Reproductive Rights Prof Blog

Editor: Caitlin E. Borgmann
CUNY School of Law

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Pennsylvania Mother Sentenced to Prison for Giving Daughter Abortion Pills

The Huffington Post: Mom Ann Whalen Sentenced To Prison For Giving Daughter Abortion Pills, by David DeKok:

A Pennsylvania woman has been sentenced to up to 18 months in prison for obtaining so-called abortion pills online and providing them to her teenage daughter to end her pregnancy.

Jennifer Ann Whalen, 39, of Washingtonville, a single mother who works as a nursing home aide, pleaded guilty in August to obtaining the miscarriage-inducing pills from an online site in Europe for her daughter, 16, who did not want to have the child. . . .

Whalen told authorities there was no local clinic available to perform an abortion and her daughter did not have health insurance to cover a hospital abortion, the Press Enterprise newspaper of Bloomsburg reported. . . .

Philadelphia Magazine (opinion column): Pennsylvania Woman Going to Jail Over Abortion Pills, by Sandy Hingston:

What the GOP could learn from Colorado’s free birth control program — if they’d just open their eyes and take their fingers out of their ears.

In cheery news from the western part of our great state, a 36-year-old mom has been sentenced to a year to 18 months in prison for providing her 16-year-old daughter with abortion pills she obtained illegally from Europe in an attempt to end the daughter’s unwanted pregnancy. The mom, who’s single, works as a nursing aide, and told the court there was no local abortion clinic available to her daughter (thanks, Governor Corbett), who had no health insurance (thanks again, Governor Corbett) to pay for an in-hospital abortion. The daughter ended up in the hospital anyway after the abortion pills induced severe cramping and bleeding.

What a happy little tale.

If batshit Republicans are serious about lowering the number of abortions, you know what they should do? They should give up the slow, costly process of legislating abortion clinics out of existence and simply make birth control free for the asking for all the women in America. . . .

September 8, 2014 in Abortion, Parenthood, State and Local News, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Colorado Free Birth Control Program Dramatically Reduces Teen Pregnancy Rates

BBC News: Colorado birth control scheme causes drop in teen pregnancy, by Aleem Maqbool:

A Colorado programme that offers free birth control to teenagers has dramatically reduced the rate of teenage pregnancy. But the nature of the scheme's funding - a large anonymous donation - leaves it unclear whether it could work on a broader scale.

Dianzu Mosqueda Salinas is a young woman working at a family planning centre in the Colorado town of Boulder.

In 2010, she had walked into the very same centre as a nervous teenager, curious about birth control options. . . .

August 10, 2014 in Contraception, State and Local News, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Maps of Abortion Restrictions by State

A map of seven abortion restrictions on abortion access as of May 14, 2014, is available at:

FiveThirtyEight: Maps of Access to Abortion by State, by Allison McCann.

May 15, 2014 in Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP), Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

U.S. Teen Pregnancy, Birth, And Abortion Rates Reach Historic Lows

The Guttmacher Institute news release:  U.S. TEEN PREGNANCY, BIRTH AND ABORTION RATES REACH HISTORIC LOWS:

Teen Pregnancy Rates Declined in Every State and Among All Racial and Ethnic Groups

Rates of teen pregnancy, birth and abortion have declined dramatically in the United States since their peak in the early 1990s. In 2010, some 614,000 pregnancies occurred among teenage women aged 15–19, for a rate of 57.4 pregnancies per 1,000 women that age. This marks a 51% decline from the 1990 peak, and a 15% decline in just two years, from 67.8 in 2008, according to “U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births and Abortions, 2010: National and State Trends by Age, Race and Ethnicity,” a new study by the Guttmacher Institute. Similarly, the teen birthrate declined 44% from the peak in 1991 (from 61.8 births per 1,000 to 34.4 per 1,000); and the teen abortion rate declined 66% between its 1988 peak and 2010 (from 43.5 abortions per 1,000 to 14.7 per 1,000). . . .

May 11, 2014 in Abortion, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Scholarship and Research, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Senegal Is Denying an Abortion to a 10-Year-Old Rape Victim

ThinkProgress:  A 10-Year-Old Rape Victim Who’s Pregnant With Twins Is Being Denied An Abortion In Senegal, by Tara Culp-Ressler:

A 10-year old Senegalese girl who became pregnant with twins after being raped by a neighbor is being forced to continue with her pregnancy, thanks to her country’s stringent restrictions on abortion. Human rights advocates have been trying to pressure the government to allow the girl to seek abortion care, but they’ve been unsuccessful so far. . . . 

Fatou Kiné Camara, the president of the Senegalese women lawyers’ association, . . . explained that under Senegal’s current abortion law, which is one of the harshest among African nations, requires three doctors to certify that a woman will die immediately unless she ends her pregnancy. But poor women in the country are hardly ever able to visit a doctor, let alone three in quick succession. . . .

Th Guardian:  Senegalese law bans raped 10-year-old from aborting twins, by Alex Duval Smith:

. . . "Senegal's abortion law is one of the harshest and deadliest in Africa. A doctor or pharmacist found guilty of having a role in a termination faces being struck off. A woman found guilty of abortion can be jailed for up to 10 years."

Forty women were held in custody in Senegal on charges linked to the crimes of abortion or infanticide in the first six months of last year, official figures show. According to estimates, hundreds of women die every year from botched illegal terminations. . . .

"We had a previous case of a raped nine-year-old who had to go through with her pregnancy. We paid for her caesarean but she died a few months after the baby was born, presumably because the physical trauma of childbirth was too great." . . .

April 6, 2014 in Abortion Bans, International, Poverty, Sexual Assault, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pennsylvania Mother Charged with Felony for Helping Daughter Order Illegal Abortion Drugs

Feministing: Mother Charged With a Felony for Helping her Daughter Order Illegal Abortion Drugs Online, by Maya Dusenbery:

Well well well. The anti-choice claim that criminalizing abortion won’t lead to people being thrown in jail for ending their pregnancies is becoming harder to sustain. These days, even mothers who help their daughters get the abortions they want can be charged. . . .

February 26, 2014 in Abortion, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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

Judge Permanently Blocks Oklahoma's Age Restrictions on Plan B

ThinkProgress: Judge Permanently Strikes Down Oklahoma’s Age Restrictions On Plan B, by Tara Culp-Ressler:

On Thursday night, an Oklahoma district court judge permanently struck down a state law that prevented some teenagers from buying Plan B over the counter, ruling that the restriction was essentially an abuse of power by the legislature. . . .

January 26, 2014 in Contraception, In the Courts, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Sexualization of American Tweens

Newsweek: Sex and the Single Tween, by Abigail Jones:

. . . Over the past two decades, the rise of the Internet and social media initiated a dramatic shift in popular culture: Almost everything that could be sexualized has been sexualized, producing a new generation of girls racing toward womanhood before even finishing puberty. The result terrifies many adults: American women, age tween. . . .

January 24, 2014 in Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Argentinian Court Allows 14-Year-Old Rape Victim to Have an Abortion

The Times of India: Argentina Court Grants Abortion for Teen Rape Victim:

BUENOS AIRES: A court in Argentina ruled on Friday that a 14-year old rape victim could have an abortion, overturning a judge's earlier decision barring the girl from seeking the procedure. 

The teenage girl discovered early last month that she was pregnant after being raped by her mother's partner. . . .

December 30, 2013 in Abortion Bans, International, Sexual Assault, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

U.S. Teen Pregnancy, Birth, and Abortion Rates Hit Record Lows

ThinkProgress: Pregnancy, Birth, And Abortion Rates For U.S. Teens Have All Hit A Record Low, by Tara Culp-Ressler:

There’s some encouraging news in the Centers for Disease Control’s latest report about pregnancy rates among U.S. women. According to the agency, teen pregnancies have been steadily declining over the past two decades — hitting a new historic low in 2009, the most recent year with data on the subject. That’s led to new lows for the rates of teen births and abortions, too. . . . 

December 5, 2013 in Abortion, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Today is Intersex Awareness Day

In recognition of Intersex Awareness Day, I'm pleased to publish this commentary by Courtney Fraser, Fall Intern at Advocates for Informed Choice (’15, University of California, Berkeley School of Law): 

There’s no “I” in LGBT: How Reproductive Justice can (and must) end intersex invisibility

“Intersex? What’s that?” – so begins a series of questions I have become quite accustomed to fielding in my Civil Externship seminar. My classmates, some of whom are avid social justice advocates, are all familiar with reproductive rights; many of them even support LGBT causes, but few have ever heard the word “intersex” before. Most people probably haven’t. In honor of International Intersex Awareness Day, October 26, I’d say there’s no time like the present.

“Intersex” describes those who are born with ambiguous genitalia, or bodies that otherwise do not match societal ideas of “typical” male or female configurations. My externship this fall is with Advocates for Informed Choice, an (read: THE) organization working to protect the rights of intersex people. Right now, I have the honor of being involved with AIC’s groundbreaking litigation on behalf of a child (identified as M.C.) who suffered unnecessary genital surgery while he was still a baby. When I am called upon to explain my work to the class, invariably someone is shocked. That happens? All the time. To how many people? As many as 1 percent of live births are intersex, and 0.1 or 0.2 percent become victims of “normalizing” surgical mutilation.

So why aren’t more people outraged? Why do so few people even know about this?

 

Continue reading

October 26, 2013 in Fertility, Sexuality, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Courts Deny Abortion to Nebraska Teenager in Foster Care, On Grounds She is Too Immature

ABC News: Court Says Nebraska Teenager Too Immature to Decide on Abortion, by Sidney Lupkin:

A Nebraska teenager in foster care was denied access to an abortion, because the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled she wasn't mature enough to make that decision on her own, according to a court opinion published this month. . . .

________________________________

Under the governing Supreme Court case law, courts are supposed to grant a teenager permission for an abortion if (1) she is sufficiently mature to make the decision on her own or (2) the abortion would be in her best interests (or, under some states' laws, if telling her parents would not be in her best interests).  Here, the biological parents' rights were reportedly terminated based on their abuse and neglect.  One would think that would satisfy the second part of the test, but the court apparently found that inquiry to be inapplicable, at least as applied to the teenager's biological parents, given that their rights were terminated.  There is a sad irony in the courts' further determination that "the young woman wasn't mature enough to make the abortion decision on her own because she was financially dependent on her foster parents and had never lived on her own or mentioned any work experience."  It seems those were the very factors that led her to make the mature decision that parenthood was not a realistic option.

-CEB

October 13, 2013 in Abortion, In the Courts, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Germany Will Legally Recognize Gender "Undetermined" Babies

The Raw Story/The Guardian: Germany will be first European country to recognize babies as gender ‘undetermined’ come November:

German flagFrom 1 November babies born in Germany without clear gender-determining characteristics will be able to be registered

Germany will become the first country in Europe to join a small group of nations which recognise a third or “undetermined” sex when registering births, according to a report in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

From November 1, babies born in Germany without clear gender-determining physical characteristics will be able to be registered without gender on their birth certificates, according to the report. . . .

August 18, 2013 in International, Sexuality, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

HPV Vaccination Rate Among Teenage Girls Remains Low

The New York Times: HPV Vaccine Not Reaching Enough Girls, C.D.C. Says, by Sabrina Tavernise:

The very low vaccination rate for teenage girls against the human papillomavirus — the most common sexually transmitted infection and a principal cause of cervical cancer — did not improve at all from 2011 to 2012, and health officials on Thursday said a survey found that doctors were often failing to bring it up or recommend it when girls came in for other reasons. . . .

July 31, 2013 in Medical News, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Report Finds Significant Decline in Female Genital Cutting in Africa

The New York Times: Report Finds Gradual Fall in Female Genital Cutting in Africa, by Celia W. Dugger:

comprehensive new assessment of the ancient practice of female genital cutting has found a gradual but significant decline in many countries, even in some where it remains deeply entrenched.

Teenage girls are now less likely to have been cut than older women in more than half of the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is concentrated, according to the assessment by the United Nations Children’s Fund. . . .

July 23, 2013 in Culture, International, Reproductive Health & Safety, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

FDA Grants Exclusive Rights to Maker of Plan B One-Step

FDAThe Boston Globe: Plan B One-Step gets exclusive rights, by Deborah Kotz:

The US Food and Drug Administration decided late Monday night to grant exclusive rights to Teva Pharmaceuticals to put its brand name form of emergency contraception on drugstore shelves without any age restrictions for the next three years. Plan B One-Step, Teva’s product, has started to appear in some drugstores this week on shelves next to spermicides and pregnancy tests. . . .

July 23, 2013 in Contraception, Medical News, President/Executive Branch, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Department of Educ. Office for Civil Rights Urges Greater Support for Pregnant and Parenting Students

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights: Dear Colleague Letter:

Dear Colleague:

We as a nation need to do more to help the hundreds of thousands of young people who become mothers and fathers each year graduate from high school ready for college and successful careers. According to studies cited in the attached pamphlet, Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 26 percent of young men and young women combined who had dropped out of public high schools — and one-third of young women — said that becoming a parent was a major factor in their decision to leave school. And, only 51 percent of young women who had a child before age 20 earned their high school diploma by age 22. The educational prospects are worse at the higher-education level. Only 2 percent of young women who had a child before age 18 earned a college degree by age 30. This low education attainment means that young parents are more likely than their peers to be unemployed or underemployed, and the ones who do find jobs will, on average, earn significantly less than their peers.

To help improve the high school and college graduation rates of young parents, we must support pregnant and parenting students so that they can stay in school and complete their education, and thereby build better lives for themselves and their children. . . .

July 9, 2013 in Parenthood, Poverty, Pregnancy & Childbirth, President/Executive Branch, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 20, 2013

In Midst of Plan B Uproar, Availability of Condoms Isn't Questioned

The Los Angeles Times - op-ed: A birth control double standard, by Meg Waite Clayton:

Condoms are readily available without identification. Why not Plan B?

In the uproar about making the morning-after contraceptive known as Plan B available to our daughters, there has been no similar outcry about condoms and our sons. Anyone of any age can walk into a drugstore — as well as most grocery and big-box stores — and buy condoms. . . .

May 20, 2013 in Contraception, Culture, Men and Reproduction, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

U.S. Will Appeal Federal Court Ruling Invalidating Age Limits on Emergency Contraceptive Pill

The New York Times:  U.S. to Defend Age Limits on Morning-After Pill Sales, by Pam Belluck & Michael D. Shear:

The Justice Department said on Wednesday that it would appeal a federal judge’s order to make the most common morning-after contraceptive available without a prescription for girls and women of all ages.

The announcement came a day after the Food and Drug Administration said that one well-known morning-after pill, Plan B One-Step, would be made available without a prescription for girls as young as 15 — instead of only to girls ages 17 and over, as has been the case. . . . 

The Los Angeles Times: Government will appeal Plan B emergency birth control ruling, by Monte Morin:

The U.S. attorney's office announced late Wednesday that it would appeal a federal judge's decision to make Plan B One-Step and related emergency birth control pills available to consumers of all ages without a prescription. . . . 

May 2, 2013 in Contraception, In the Courts, President/Executive Branch, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)