Monday, November 15, 2010

Iowa Abortion Opponents Hope to Block Opening of New Abortion Clinic

Des Moines Register: Abortion opponents will target new Iowa clinic, by Tony Leys:

Iowa Flag Iowa abortion opponents say they will work to block a Nebraska abortion provider from opening a clinic in Council Bluffs.

Dr. LeRoy Carhart has been the center of controversy for years because he performs late-term abortions. This week, he told reporters that he intends to open clinics in Council Bluffs, Indianapolis and the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Nebraska has a new law banning abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. Iowa law allows abortions after the second trimester if a doctor believes the procedure is needed to "preserve the life or health" of the woman. . . .

November 15, 2010 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CDC Survey Shows Frequent Ineffective Contraception Use

Feminist Wire (Ms. Magazine): Unintended Pregnancies Linked to Ineffective Contraception Use:

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey of over 7,000 women revealed that many women, despite their desire to avoid pregnancy, fail to use birth control or do so improperly and ineffectively. The CDC reports that approximately 50 percent of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended.

Though oral contraception is 92-99 percent effective when used correctly, many women who rely on this method fail to take the pill consistently - at the same time everyday. Similarly, condoms are reported to be about have a 95 percent effectiveness rate, but their actual effectiveness is about 85 percent due to frequent improper usage. . . .

November 15, 2010 in Contraception, Pregnancy & Childbirth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Anti-Choice Activists Describe Plans to Protest Dr. LeRoy Carhart's Expansion of Practice to DC Area

TBD: Local anti-abortion activists' elaborate plans to protest LeRoy Carhart, by Amanda Hess:

This week, Nebraska abortion provider LeRoy Carhart, one of the few physicians in the country who will openly perform late-term abortions, announced his plans to expand his reproductive health practice to the D.C. metro area.

Maryland anti-abortion activist Jack Ames hadn't yet learned of Carhart's plans when I called him for comment Wednesday morning. Then, for over an hour, Ames detailed exactly what he plans to do to stop Carhart. “He’s about as welcome here as the plague,” Ames told me. “If Carhart comes in here, we’re going to be all over him.”

November 14, 2010 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"UN Women" Board Includes Saudi Arabia, But Iran Ejected

Poverty Matters Blog (The Guardian): Why has Iran been kicked off the board of the UN's new agency for women?, by Sarah Boseley:

UN Setting up a new UN agency is a fraught business. UN Women, designed to fight for the rights of women in the developing world in a way previous UN agencies did not manage, is no different. Following hard political lobbying from the US and human rights groups, Iran has been ejected from the board. . . .

It is interesting, however, that Iran – one of the west's least favourite nations – should be pushed out while Saudi Arabia – not known for its strong stance on equality – has a place. So do Libya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. . . .

November 14, 2010 in International, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"Sexy Breast Cancer" Campaigns Ignore Reality of the Disease

NY Times Magazine: Think About Pink, by Peggy Orenstein:

Breast cancer A friend of mine’s 12-year-old daughter has taken to wearing a bracelet, one of those rubber, Lance Armstrong-style affairs, that says on it, “I ❤ Boobies.”

“Oh, yeah,” she said, vaguely, when questioned about it. “It’s for breast cancer.”


It’s hard to remember that, not so long ago, the phrase “breast cancer” was not something women spoke aloud, even among themselves. . . .

November 14, 2010 in Culture, Reproductive Health & Safety, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Congress is "Most Hostile" to Abortion Since Roe v. Wade Was Decided

The Nation: Antichoicers on the March, by Katha Pollitt:

When the 112th Congress convenes in January it will have at least fifty-three additional antichoice Republicans in the House and five in the Senate. Some of the newcomers are particularly extreme: Senator-elect Rand Paul and incoming Representatives Mike Fitzpatrick and Tim Walberg oppose most common methods of birth control, in vitro fertilization and stem cell research, and join Marco Rubio and Pat Toomey in opposing abortion even for rape or incest; Toomey supports jailing doctors who perform abortions. Supporters of reproductive rights are looking at the most hostile Congress since abortion was legalized in 1973. . . .

November 14, 2010 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Assisted Reproduction, Congress, Contraception, Politics, Stem Cell Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Family Describes 10-Year-Old Girl's Childbirth as Happy Event

The Guardian: Too young to be a mother?, by Giles Tremlett:

A 10-year-old girl giving birth to a baby in Spain has caused outrage. But she and her family seem happy, so why should we be worried?

She is called Nicoletta and, undoubtedly, is as delightful as any healthy newborn baby. But her birth 10 days ago in the southern Spanish city of Jerez has provoked a storm – because her mother is just 10 years old.

What has shocked the rest of the world, however, is described as a happy event by the family. "My daughter is well, as is the little girl – who is very fine and pretty. She is very happy with her daughter," the baby's Romanian grandmother, Olimpia, told Spanish journalists. "This is not a drama, it is a cause for happiness. At this age we marry in Romania. It is normal amongst we Gypsies."

Can that really be true? Recorded examples suggest that mothers this young tend to be victims of abuse or rape. And what does Nicoletta's birth say about everything from the increasingly early development of young girls' bodies and the cultural norms of Romania's Roma community to the laws in Spain, where the child gave birth? . . .

November 14, 2010 in Culture, International, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Sexual Assault, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Abortion Issue Helped Democrats in Some Close Senate Races

Politico: Was abortion a wave-stopper for Democrats in 2010?, by Alexander Burns:

Democrat donkey While almost nothing went right for Democratic candidates this fall, one issue turned out to be a winner in some of the closest Senate races in the nation: abortion.

By branding Republican challengers as outside the cultural mainstream on the issue, Democrats managed to hold on to at least a slice of the political center by courting and winning over moderate women in a handful of key states.

The strategy ran counter to the one that enabled the party to broaden the political map in 2006 and 2008, when Democrats thrived by running candidates whose positions on abortion were closely attuned to the socially conservative areas where they sought office. . . .

November 13, 2010 in Abortion, Congress, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Women Sharing Abortion Experiences and Support via Twitter

Salon: Tweeting Your Abortion, by Tracy Clark-Flory:

Women are taking to Twitter with a blunt statement of fact: "I had an abortion." In fact, so many are tweeting about their experience that the hashtag "#ihadanabortion" began trending on the site yesterday. It all started with a tweet from @IAmDrTiller: "Time for us to come out. Who's had an abortion? Show antis we're not intimidated by scare tactics. Use: #ihadanabortion." The responses came streaming in: 

I've had an abortion. It was not an easy decision, but it was the best one for me. #ihadanabortion

Almost half my life ago, #ihadanabortion. I'm not sorry. I've never been sorry. I will never be sorry. Just very, very grateful. . . .

November 13, 2010 in Abortion, Culture, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Q & A With Doctor Warren Hern, Provider of Later Abortions

Time Magazine: Late-Term Abortions: Q&A With the Last Remaining Doctor Who Performs Them, by Bonnie Rochman:

No doubt, being an abortion doctor is a stressful and dangerous profession. Being an abortion doctor who performs abortions well into the second and third trimesters only ups the ante. Ask Warren Hern, the only doctor in America who admits to performing delayed abortions.

Worry and fear accompany Hern like a parent accompanies a small child crossing the street. They are always right there, hovering. He can never let down his guard.

When his friend and fellow abortion doctor, George Tiller, was murdered in May 2009 as he handed out pamphlets in his Wichita, Kan., church, Hern drove to his memorial service escorted by U.S. marshals. Less than a month after Tiller's death, a man from Spokane, Wash., called Hern's office in Boulder, Colo., to say that two people were headed for the Rockies to harm his family. Donald Hertz, who made the threat, was sentenced last week to five years of probation for threatening Hern's family. (More on The Grass-Roots Abortion War).

Hern specializes in abortions late in pregnancy that are performed due to fetal disorders, although he makes it clear that he doesn't see it as his role to pass judgment on why a woman shows up at his clinic doorstep. . . .

November 13, 2010 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Margo Kaplan on Pregnant Women's Right to Refuse Medical Treatment After Gonzales v. Carhart

Margo Kaplan (Brooklyn School of Law) has posted A 'Special Class of Persons': Pregnant Women’s Right to Refuse Medical Treatment after Gonzales V. Carhart on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Margo Kaplan As several scholars have noted, the Supreme Court’s Gonzales v. Carhart decision upholding the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (PBABA) represents a major departure from its previous abortion jurisprudence. What has received little attention is the ease with which Carhart’s rationale can be imported into cases involving the medical treatment of women who wish to continue their pregnancies to term. This article analyzes the implications of Carhart in a context that has thus far been overlooked and, in doing so, argues that its reasoning is broader and more troubling than the majority acknowledged or perhaps even intended.

While common and constitutional law protects the right to refuse medical treatment, courts have compelled the medical treatment of pregnant women on rare occasions, citing the states’ interest in protecting fetal life as recognized in abortion jurisprudence. Until Carhart, abortion jurisprudence provided very limited support for compelled medical treatment of pregnant women more generally. Carhart interprets the state interests in fetal life and maternal health so broadly that it essentially creates new, dubious state interests that, in the context of compelled treatment cases, expand state justifications for requiring medical treatment of pregnant women, even where such treatment would harm women’s health. The expansion of state power to compel medical treatment has disturbing implications for women’s liberty and equality. Carhart paves the way to designating women as a “special class of persons” who have more limited rights to bodily autonomy and informed consent. . . .

November 13, 2010 in Abortion, Fetal Rights, Gonzales v. Carhart, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Scholarship and Research, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In India, Early Marriage Linked to Poor Reproductive Health


Guttmacher A new study by researchers from the Population Council, New Delhi, and the International Institute for Population Sciences in Mumbai, which looked at the effect of early marriage among young Indian women found a range of negative associations that compromised their overall lives and reproductive health. K.G. Santhya and colleagues used data on Indian women aged 20–24 from a large-scale survey conducted in urban and rural areas of five states where early marriage is widespread: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. They found that nearly 63% of these women had married when they were younger than 18, the minimum legal age for marriage in India.

Compared with young women who had married at age 18 or older, those who had married earlier were less likely to have been involved in planning their marriage: For example, only about one-third of those who had married early reported that their parents had sought their approval of the spouse chosen for them, while nearly two-thirds of the women who married later had been consulted. . . . 

November 13, 2010 in International, Poverty, Reproductive Health & Safety, Scholarship and Research, Sexual Assault, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Anti-Abortion Activist Flip Benham Calls His Stalking Conviction "Bogus"

Star-Telegram: Anti-abortion activist says he was wrongly targeted, by Franco Ordonez:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Rev. Flip Benham, convicted Monday of stalking North Carolina doctors who perform abortions, says that he's being wrongly targeted and that authorities are trying to silence him from spreading the Gospel.

The director of Operation Save America called the Mecklenburg County court verdict "bogus" and a violation of free speech. He said it would not stop him from protesting at abortion clinics.

Benham, who co-founded Dallas Rescue and served as director of Operation Rescue's Dallas chapter in the early 1990s, was sentenced to two years' probation. . . .

November 13, 2010 in Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Nebraska Law Leads Provider of Later Abortions to Offer Procedure in Other States

Omaha World-Herald: Late-term abortions moving, by Jonathon Braden:

A Bellevue doctor who once provided late-term abortions in Nebraska will begin offering them in Council Bluffs and Maryland and will expand a clinic in Indianapolis.

Dr. LeRoy Carhart said he wants to offer the abortions in other communities because a new Nebraska law prevents him from performing the operations here.

Legislative Bill 1103, which went into effect Oct. 15, bans abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization or later. The law permits abortions at 20 weeks or later only to protect a woman's life or prevent major physical problems. . . .

November 13, 2010 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New AZ Law Expected to Limit Access to Abortion

Ms. Magazine: Arizona’s Disappearing Abortion Providers, by Michelle Chen:

Arizona It’s a simple political calculation: If you want to stop women from getting abortions and you can’t ban abortions outright, then limit the number of people qualified to provide them.

In Arizona, after clearing a legal hurdle in the Maricopa County Superior Court, a new law is poised to further obstruct access to abortion in the state. Passed in April, the legislation requires that a doctor perform every medical procedure tied to the termination of a pregnancy–including all pre- and post-operation procedures. . . .

November 13, 2010 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Politics, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Phone and Computer App Could Be Used to Test for STDs

LA Times: Need an STD test? There soon may be an app for that, by Nathan Olivarez-Giles:

Mobile phones and computers may soon be used as on-the-go testing stations for sexually transmitted diseases and infections, thanks to efforts in Britain to curb the rising rate of herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhea among young people.

A group of doctors and tech experts, known as the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, has put 4 million pounds (about $6.4 million) into developing a system, similar to pregnancy testing kits, that will be able to tell someone within minutes, privately, if they have an STD, according to a report in the Guardian.

The user will be able to put urine or saliva onto a computer chip about the size of a USB drive, which then plugs it into their phone or computer to receive a quick diagnosis of common STDs, the Guardian said. . . .

November 13, 2010 in International, Medical News, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some New Republican Representatives Hold Radical Anti-Abortion Views

Politerati (Washington Post blog): The New Congress: The Anti-Abortion Hardliners, by Beth Harlowe:

Opposing abortion rights is a deeply held tenet of Republicanism. Some of the Republicans elected this year take it one step further. At least five members of the new class say life begins at conception, period. They make no exceptions in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the pregnant woman.

Representative-elect Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) said if given the chance he would vote for a complete ban on abortion with “no exceptions. . . .

November 9, 2010 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Contraception, Fetal Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

First KS GOP Majority in 45 Years Already Planning Anti-Choice Agenda

The Miami Herald: All GOP government in Kansas heralds new abortion limits, by Dion Lefler & Jeannine Koranda:

Repub elephant On the day after an election that exceeded even their own hopes, Kansas Republicans found the weight of governing the state resting solely on their shoulders.

For the first time in 45 years, one party will hold all statewide offices. And Republicans will outnumber Democrats 92-33 in the House, their biggest majority since 1954.

There is little doubt that some legislative priorities stymied by eight years of Democratic governorships will finally be realized, such as sweeping anti-abortion regulations and requirements for voters to show photo ID at the polls. . . .

November 9, 2010 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Politics, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Courtney Joslin on Marriage, Gender, and Assisted Reproduction

Courtney G. Joslin (University of California, Davis - School of Law) has posted Protecting Children (?): Marriage, Gender, and Assisted Reproductive Technology on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Courtney Joslin The Supreme Court has declared that children should not be penalized based on the circumstances of their birth. In the context of assisted reproductive technology ("ART"), however, parentage provisions that apply only to children born to heterosexual married couples continue to be the rule rather than the exception. Many of the policymakers resisting the calls for reform have been influenced by the debate currently playing out in the same-sex marriage context regarding the causal connection (or lack thereof) between marriage and gender, on the one hand, and positive child welfare outcomes, on the other.

This Article approaches this increasingly contentious debate in a novel way by focusing on an issue on which both sides converge - the desire to protect the well-being of children. Using this lens, the Article accomplishes two things. First, this Article offers a doctrinal analysis of an issue that, until now, has remained almost entirely unexplored. Specifically, the Article demonstrates that, contrary to the asserted child welfare goals of marriage-preference proponents, marriage-only ART rules harm the financial and, in turn, the overall well-being of nonmarital children. Second, the Article considers how to reform the inadequacies of the current regime. After assessing a range of potential normative solutions, the Article concludes by proposing a new theoretical framework for determining the legal parentage of all children - both marital and nonmarital - born through ART.


November 9, 2010 in Assisted Reproduction, Parenthood, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Op-Ed Criticizes So-Called “Right to Know” Abortion Laws

The Washington Post op-ed: The big lie about abortion and mental health, by Brenda Major:

The latest war on abortion is being fought less over women's bodies than over their minds. In the past few years, under the banner of "a woman's right to know," a number of states have passed laws mandating that women seeking abortions be told that going ahead with the procedure would expose them to mental health risks, including post-traumatic stress and a greater danger of suicide.

Such warnings might sound like a good idea. The decision to terminate a pregnancy can be difficult, and some women end up regretting it. It's commendable to help women make an informed choice. But an informed choice requires accurate information. And these laws mandate that women be misled. . . .


November 9, 2010 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)