Saturday, November 4, 2017

Trump DOJ seeks possible disciplinary action against lawyers in abortion case of unaccompanied minor

ABC News (Nov. 3, 2017): Trump DOJ seeks possible disciplinary action against lawyers in abortion case of unaccompanied minor by, Geneva Sands

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court today asking for possible disciplinary action against the attorneys that represented an undocumented minor who had an abortion over objections from the Trump administration.

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in favor of 17-year-old Jane Doe. Doe learned she was pregnant after being placed in a detention facility for children under the purview of the Department of Health and Human Services. She says she knew immediately that an abortion was the right option for her.

Doe, represented by the ACLU, had been fighting the federal government to be granted a medical visit to a clinic to receive her abortion. The government had instead taken her against her wishes to a pro-life clinic that tried to persuade her not to abort and showed her sonograms against her will. 

Doe was finally able to get her abortion on October 25. 

The Trump administration has now accused the ACLU of misleading the government on the timing of Doe's abortion. They claim that after informing Justice Department attorneys that the teen's procedure would occur on October 26th, Doe's attorneys actually scheduled it for early on October 25, thereby avoiding Supreme Court review. 

Government attorneys allege that the ACLU, while advocating for their client, violated their duties to the court and to the Bar. The administration believes the judgment under review that enabled Doe to receive the abortion should be vacated and additionally seeks potential disciplinary action against Doe's attorneys.

In response, the ACLU says the government failed to file a timely review with the Supreme Court and that Doe's attorneys acted both in the best interest of their client and "in full compliance with the court orders and federal and Texas law."

 According to Jane herself:

"I’m a 17-year-old girl that came to this country to make a better life for myself. My journey wasn’t easy, but I came here with hope in my heart to build a life I can be proud of. I dream about studying, becoming a nurse, and one day working with the elderly," she wrote. "This is my life, my decision. I want a better future. I want justice," she concluded.

November 4, 2017 in Abortion, Current Affairs, In the Courts, In the Media, President/Executive Branch, Supreme Court, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Court blocks undocumented teen's abortion — for now

USA Today (Oct. 20, 2017): Court blocks undocumented teen's abortion — for now, by Richard Wolf:  

October 25, 2017 in Abortion, In the Courts, In the Media, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

U.S. judge orders Trump administration to allow abortion for undocumented teen

The Washington Post (Oct. 18, 2017): U.S. judge orders Trump administration to allow abortion for undocumented teen, by Maria Sacchetti:
 
Federal District Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered the U.S. government to allow an undocumented, pregnant minor in its custody to have an abortion if she chooses.
 
The Justice Department has already appealed the ruling, asking for a stay to prevent the teen from having an “irreversible elective abortion” while the appeal is pending. "Court filings make clear that the government is trying to prevent minors in its custody from having abortions, a departure from U.S. practice under Obama."
 
Jane Doe, as she is referred to in court documents, has been held in custody in South Texas since crossing the border illegally in September. She says that federal officials have refused to transport her to a clinic for the procedure and have instead taken her, against her wishes, to a Christian pregnancy facility that aims to persuade patients against abortion and allegedly conducted, also against her will, an ultrasound. The government has informed the girl's mother of her pregnancy. Both of these actions are potential violations of the minor's constitutional rights. 
 
All that is required of the government in this instance, per Judge Chutkan's order, is completion of routine paperwork that would allow the minor to visit a clinic.

October 22, 2017 in Abortion, In the Courts, In the Media, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Planned Parenthood: Indiana Judge's Ruling a Victory for Young Women

Saint Louis Post-Dispatch (Jun. 29, 2017): Planned Parenthood: Judge's Ruling a Victory for Young Women, by Rick Callahan (AP): 

A federal judge in Indiana Thursday blocked part of a new law that would have required a judge to determine whether a pregnant minor's parents should be notified if she sought an abortion. Republican Governor Holcomb of Indiana, who signed the law in April, frames it as a "parental rights issue."

Reagan-nominated U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker who enjoined the provision also blocked two additional provisions--one requiring physicians to verify the relationship between a minor and her parents or guardians and another that would have prevented anyone assisting an un-emancipated minor seeking an abortion.

Attorney General Curtis Hill has not yet decided if he will appeal the Judge Barker's decision to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

July 4, 2017 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts, Pro-Choice Movement, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Underage Abortion Does Not Destroy Adult Lives

Human Reproduction (July 7, 2016): Is Underage Abortion Associated with Adverse Outcomes in Early Adulthood? A Longitudinal Birth Cohort Study up to 25 Years of Age, by Suvi Leppälahti, et al.:

A recent study conducted in Finland followed all women born in 1987 (n=29,041) and queried whether having an abortion at less than eighteen years of age is associated with adverse socioeconomic and health outcomes in early adulthood as compared with giving birth to a child at less than eighteen.  The researchers looked at socioeconomic, psychiatric and risk-taking-related health outcomes up to twenty-five years of age after underage (<18 years) abortion (n = 1041, 3.6%) and after childbirth (n = 394, 1.4%). Compared with the external control group consisting of a group with no pregnancies up to twenty years of age, both pregnancy groups were disadvantaged already prior to the pregnancy.  The study found that "underage abortion was not found to be associated with mental health problems in early adulthood, and socioeconomic outcomes were better among those who experienced abortion compared with those who gave birth."  The study confirmed that teenage motherhood is linked with numerous adverse outcomes in later life, including low educational levels and poor physical and mental health.  The results of the study can be generalized to settings of high-quality social and health-care services, where abortion is accessible and affordable to all citizens. 

August 25, 2016 in Abortion, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"Set and Forget" in the Battle Against Teenage Pregnancy

New York Times (Jul. 19, 2016): Winning the Campaign to Curb Teen Pregnancy, by Tina Rosenberg:

It is common knowledge that girls who get pregnant have a range of difficulties. They have trouble finishing school and often have babies at risk for health problems and who themselves will experience academic difficulty and incarceration.  The birthrate for teenage mothers in the United States has hit a new low.  It is now even lower than it was in the 1950s.  No one knows the cause of the drop in the birthrate, but it appears not to have to do with an increase in abortions (that rate has also dropped) but with an increase in contraceptive use. 

The drop in the birth rate may also have to do with the show “16 and Pregnant.” After it began airing on MTV in 2009, teen pregnancy rates dropped three times as fast as previously.  Such declines were most remarkable in regions where more teenagers were watching MTV.  Google searches for “how to get birth control” spiked on days following an episode’s airing.

Colorado appears to have embraced the data. The state offers long-acting reversible contraceptives cost-free to women and girls. These “set and forget” methods have become the most reliable forms of birth control. Some of the cost to the state is subsidized by Obamacare and Medicaid. The Medicaid program saves on the cost of unwanted births and the medical care of children in poverty. Colorado’s experiment has been a success. Now the challenge lies in convincing other states to follow suit.

August 23, 2016 in Pregnancy & Childbirth, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Despite Legal Restrictions, Massachusetts Still Shackling Pregnant Inmates

Jezebel (May 17, 2016): Report Finds Pregnant Massachusetts Inmates Are Still Being Illegally Shackled, by Anna Merlan:

In 2014, Massachusetts passed legislation prohibiting the shackling of pregnant inmates.   The law prohibits shackling women when they are in labor, in their second or third trimester of pregnancy and immediately post-delivery.  Despite the law a recent report found that many Massachusetts counties fail to enforce law and even have written policies that explicitly violate it.

The report published by Prisoners' Legal Services and the Prison Birth Project

charges that neither the state Department of Corrections nor a single county sheriff’s office is fully implementing the anti-shackling law, and that knowledge of what the law even entails “varies not just from one prison or jail to another, but among corrections personnel who work for the same prison or jail.”

The report documents instances of shackling during labor and in hospital beds post-delivery.  The report also found violations of the law's requirement that pregnant women be transported in vehicles with seatbelts to prevent the danger caused by sliding around in van seats or benches while handcuffed. 

Massachusetts is one of 22 states that have anti-shackling laws.  Its experience illustrates the need for monitoring and implementation of these laws.

 

June 23, 2016 in Incarcerated Women, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Can the U.S. End Teen Pregnancy?

Screen shot 2016-06-20 at 8.46.44 PMThe Atlantic, June 14, 2016 Can the U.S. End Teen Pregnancy?, by Caitlin Cadieux, Olga Khazan, Nicolas Pollock:

An animated video by the Atlantic discusses teen pregnancy in the U.S.:

Teen birth rates in the U.S. are down 9 percent from 2013, and they are the lowest they’ve been since 1940. However, America still has the highest teen pregnancy rate among 21 similar countries. Why is this? In this video, staff writer Olga Khazan explores how poverty, culture, and religion can all    play a role.

June 22, 2016 in Contraception, Reproductive Health & Safety, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Abortion on the Test in Utah

Salt Lake Tribune (June 3, 2016): Online Utah High School’s Biology Test Asked Students If a Woman Should Have an Abortion, Benjamin Wood:

A question on a final biology tests administered to high school students in Utah has raised the ire of some parents in that state.  The question, since removed from the state's electronic testing database, concerned a 40-year-old woman who was considering an abortion after having been told that the fetus she was carrying had Down's syndrome. 

The potential answers include: waiting and redoing the genetic testing closer to the baby's due date; trusting the scientific knowledge of the doctor and going forward with an abortion; prioritizing the wishes of the mother; and considering aspects like religious beliefs, financial burden and the effect on other family members before making "the best decision for everyone."

Some believe the question unlawfully tests students' religious views.  Others object that the question denies students the option of expressing respect for the unborn. 

June 7, 2016 in Abortion, State and Local News, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

New Thinking on Abortion Liberty from Ann Furedi and Maya Manian

The Moral Case for Abortion by Ann Furedi.

Ann Furedi is a provider of abortion services in the UK.  In her new book, she asserts that true respect for human life and true regard for individual conscience demand that we respect a woman’s right to decide, and that support for a woman’s right to a termination has moral foundations and ethical integrity.  Drawing on the traditions of sociological thinking and moral philosophy,

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Furedi maintains that there is a strong moral case for recognizing autonomy in personal decision-making about reproductive intentions. She argues moreover that to prevent a woman from making her own choice to continue or end her pregnancy is to undermine the essence of her humanity. This fresh perspective on abortion will interest both pro- and anti-choice individuals and organizations, along with academics in the fields of gender studies, philosophy, ethics and religion. 

Minors, Parents, and Minor Parents, by Maya Manian

In her new article in the Missouri Law Review, Maya Manian, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, exposes the law's incoherent approach to adolescent reproduction. Her research indicates that states overwhelmingly allow a teenage girl to independently consent to pregnancy care and medical treatment for her child and even to give up her child for adoption, all without notice to her parents, but require parental notice or consent for abortion. Manian theorizes that the unrecognized policy underlying these seemingly contradictory positions is to punish teenage sexuality and undermine adolescents’ reproductive rights. 

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May 10, 2016 in Abortion, Scholarship and Research, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fear of Parental Disapproval Leads Teens To Forgo Birth Control

CNN: Survey says teens skip birth control because they fear parental judgment, by Kelly Wallace:

Parents, if the following finding doesn't make you sit up and take notice when it comes to talking to your kids about sex and birth control, I'm not sure what will get your attention.

In a recent survey, 68% of teens said they agreed with this statement: The primary reason why they don't use birth control or protection is because they're afraid their parents will find out. . . .

May 8, 2015 in Contraception, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

10-Year-Old Paraguayan Girl, Raped by Stepfather, Is Denied an Abortion

Metro.co.uk: Pregnant girl, 10, ‘denied life-saving abortion after being raped by stepfather’, by Harry Readhead:

A 10-year-old girl who was raped by her stepfather has allegedly been denied the abortion she desperately needs.

The child was found to be 21 weeks pregnant after arriving at hospital in Asunción, Paraguay, this month complaining of stomach pains.

Amnesty International reports that the girl’s pregnancy came as a result of being raped by her stepfather, but she has allegedly been denied a life-saving abortion and sent to a centre for young mothers instead. . . .

April 30, 2015 in Abortion Bans, International, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

ACLU Challenges Alabama Law that Puts Teens Seeking Abortions on Trial

Associated Press: Ala. Abortion Law Lets Judges Appoint Lawyers for Fetuses, by Kim Chandler: 

The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday asked a federal judge to block an Alabama law that allows a fetus to be represented in court when a minor is seeking judicial permission for an abortion.

While abortion opponents have rolled out a variety of new restrictions on abortion in recent years - including new requirements on clinics and doctors - ACLU staff attorney Andrew Beck said the Alabama law was unique. . . .

 Here's the Daily Show's take on it (from January):

March 21, 2015 in Abortion, Fetal Rights, In the Courts, State Legislatures, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

LGBTQ-Inclusive Sex Education Still Rare in U.S.

The Huffington Post: Why Is LGBT-Inclusive Sex Education Still So Taboo?, by Alexandra Temblador:

Only 22 states plus the District of Columbia requires sex education in schools. Twelve of those states require sex education teachers to discuss sexual orientation. Three of those 12 states require teachers to impart only negative information on sexual orientation to students. Yes, three states in the United States make LGBTQ youth listen to discriminatory information directed at them by their own teachers. Take Alabama, whose sex education instructors are required to teach that homosexuality “is an unacceptable, criminal lifestyle.”

Out of 50 states and one district, only nine states have any form of positive LGBT-inclusive sexual education, a number that is very disheartening for the overall well-being of many youth in the United States. . . .

March 8, 2015 in Sexuality, Sexuality Education, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

House Republicans Attach Anti-Choice Provision to Education Bill

The Huffington Post: House Republicans Slip Anti-Abortion Language Into Education Bill, by Laura Bassett:

House Republicans attached language to a major education bill Wednesday night that would financially penalize school districts that allow school-based health centers to provide information about abortion to pregnant high school students. . . .

February 26, 2015 in Abortion, Congress, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Colorado Bill Would Provide $5 Million to Continue Free Contraception for Teenagers

The Denver Post: Colorado House committee passes bill providing state money for contraception, by Joey Bunch:

A House committee gave its approval Tuesday to a bill to put state money behind a contraception program that supporters say has been a major contributor to reducing teen pregnancies in Colorado.

The bill would provide $5 million next year to continue to provide free or low-cost intrauterine contraceptive devices, called IUDs, to women ages 15 to 19 years at clinics across the state. . . .

February 24, 2015 in Contraception, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Alabama Law Puts Teens Seeking Abortion on Trial

ThinkProgress:  Alabama’s Abortion Law Puts Minors On Trial And Gives Their Fetuses A Lawyer, by Tara Culp-Ressler:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit against Alabama this week in an attempt to overturn what the group suggests may be the most radical parental consent law in the country. Under a new law that went into effect this summer, minors who are seeking to bypass their parents’ consent to get an abortion are essentially put on trial. The state is allowed to appoint a lawyer for their fetus and call witnesses to testify about the teenager’s character. . . .

October 3, 2014 in Abortion, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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)