Monday, October 18, 2010

Analysis Finds Children Not Adversely Affected When New Mothers Return to Work

Chicago Tribune: It's OK, moms. You can work., by Shari Roan:

Women who return to work after childbirth shouldn't worry that they are dooming their offspring to future developmental and emotional problems because they aren't at home to tend to them around-the-clock. An analysis of all of the solid studies on the topic -- 69 to be exact -- found that children whose mothers return to work before the child turns 3 are no more likely to have academic or behavioral problems compared with kids whose mothers stayed at home.

"For years, there has been a lot of debate in this area of research and now we can see more clearly for which families there are positive and negative associations with having a mom who works," a co-author of the study, Rachel Lucas-Thompson, of Macalester College  in St. Paul, Minn., said in a news release.

The analysis, of research conducted between 1960 and 2010, suggests some kids are better off if mom does work. Children from single-parent or low-income families whose mothers worked had better academic and intelligence scores and fewer behavioral problems compared with similar children whose mothers did not work. This is due to the better economic environment these children experience and because the mothers became positive role models for their children, the authors said. . . .

The study appears online in the journal Psychological Bulletin.

October 18, 2010 in Parenthood, Scholarship and Research, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Robert Goldstein on Women's Procreative Choice

Robert Goldstein (UCLA School of Law) has posted Picturing the Life Course of Procreative Choice on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Goldstein For a substantial part of women’s lives, regulating fertility is a primary project. This Article depicts the life course of women’s procreative choice through a series of complex visual representations of data derived from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and the National Survey of Family Growth 2002. These graphic representations illustrate that preventing procreation, through a variety of choices, including contraception, sterilization, abortion, abstinence, and partner choice, occupies most of a woman’s fertile years, as compared with childbirth.



October 18, 2010 in Abortion, Contraception, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Scholarship and Research, Sterilization, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Investigative Series Addresses Campaign Portraying Abortion as Black Genocide

Feministing: New investigative series looks into movement behind abortion as black genocide claims, by Miriam:


Abortion Conspiracy exposes the attacks on the human rights of Black women by conservatives using Black fronts. GritTV, hosted by Laura Flanders, has partnered with STV Productions, SisterSong, Trust Black Women, Mary Wohlford Foundation, and the Anderson Rogers Foundation to premiere the first of a five-part series featuring Abortion Conspiracy.

These folks have teamed up on this new documentary series about the movement behind the racist and anti-choice advertising campaigns claiming that abortion is equivalent to black genocide.

GRITtv has the first extended installment of this investigative series.

October 18, 2010 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, In the Media, Race & Reproduction, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Abortion Medical Training and Access Are Expanded in Utah

The Salt Lake Tribune: Abortion access and training expands in Utah, by Heather May:

Utah This summer, advocates for women’s reproductive rights quietly expanded abortion options and training in Utah.

In July, the University of Utah joined a national program to train physicians in contraception and abortion techniques. And in August, Planned Parenthood of Utah started offering first-trimester abortions, becoming the state’s fourth provider.

Supporters say the need for expanded training has been highlighted by a botched abortion in Maryland by Utah doctor Nicola Riley. Maryland’s medical board suspended her license in August, accusing her of endangering patients’ safety. . . .

October 18, 2010 in Abortion, Medical News, Reproductive Health & Safety, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Leslie Gielow Jacobs on Abortion Disclosure Cases and the Constitutionality of Government Disclosure Requirements for Commercial Speech

Leslie Gielow Jacobs (University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law) has posted What the Abortion Disclosure Cases Say About the Constitutionality of Persuasive Government Speech on Product Labels on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Jacobs This article addresses the uncertain constitutional status of government compelled disclosure requirements imposed on commercial speech. In Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel, 471 U.S. 626 (1985), the Supreme Court held that, while commercial speech restrictions are subject to intermediate scrutiny review under Central Hudson, at least certain types of disclosure requirements would be subject to more lenient rational basis review. Many had assumed that Zauderer’s deferential review applied to disclosure requirements imposed to promote legitimate regulatory objectives including, but not limited to, preventing consumers from being deceived by unsupplemented commercial speech. As new requirements that cigarette labels provide larger and more graphic health warnings illustrate, these regulatory purposes may include achieving the public health objective of reducing demand for the product on which the information must be placed. But the Supreme Court’s recent interpretations expanding the free speech protection of commercial and corporate speakers from government regulations that take the form of restricting their speech create uncertainty as to whether and how these changes in the jurisprudence of speech restrictions will modify the authority of governments to achieve their legitimate regulatory objectives by means of information disclosure requirements imposed on commercial speech. Yet this apparent uncertainty in the commercial speech jurisprudence has an odd and inconsistent counterpart. At the same time that members of the Court have suggested that disclosure requirements imposed on commercial speech for purposes other than preventing consumer deception may be constitutionally suspect, in the analogous context of the abortion service, the Court has applied deferential rational basis review to uphold selective and persuasive disclosure requirements that were imposed for purposes other than correcting potentially misleading speech. This piece identifies the symmetry between the two lines of cases, and to points out that, so long as the informed consent to abortion precedent remains unchanged, it is controlling in the context of commercial speech disclosures. Deferential rational basis scrutiny applies to judicial evaluations of information disclosure mandates imposed on product labels and other types of commercial speech, even if the government’s purpose is something other than preventing consumer deception and even if the information is obviously selected and presented to persuade.

October 18, 2010 in Abortion, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Barbara Boxer Plays "Abortion Card" Against Opponent Carly Fiorina

Politico: Boxer plays abortion card, by Darren Samuelsohn

California LOS ANGELES — Sen. Barbara Boxer returned on Thursday to a tried and tested campaign strategy by painting her opponent as an extreme anti-abortion conservative who is out of touch with California voters.

The three-term Democrat used a rally at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to claim that GOP nominee Carly Fiorina would become a sure Senate vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

"Make no mistake about it," Boxer said alongside actresses Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman and Alfre Woodard, and Reps. Jane Harman, Diane Watson and Laura Richardson. "A woman's right to choose is on the ballot here in California this year. It's very stark. Barbara Boxer, pro-choice, versus Carly Fiorina, anti-choice. It's very clear and very important people know this."

Boxer has hammered away at Fiorina's stance on abortion during other campaign events and their two previous debates. But California election observers say she's also been holding back a bit by featuring other lines of attack in her high-priced TV commercials.  . . .

October 18, 2010 in Abortion, Congress, Politics, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Proponents Predict Nebraska’s Fetal Pain Abortion Ban Will Spread to Other Jurisdictions

Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska abortion law may spread, by Martha Stoddard:

Neb Nebraska's one-of-a-kind law banning almost all abortions after a fetus reaches 20 weeks might not stand alone for long.

Abortion opponents say they expect lawmakers in several states to introduce similar proposals next session.

“This will take off like wildfire,” predicted Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life.

The Nebraska law, which takes effect Friday, has already inspired U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., to reintroduce a bill in Congress that would raise the issue of fetal pain. . . .

October 18, 2010 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Fetal Rights, Politics, Pregnancy & Childbirth, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Study Shows Partner Support for Contraception Affects Usage Among Married Cambodian Women


Cambodia Flag A new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina and Population Services International finds that partner support for contraception—or lack thereof—has a very strong influence on married Cambodian women’s contraceptive use. Authors Ghazaleh Samandari and colleagues analyzed the relationship between attitudes of partners, elders and peers and contraceptive use among married Cambodian women aged 15–49 who wished to delay childbirth. According to their findings, the influence of these groups’ views, whether for or against contraceptive use, depended on how many children the women already had.

More than half (58%) of the 706 women the authors surveyed in 2007 reported not using a modern contraceptive method, although virtually all of them had at least some knowledge of modern methods and where to obtain them. . . .

October 15, 2010 in Contraception, Culture, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Anti-Abortion-Rights Activists Win Temporary Injunction Against Pittsburgh Ban on Leafleting Cars

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Abortion opponents win injunction on city leaflet rules, by Ann Rodgers:

 U.S. District Court Judge David Cercone today granted a temporary halt to enforcement of a city ordinance that bans leafleting of parked cars.

At issue was a Pittsburgh ordinance that forbids distribution of written material or sample merchandise "so as to cause litter or unreasonably interfere with pedestrians or traffic." It specifically forbids placing literature -- with the exception of parking tickets -- on cars without permission of the owner or occupant.

The law was challenged by two opponents of abortion, Kathleen Ramsey and Albert Brunn, who wanted to place voter guides in the door jambs of parked cars. Their counsel, Edward White of Ann Arbor, Mich., senior attorney for the American Center for Law and Justice, argued that the law was vague and stifled free speech. He contended that litter wasn't caused by people distributing leaflets, but by drivers who later tossed the papers on the ground. . . .

October 15, 2010 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

NJ Board Suspends Accused Doctor's License For Unlawfully Performing Five Late-Term Abortions New Jersey board suspends abortion doc's license, by Susan K. Livio:

The state's physician disciplinary board Wednesday night suspended the license of a controversial abortion doctor accused of unlawfully performing five late-term abortions outside a hospital or licensed health center and putting his patients' health at risk.

After nearly a nine-hour hearing in Trenton, the state Board of Medical Examiners medical board concluded Steven Chase Brigham, 54, skirted state law by beginning the late-term abortions in New Jersey and sending the women out of state to finish the procedure.

The board stated "his continued practice presents a clear and imminent danger" to the public and his procedures caused "fetal demise and brought patients to the point" where abortion was basically required, according to a statement read by a board member. . . .

October 15, 2010 in Abortion, Medical News, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Jury Acquits First Australian Woman Prosecuted for Procuring An Abortion

The Australian: Jury frees abortion couple in less than an hour, by Sarah Elks:

IN a landmark decision, the first Australian woman known to have been prosecuted for procuring an abortion has been acquitted by a jury.

The verdict came after less than an hour of deliberation.

The jurors returned their not-guilty verdict after Cairns District Court judge Bill Everson instructed them that in order to convict 21-year-old Tegan Simone Leach, they had to be satisfied that the drugs she took were harmful or noxious to her own health, rather than the fetus.

The public gallery in the Cairns District Court -- packed with pro-choice demonstrators from around Australia -- erupted with applause after the eight-woman, four-man jury acquitted Ms Leach and partner Sergie Brennan, 22. . . .

October 15, 2010 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, In the Courts, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Release of Candidate's Private Photos Highlight Sexism in Politics

NPR News: Candidates' Racy Photos Raise Sexism, Privacy Issues, by Liz Halloran:

Krystal Ball was a little-known Virginia Democrat with an intriguing name, running a long-shot campaign for Congress in a district held by Republicans for more than three decades.

But that was last week.

Ball, 28, has now landed on the national stage for reasons even she says she wished had remained private.

Six-year-old Christmas party photos showing Ball dressed as a sexy Mrs. Claus and clowning around with her now former husband recently surfaced on the Internet. In the photos, taken at a private home, he's on a sparkly leash and wearing fuzzy antlers, his nose adorned with a Rudolph-red plastic penis.

Embarrassing? A most emphatic "yes," says Ball, who Tuesday told NPR that her inclination after the photos were posted — she believes they were provided to a conservative blogger by someone she knew at the party — was to "hide in a corner."

But hide she did not. . . .

October 13, 2010 in Congress, Politics, State and Local News, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Women's Rights Leaders Hold Press Conference in Sacramento to Address Upcoming Elections

Sacramento Press: Women’s Rights and Access to Abortion and Birth Control at Stake November 2, by Raquel Simental:

California Representatives from more than 40 women rights organizations and women leaders throughout California held press conferences today in Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles to urge women to vote on November 2nd to ensure women’s rights stay intact.

Women leaders at the Sacramento press conference were Janice Rocco, southwest regional director of California NOW; Genevieve Shiroma, SMUD board member; and Deborah Ortiz, Vice President of Public Affairs for California, Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte and a former State Senator.

Voting this election cycle is crucial to ensure California women to continue to have access to abortion and family planning as well as pay equity, women’s rights in the workplace and equal marriage rights. California needs more women running for office, but women candidates like Meg Whitman, running for Governor, and Carly Fiorina, running for US Senator, have made it clear women’s rights are not a priority for them. . . .

October 13, 2010 in Abortion, Congress, Contraception, Politics, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Survey Shows that 71% of Voters Support Eliminating Co-Pays for Birth Control

RH Reality Check: Got Birth Control? Americans Overwhelmingly Support Eliminating Co-Pays for Contraception, by Jodi Jacobson:

Birth Control A large majority of American voters believes that insurers should include birth control as a fully covered preventive health service, along with colonoscopies, annual health checkups, prenatal care and other forms of primary preventive care, according to a new survey.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandates that by 2014 all health care plans cover basic preventive services free of out-of-pocket costs, such as co-pays.  And Americans want birth control to be part of the package.

The survey of 1,147 voters, conducted by Hart Research and commissioned by Planned Parenthood Action Fund "found overwhelming and widespread public support for national policies that would provide prescription birth control approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at no cost to all women with health insurance," said Planned Parenthood.

Nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of voters agreed that the birth control pill and other forms of prescription contraceptive methods should be made available without co-pays. . . .

October 13, 2010 in Contraception, Public Opinion | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nov. 2, 2010: London Conference on the Rise of Reproductive Technologies

University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies in association with The Guardian

"Making Babies in the 21st Century: the Rise of Reproductive Technologies"
18.45 - 20.15, Tuesday 2 November 2010

Baroness Onora O'Neill (Chair, Nuffield Foundation)
Professor Marcia Inhorn (William K Lanman Jr Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, Yale University)
Professor Susan Golombok (Director, Centre for Family Research, Cambridge)
Professor Carl Djerassi (Inventor of the modern day contraceptive pill, Emeritus Professor, Stanford University)

This event is part of a series of 3 public events on 'Gender and the Bio-medical Sciences' which will bring world class experts together to engage directly with the public on topics of gender and radical bio-medical advances of the 21st Century. What can the latest scientific advances tell us about gender; what will be possible in the future and why does it matter? (Please see the attached poster for details.)

Hall 2, King's Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG
Tickets are £9.50, and available online:

Organised by the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies in association with the Guardian and kindly supported by Cambridge University Press.

For details of all 3 events, please visit:

October 12, 2010 in Assisted Reproduction, Conferences and Symposia, Fertility, International, Lectures and Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In France, Generous State-Paid Benefits for Mothers Don't Translate to Women's Equality

NY Times: Where Having It All Doesn’t Mean Having Equality, by Katrin Bennhold:

France Flag PARIS — Could there be anything more French than this workout?

Weeks after giving birth, French women are offered a state-paid, extended course of vaginal gymnastics, complete with personal trainer, electric stimulation devices and computer games that reward particularly nimble squeezing. The aim, said Agnes de Marsac, a physiotherapist who runs such sessions: “Making love again soon and making more babies.”

Perineal therapy is as ubiquitous in France as free nursery schools, generous family allowances, tax deductions for each child, discounts for large families on high-speed trains, and the expectation that after a paid, four-month maternity leave mothers are back in shape — and back at work.

Courtesy of the state, French women seem to have it all: multiple children, a job and, often, a figure to die for.

What they don’t have is equality: France ranks 46th in the World Economic Forum’s 2010 gender equality report, trailing the United States, most of Europe, but also Kazakhstan and Jamaica. Eighty-two percent of French women aged 25-49 work, many of them full-time, but 82 percent of parliamentary seats are occupied by men. French women earn 26 percent less than men but spend twice as much time on domestic tasks. They have the most babies in Europe, but are also the biggest consumers of anti-depressants. . . . .

October 12, 2010 in Culture, International, Parenthood, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

NJ Doctor Faces Possible Loss of License for Gross Negligence in Abortion Provision N.J. doctor faces loss of license, new late-term abortions charges, by Susan K. Livio:

TRENTON — On Aug. 13, three women seeking second-trimester abortions followed physician Steven Brigham from his Camden County office to a Maryland clinic he owns, according to claims by the attorney general’s office.

They were wracked with contractions as they traveled because Brigham had given them labor-inducing drugs a day or two earlier, the state said. In Maryland, the women met another doctor, who performed their procedures. One of the women, 18, needed emergency surgery at a hospital to treat a lacerated bowel and uterus.

Attorney General Paula Dow wants the state Board of Medical Examiners, the disciplinary panel for doctors, to pull Brigham’s license for this "grossly negligent and dangerous pattern of practice.’’ Brigham used the two-state scheme to flout a New Jersey law prohibiting doctors from performing abortions outside a hospital or other licensed facility after the 14th week of pregnancy, and put his patients "at risk of serious harm,’’ according to Dow’s complaint. . . .

October 12, 2010 in Abortion, Reproductive Health & Safety, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In Second Trimester, Study Suggests Women Prefer Surgical Abortion to Pill

Reuters: Women prefer surgical abortion to pill in second trimester, by Amy Norton:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women who undergo an abortion during the second trimester may often prefer a surgical procedure to the "abortion pill," a small UK study suggests.

The study, of 122 women who were randomly assigned to either a surgical or medication-induced abortion during the second trimester, found that all women in the surgery group said they would opt for that form of abortion again, if necessary.

In contrast, only 53 percent of women in the medication group said the same, according to findings published in the obstetrics journal BJOG.

As a group, the study found, women who received a medical abortion reported more pain and had more vaginal bleeding than those who'd had surgery. And two weeks after the procedure, they had a higher average score on a standard measure of "intrusive" psychological symptoms -- such as unwanted thoughts or nightmares. . . . .

October 12, 2010 in Abortion, Medical News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rachel Maddow to Narrate Special on Dr. George Tiller

The Huffington Post: Rachel Maddow Narrating Special on George Tiller, Murdered Abortion Doctor (VIDEO):

Rachel Maddow announced on her show Monday that she will be narrating a special on the murder of Dr. George Tiller, the Kansas abortion doctor slain in 2009.

Maddow said that the special, "The Assassination Of Dr. Tiller," will air on Oct. 25th at 9 PM, and that she was also involved in the production and editing of the show. She said that the special will focus on how and why the murder happened, and would feature interviews with people viewers would not believe had consented to appear on the air.

October 12, 2010 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, In the Media, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Proposed Legislation Would Require NYC "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" to Disclose Stance on Abortion

The New York Times: The True Mission of ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’, by Susan Dominus:

Imagine a young woman riding the subway, consumed by her thoughts: she is pregnant, considering abortion, but unsure of where to turn. She looks up midcommute and notices a sign with three bold words, one beneath the other: “Free abortion alternatives.” At the bottom of the sign are several phone numbers that will lead her to any one of 12 E.M.C. FrontLine Pregnancy Centers around New York City.

The centers — crisis pregnancy centers — provide support for women who would like to continue their pregnancies but are in dire financial straits. They provide useful social service referrals and offer a sympathetic ear for women continuing their pregnancies.

They do not, however, provide a full range of alternatives (like the morning-after pill) or condone all choices. To the contrary, they oppose abortion, and their staff members try their hardest to talk women out of having one, even if that means, according to Planned Parenthood of New York City, showing them graphic images and telling them that “God will never forgive you.”

A yearlong investigation by Naral Pro-Choice New York found that crisis pregnancy centers — in addition to the E.M.C. centers, there are at least four others in the city — feed women information that has been medically refuted (including an old standby, rejected by the National Cancer Institute, that abortions cause higher rates of breast cancer).

Partly in response to findings in that report, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, and Councilwoman Jessica S. Lappin, Democrat of Manhattan, are proposing legislation that would require the stance of these crisis pregnancy centers to be clear to all women who visit them — either intentionally, or by accident while seeking a Planned Parenthood clinic across the street, or because the word “abortion” loomed much larger to them on that subway sign than the word “alternative.” . . .

October 12, 2010 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)