Family Law Prof Blog

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

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)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Alabama Lifts Ban on D&E Abortion Method

From American Civil Liberties Union: 

This week, a federal appeals court struck down Alabama’s ban on a safe, medically proven abortion method. The decision shows just how high the stakes are ahead of next month’s Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. 

In recent years, anti-abortion politicians across the country have enacted hundreds of dangerous restrictions aimed at preventing women from obtaining abortions. Alabama has been at the forefront of this coordinated national campaign, with politicians there enacting a multitude of restrictions designed to make it impossible for a woman to get the medical care she needs.

Read more here.

 

August 27, 2018 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Indiana Judge to Hear Appeal for Proposed Abortion Clinic

From U.S. News:

A federal judge will hold a two-day hearing this week on a Texas-based group's appeal of Indiana officials' rejection of its application to open an abortion clinic in South Bend.

The South Bend Tribune reports that Indianapolis judge Clare Deitchman will determine Wednesday and Thursday whether to grant Whole Woman's Health Alliance's appeal after the state Department of Health denied the group's application for an abortion clinic license in January.

The nonprofit is challenging the Health Department's conclusion that it failed to meet requirements of having "reputable and responsible character" and didn't disclose necessary information on its application.

If the appeal is granted, the group would open the clinic to offer medication-induced abortions to women up to 10 weeks pregnant. Nonprofit founder Amy Hagstrom Miller was not available for comment.

Read more here.

August 25, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Professor In Hiding By Death Threats Over Brazil Abortion Hearing

From The Guardian:

Days before a Brazilian supreme court hearing on a move that could eventually decriminalise abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, a leading feminist campaigner is in hiding after receiving death threats.

Debora Diniz, a professor of anthropology at the University of Brasília, who helped bring the legal action with bioethics institute Anis, is sequestered in an unknown location but will still appear at the two-day hearing, which starts on Friday.

“We are in a new moment,” Diniz, who will be escorted by police at the trial, told the Guardian by phone. “It could change the criminalisation of abortion in the country, and that is why it is so important.”

Read more here.

August 12, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 20, 2018

London Protests Against Trump for Women's Rights, Refugees, Climate Change

From Reuters:

With colorful banners, loud chants and pots and pans banging, tens of thousands of people marched through central London to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s stance on climate change, refugee policies, and treatment of women.

Organizers estimated more than 80,000 people demonstrated in London against Trump’s first official visit to Britain as president, and other protests were expected in major cities around the country.

“Trump represents everything I hate: racism, bigot, misogynist, xenophobe. As a mother of daughters I want to show that he can’t treat women like he does,” said Diana Yates, 67, as demonstrators cheered and drivers honked horns in support.

Read more here.

July 20, 2018 in Abortion, Child Abuse, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Supreme Court Rules Against Women in NIFLA v Becerra

From NBC News:

This week the United States Supreme Court ruled against women. Or at least, it ruled against women who might be looking for information about their reproductive rights.

And things are likely to get worse. On Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote on so many important issues including gay rights, affirmative action and abortion, announced that he is retiring from the high court. We will only continue to see more harmful decisions when it comes to the ability of women to control what happens to their bodies.

The court's decision in the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra is just the tip of the iceberg. While there can be no doubt that we must zealously guard the First Amendment rights of those who do not wish to speak, particularly when that speech contravenes their religious beliefs, those rights are not absolute. At some point they must give way to public health concerns and the need to provide patients and would-be patients with accurate information.

Read more here.

July 5, 2018 in Abortion, Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

What Does Justice Kennedy's Retirement Mean for Roe v Wade?

From CBS News:

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's announcement on Wednesday that he will be retiring could mean that Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion across the United States, will be overturned in the not-too-distant future.

Despite his loose affiliation with the conservative wing of the Supreme Court, Kennedy was widely seen as a barrier to efforts to repeal Roe v. Wade. In 1992, he sided with liberal justices in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a decision that reasserted the court's view that abortion access is protected by the Constitution, although he has sometimes ruled in favor of abortion restrictions in other cases.

President Trump, who previously described himself as pro-choice but in recent years has said he opposes abortion, will nominate Kennedy's replacement. And with Republicans holding a narrow majority in the U.S. Senate, which will vote to confirm the pick, it's possible that Roe v. Wade could soon be history.

Read more here.

July 3, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Argentina Takes Big Step Toward Legal Legalizing Abortion

 

From NPR:

It took more than 22 hours of debate, stretching overnight into Thursday morning, but finally Argentina's lower house of Congress has decided: By a 129-125 vote, the Chamber of Deputies passed a bill legalizing abortion before 14 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill now heads to the country's Senate, where its chances of passage appear less rosy — but if it does get a yes vote in the upper chamber, Argentine President Mauricio Macri has said he will sign it into law, despite his own reservations.

Outside Argentina's Congress on Thursday morning, a massive crowd of demonstrators bearing green flags and dressed in warm clothing erupted in cheers at the news.

Read more here.

June 28, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Modern Face of the DIY Abortion

From BBC News:

The findings also suggest that in countries where abortion laws are more restrictive, there is greater search interest in abortion pills.

By buying pills online and sharing medical advice through WhatsApp groups, women are increasingly turning to technology to sidestep legal barriers to abortion.

This is the modern face of the so-called "DIY abortion".

Countries with the strictest laws, where abortion is allowed only to save a woman's life or banned altogether, have over 10 times higher search interest in abortion pill Misoprostol compared to countries with no restrictions, BBC analysis shows.

Read more here.

June 27, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Arkansas Abortion Law

From NPR:

The Supreme Court declined to take up an appeal to a restrictive abortion law in Arkansas that would effectively ban abortions by medication. But this is hardly the end of the line for this case.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to hear a challenge to an Arkansas abortion law. The law makes access to abortions more difficult. The result is that Arkansas is now the only state in the country that bans abortion by pill. The method is certified by the Food and Drug Administration as just as safe as surgical abortions but with fewer side effects. The Supreme Court's decision not to intervene in the case at this point, however, is not final, as NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg reports.

Read more here.

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