia doctor who performed abortions is on trial for murder. Kermit Gosnell, 72, is accused in the deaths of a female patient and seven babies who the prosecutor says were born alive. District Attorney R. Seth Williams laid out the case in disturbing detail in a grand jury report last year. . . .
In 2011, the Gosnell case was mentioned frequently as Pennsylvania's General Assembly passed a law that put stricter requirements on abortion clinics. Now most clinics in the state are held to the same standards as outpatient surgery centers. . . .
Listen to the story here.
March 20, 2013
Kansas House Passes Broad Anti-Abortion Measure
The Huffington Post: Kansas Lawmakers Advance Abortion Resrictions, by John Celock:
The Republican-controlled Kansas House of Representatives voted to advance legislation adding new restrictions to abortions in the state Tuesday.
The legislation would end the use of tax exemptions for payments for abortions, while at the same time requiring doctors to inform women that abortions may cause breast cancer, a claim that has been disputed by the medical community. The bill also defines life as beginning at fertilization and would prohibit all state employees from performing abortions during the work day. . . .
March 08, 2013
Maryland Health Officials Suspend Surgical Abortions at Three Clinics
The Baltimore Sun: Maryland suspends licenses of 3 abortion clinics, by Andrea K. Walker:
State health officials have suspended surgical abortion procedures at three clinics, including one in Baltimore where a patient suffered cardiac arrest and died.
The physician who performed the abortion at Associates in OB/GYN Care LLC on North Calvert Street wasn't certified in CPR and a defibrillator at the facility did not work, state officials said in a letter Friday to the General Assembly.
Although the cardiac arrest was caused by underlying health conditions and not the abortion, investigators found that it raised questions whether doctors at the clinic can handle an abortion that goes wrong. . . .
The clinics will be able to perform abortions again once they correct the problems. . . .
March 06, 2013
Oklahoma Files Cert. Petition Seeking to Revive Law Imposing Conditions on Medication Abortions
SCOTUSblog: Oklahoma appeals on abortion, by Lyle Denniston:
Oklahoma officials, arguing that their state supreme court is repeatedly blocking state laws that restrict access to abortions, have asked the Supreme Court to revive a law that confined the use of any drug that induces a medical abortion. The officials filed a petition Monday in the case of Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice. (A docket number has not yet been assigned.) . . .
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
March 01, 2013
GOP Lawmakers Want to Investigate How Abortion Providers Use Federal Funds
The Hill - Healthwatch: GOP seeks Planned Parenthood study with hope to strip funding, by Elise Viebeck:
Dozens of Republicans in the House and Senate have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine how Planned Parenthood and other groups that provide abortion services are using taxpayer money. . . .
February 25, 2013
More of the Same - GOP Continues to Push Aggressive Abortion Bills
MSNBC: GOP ignores 2012 lessons, pushes harsh anti-abortion bills, by Aliyah Frumin:
Republican lawmakers are pushing abortion-restricting bills in both Indiana and Arkansas, suggesting the GOP did not learn from the national backlash to super aggressive abortion rhetoric in the 2012 elections. (See: Akin, Todd and Mourdock, Richard.)
Old habits, it seem, die hard. . . .
February 25, 2013 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Politics, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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
Alabama Houses Passes TRAP Law That Could Force Abortion Clinics To Close
Reuters: Alabama House passes bill tightening restrictions on abortion clinics, by Kaija Wilkinson:
The Alabama House of Representatives passed legislation on Tuesday that would tighten regulations for abortion clinics in a move critics say could force many in the state to close.
The Republican-controlled House approved the bill in a 73-23 vote. The bill now moves to the Senate, which also has a Republican majority, for consideration. . . .