Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Federal Court Blocks Arkansas Abortion Ban

From CNN:

A federal judge has temporarily blocked Arkansas' 18-week abortion ban from going into effect on the grounds that it would cause "irreparable" harm to women seeking abortions.

The Tuesday ruling also blocks a new law barring providers from performing an abortion if the woman's decision to terminate the pregnancy was based on a diagnosis that the fetus has Down syndrome and another law requiring providers to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology. The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in Juneagainst Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge challenging all three measures as unconstitutional.
 
Read more here.

August 11, 2019 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

New Zealand Moves to Decriminalize Abortion

From BBC News:

New Zealand's government has proposed decriminalising abortion and allowing women to choose a termination up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy.

Jacinda Ardern's government issued details of a bill which would change abortion laws in force since 1977.

As things stand, a woman may only obtain an abortion if two doctors certify continued pregnancy would endanger her mental or physical health.

Read more here.

August 6, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Proposed Australian Abortion Law

From The Guardian:

The architect of a historic bill to decriminalise abortion in New South Waleshas hit out at opponents of the legislation, after a conservative MP wrongly claimed the bill would allow unrestricted abortion “until the moment of birth”.

The independent MP for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, tabled the bill on Thursday after it was delayed by a week by resistance within the Coalition government.

Read more here.

August 1, 2019 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 27, 2019

British Court Invalidates Ruling Forcing Mentally Challenged Pregnant Woman to have an Abortion

From National Review:

A British appeals court on Monday reversed a previous ruling that would have forced a mentally disabled woman to abort her child against both her wishes and those of her mother.

Justice Nathalie Lieven ruled Friday that an unidentified London woman, who is in her twenties but is said by the court to have the mental capacity of a six-to-nine-year-old child, must abort her 22-week-old unborn baby on the grounds that carrying the child to term would damage her mental health.

Read more here.

June 27, 2019 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Illinois Establishes Abortion as a 'Fundamental Right' for Women

From Chicago Tribune:

Surrounded by dozens of female lawmakers, women’s rights organizers and reproductive health activists, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday signed into law sweeping abortion rights legislation that establishes the procedure as a “fundamental right” for women in Illinois.

“In a time when too many states across the nation are taking a step backward, Illinois is taking a giant step forward for women’s health,” Pritzker said in remarks at the Chicago Cultural Center before signing the bill. “Today, we proudly proclaim that in this state, we trust women.”

Read more here.

June 15, 2019 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 14, 2019

All Male Council in Texas Vote to Ban Abortion

From The Guardian:

The entirely white male council of Waskom in Texas has voted to make the small town a “sanctuary city for the unborn”.

The five men on the town’s council voted this week to pass legislation known as an ordinance, which declared Roe v Wade, the landmark supreme court decision which legalized abortion, “unconstitutional”.

The move, which is itself unconstitutional, comes after a raft of abortion bans have passed in states from Missouri to Ohio.

Read more here.

June 14, 2019 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Rapists and Parental Rights

From The Washington Post:

When a young woman came to the Family Services of North Alabama office last year for help with trauma, saying she had been raped by her step-uncle when she was 15, rape crisis advocate Portia Shepherd heard something that “killed me, shocked me.”

The step-uncle, who was getting out of jail after a drug conviction, wanted to be a part of their child’s life. And in Alabama, the alleged rapist could get custody.

Read more here.

June 13, 2019 in Abortion, Child Abuse, Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Missouri may Soon Become the First State With No Abortion Clinics

From CNN News:

After a four-day reprieve, Missourians could soon learn whether their state will become the first with no abortion clinics.

Circuit Court Judge Michael Stelzer will have another hearing Tuesday before deciding whether the state's last abortion clinic, Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, can continue performing abortions.
 
The clinic is suing the state over its refusal to renew its license. That license was supposed to expire Friday. But the judge intervened during a hearing Friday, saying the license can stay in effect until another hearing Tuesday.
 
Read more here.

June 4, 2019 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Women Protest US Strictest Anti- Abortion Law

From Huffpost:

People across the country are devastated after the Alabama state Senate passed the country’s strictest abortion bill.

The state Senate on Tuesday night passed the Human Life Protection Act, an extreme anti-abortion measure that bans the procedure in all cases, including rape and incest. The only exception to the legislation is if the life of a pregnant woman is at risk.

The bill passed 25 to 6. All the yes votes were made by white male senators.

Read more here.

 

May 15, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 1, 2019

US Government Extends Ban On Use of Aid to Promote or Subsidize Abortion in Foreign Nations

From The Daily Signal:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced two key moves by the Trump administration that he said would “ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used to subsidize or promote abortions.” 

The United States spends about $9 billion a year on global health care programs, and President Donald Trump is determined that taxpayers’ dollars not go to foreign organizations that support or provide abortions, Pompeo told reporters Tuesday in the White House briefing room. 

In his first month in office, Trump reinstated the so-called Mexico City policy under which President Ronald Reagan in 1984 pursued the same objective.

Read more here.

 

April 1, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

No Due Process Right to Perform Abortions

From The ABA Journal:

An en banc federal appeals court has upheld an Ohio law that bans the state from providing health funds to abortion providers.

In an 11-6 decisionissued Tuesday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Cincinnati turned down a challenge by two Planned Parenthood affiliates. They had argued that the funding ban imposes an unconstitutional condition on public funding.

The Planned Parenthood affiliates “are correct that the Ohio law imposes a condition on the continued receipt of state funds,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote for the majority. “But that condition does not violate the Constitution because the affiliates do not have a due process right to perform abortions.”

Four judges in the majority were appointed by President Donald Trump, Politico reports.

Read more here.

March 19, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Judge Blocks Kentucky Fetal Heartbeat Law

From The New York Times:

A federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked a Kentucky law that prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which typically happens around six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.

The measure, which was signed into law on Friday by the state’s Republican governor, Matt Bevin, and was set to take effect immediately, was poised to become one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the country.

But late on Friday, the judge, David J. Hale of the Western District of Kentucky, ruled the law was potentially unconstitutional. He halted enforcement for at least 14 days to “prevent irreparable harm” until he could hold a hearing.

Read more here.

March 18, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 11, 2019

Alabama Court Recognizes Aborted Fetus as Person With Rights

From Washington Post:

An Alabama judge has recognized the legal rights of an aborted fetus, allowing a man whose girlfriend ended her pregnancy at six weeks to sue the manufacturer of the pill she used and the clinic that gave it to her.

The decree, issued by Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger, explicitly states “Baby Roe” is a person and allows plaintiff Ryan Magers to name the fetus as a co-plaintiff in the suit for “wrongful death.” Magers said in court filings that when his then-girlfriend discovered she was pregnant in early 2017, he “repeatedly pleaded” with her to carry the pregnancy to term and give birth, but she wanted to have an abortion.

Read more here.

March 11, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Trump Admin Issues Rule to Strip Millions from Planned Parenthood

From Politico:

The Trump administration issued a final rule on Friday that could effectively cut off tens of millions of federal family planning dollars to Planned Parenthood and steer some of that funding towards anti-abortion, faith-based care providers.

While the revamp of the Title X program does not accomplish the full defunding of Planned Parenthood that Republicans have called for, it is a major step in that direction, and marks another major policy win for social conservatives looking to prohibit access to abortion.

Under the rule, clinics would still have to provide an array of contraceptive services but could partner or subcontract with groups that stress abstinence only or natural family planning. It would also bar Planned Parenthood and other health care providers that accept the funding from making any abortion referrals or performing abortions — regardless of the funding source — at the same facilities where they provide Title X services like birth control, mammograms and cancer screenings.

Read more here.

February 23, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Abortion Bans Proposed in Colorado, Indiana, and Texas

From Rewire News:

Lawmakers in Colorado, Indiana, and Texas want to criminalize abortion, a lawmaker in Oklahoma is trying to prohibit abortion when the sex of the fetus is known, and transgender students are being targeted again in Indiana and South Dakota.

Colorado

Last Monday, lawmakers in the state house of representatives introduced the “Protect Human Life at Conception Act,” a fetal homicide bill that would prohibit terminating or causing the termination of a pregnancy, beginning at the moment of conception.

Read more here.

February 3, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Ohio Bans Common Abortion Procedure

From CNN:

A bill that would ban the most common abortion method used in the second trimester of pregnancy was signed into law Friday by Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Senate Bill 145 prohibits the dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure, in which the cervix is dilated and the contents of the uterus extracted. Though there is no exception in the law in cases of rape or incest, there is one if the mother's life is at risk.

Any abortion provider who defies this law could face fourth-degree felony charges, including prison time and fines.

The Republican governor's decision to sign off on this legislation sparked immediate backlash from abortion rights advocates.

Read more here.

January 18, 2019 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Legal Battle Over Missouri Clinic Could Foretell Abortion Fights in Other States

From NPR:

When Angela Huntington arrived at work on a Wednesday morning in early October, she had to do something she dreaded: turn patients away.

Huntington is the manager at the Columbia Health Center in Columbia, Mo., a Planned Parenthood site that recently had to halt its abortion services in the midst of a highly publicized legal fight in the state.

Since another Missouri law requires a 72-hour waiting period between counseling about abortion and having the actual procedure, Huntington needed to call every patient on the day's schedule. She told them they could come to her clinic for the counseling but would have to go elsewhere for the abortion.

The only other place in the state that they could turn to for an abortion was in St. Louis, a two-hour-drive away.

Read more here.

October 27, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Kavanaugh Calls Birth Control Abortion-Inducing Drugs

From USA Today:

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, already vehemently opposed by abortion-rights advocates, further alienated that contingent during his Senate testimony Thursday when he referred to some forms of birth control as "abortion-inducing drugs." 

Kavanaugh made the remark after Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz asked him about his dissent in a 2015 case involving Priests for Life, a Catholic group that Kavanaugh said was being forced to provide health coverage for contraceptives "over their religious objection." 

He said they would have been required to fill out a form that would "make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs" that they objected to. 

Read more here.

September 15, 2018 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

How Canada's Abortion Policies Work

From HuffPost Canada:

Some Canadians don't seem to have a firm grasp on how abortion regulationsfunction in our country. Given that a vote on whether or not to reopen the abortion debate was only narrowly defeated at the Conservative convention in Halifax this weekend, and that anti-abortion groups are celebrating, it seems like a topic we should all be more informed about.

Enter Dr. Jen Gunter, a practicing gynecologist and professional thorn in Gwyneth Paltrow's side, who took to Twitter to let us all know how abortion actually happens in our country.

As Gunter explained in her Twitter thread, late-term abortions — which anti-abortion activists sometimes refer to as "partial birth abortions" — are extremely rare. The most recent statistics available from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, from 2016, state that only 616 of the nearly 23,000 abortions performed in Canada that year took place after 20 weeks — approximately 2.7 per cent. As Gunter points out, this generally occurs only because of a direct threat to the mother's life or a very serious birth defect detected in the infant. Gunter says risk factors include anencephaly, where a baby is missing parts of the brain and skull and usually dies shortly after birth; and Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder that often involves heart defects and severe intellectual disability, which kills nearly 90 per cent of infants before their first birthday.

Read more here.

 

September 9, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A call for review of Zimbabwe's "Termination of Pregnancy Act"

From The Times Live, South Africa:

When her 15-year-old daughter fell pregnant last year, Irene Ndlovu secretly arranged for an abortion before the pregnancy became visible so that she could continue with her education.

Abortions are only allowed in Zimbabwe if a woman’s life is in danger, if there is a risk that the child will be “seriously handicapped” or if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. Those who break the law can be jailed for five years.

“It was the only sensible thing to do at the time,” Ndlovu, who declined to give her real name, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Do I regret it now? I don’t know.”

Read more here

 

September 5, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)