Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anti-Choice Groups Rent Space Near Later-Term Abortion Provider LeRoy Carhart

Wash. Post: Anti-abortion rights groups rent space near controversial abortion provider, by Michelle Boorstein:

Two groups that oppose abortion rights have rented office space across a small Germantown parking lot from LeRoy Carhart, one of the few doctors in the country known to perform later-term abortions.

Carhart opened his office late last year after coming from Nebraska, where a new law made it illegal to perform abortions after 20 weeks.

Operation Rescue and the Maryland Coalition for Life celebrated their new lease, saying in a statement that their priority is to be a “referral and resource center for women considering abortion (early or late-term) and for women who have already made that tragic and costly decision.” . . . A photo of the site shows that the two businesses will be just feet from one another when the abortion-rights opponents begin their lease April 1. . . .

March 31, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Arizona Law Criminalizes Abortion Based on Embryo or Fetus's Sex or Race

ABC News: Arizona Outlaws Abortions Based on Race or Sex of Fetus, by Ellen Tumposky:

Doctors Could Face Prison Sentences Under New Measure

Arizona Flag Arizona has made it a crime to perform an abortion because of the sex or race of the fetus. The bill, signed by Gov. Jan Brewer Tuesday, aims at doctors or other abortion providers. It allows the father of the aborted baby -- or the maternal grandparents if the mother is a minor -- to take legal action against an abortion provider, who could face up to seven years in jail and the loss of their medical license if convicted.

Proponents of the new measure said it protected against capricious abortions performed because parents preferred a baby of a different race or gender. . . .

March 31, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Virginia Law Could Force Most of State's Abortion Clinics to Close

Virginia Politics (Washington Post blog): McDonnell signs bill regulating abortion clinics as hospitals, by Rosalind S. Helderman:

Virginia Gov. Bob Mc­Don­nell (R) has signed a bill into law that requires clinics where first-trimester abortions are performed to be regulated as hospitals.

The bill gives the state’s Board of Health 280 days to enact new regulations for clinics. Abortion rights advocates say they fear that the regulations will include requirements regarding hallway and doorway width, along with new staffing and equipment rules, whose cost they say could force as many as 17 of the state’s 21 clinics to close. . . .

March 30, 2011 in Abortion, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"Fetal Pain" Bill Poised to Become Law in Kansas

The Topeka Capital-Journal: House adopts voter, abortion bills, by Tim Carpenter:

The House moved Tuesday to send Gov. Sam Brownback legislation imposing new ID and citizenship requirements for voters as well as an abortion bill linking restrictions on the procedure to fetal pain.

In both instances, the House voted to concur with the Senate's adjustments to the legislation. . . .

March 30, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Fetal Rights, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More Theorizing About the Increased Attacks on Abortion Rights

Salon: What's really driving the GOP's abortion war, by Amanda Marcotte:

Repub elephant When Republicans profited from the miserable economy to sweep up huge wins in last fall's election, most political watchers figured they knew what was coming: budget cuts, privatization of more government functions, and tax cuts for the wealthy. The push to dismantle public sector unions has been a bit of a surprise, but not a jarring one.

But what seems to have thrown everyone -- save for a handful of embittered and neglected pro-choice activists -- for a loop is the way Republican lawmakers at both the national and state levels have focused so intently on the uteruses of America. Republicans appear to believe that the women of America have wildly mismanaged these uteruses in the four decades since the Supreme Court gave them control over them -- and now that Republicans have even a little bit of power, they’re going to bring this reign of female tyranny over uteruses to an end. . . .

March 30, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Politics, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lawsuit Filed Against NYC Law Regulating "Crisis Pregnancy Centers"

New York Daily News: Lawsuit filed to stop law aimed at unmasking anti-abortion counseling offices, by Scott Shifrel:

A lawsuit filed Friday is trying to scuttle a new city law aimed at unmasking anti-abortion counseling offices that pose as health clinics.

The suit claims the new law restricts the counseling centers' freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and other constitutional rights. . . .

March 30, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Senator Scott Brown's Murky Stance on Planned Parenthood Funding

Politico: Brown's Planned Parenthood dodge?, by Sarah Kliff:

Sen. Scott Brown is coming under increasing pressure from both sides of the aisle to clarify whether or not he opposes defunding Planned Parenthood.

Abortion rights supporters lauded a Monday statement from the Massachusetts Republican, in which he denounced House Republicans' budget "proposal to eliminate all funding for family planning" as going "too far." It was widely read as opposition to Rep. Mike Pence's (R-Ind.) amendment to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal dollars.

But Democrats and Republicans alike are now questioning what Brown quietly left unaddressed: whether he actually opposes defunding Planned Parenthood, or is taking the less controversial stance of opposing a provision in the spending bill to cut off funding for the Title X program.

Title X, the only federal program devoted to reproductive health, has long enjoyed bipartisan support. . . .

March 30, 2011 in Abortion, Congress, Contraception, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sex::Tech 2011: San Francisco, April 1 & 2

 ISIS, Inc. presents the 4th annual Sex::Tech, a conference on new media, youth, and sexual health:

Sex::Tech 2011 is poised to be better than ever. We have a few registration slots left, so best to grab them up today.

We're opening with a fabulous group of youth from across the country in a panel called, Youth Reflect: Masculinity, Social Media and Film Friday, April 1st at 8:30 am.

ISIS is releasing our first white paper with the support of the Ford Foundation,
TECHsex USA: Youth Sexuality and Reproductive Health in the Digital Age Friday, April 1st at 10 am.

Friday's mid-day plenary features mHealth luminaries: Jody Ranck (mHealth Alliance/UN Foundation), Jen McCabe (Contagion Health), Amanda Mills (AOL Mobile), and Miles Orkin (American Cancer Society) Friday, April 1st at 2:15 pm.

MTV's 16 and Pregnant team provides a glimpse behind the scenes of the most popular cable series among young people aged 16-34 Saturday, April 2nd at 8:30 am.

Check Out the Full Schedule.

Be sure to meet National Youth Leaders, working the conference both days:

    Young Feminist Powerhouse, Shelby Knox
    Multimedia Team, Youth UpRising
    Youth Journalists, New America Media
    Peer Educators, Scarleteen, Berkeley High School and DramaWorks

If you can't make it, the three plenary sessions will be livestreamed at our Partner Organizations' websites:

RH Reality Check
The NC's Sex Really
ISIS' Sex::Tech

Follow us for the latest Sex::Tech 2011 updates as they emerge:

Sex::Tech Conference:

March 30, 2011 in Conferences and Symposia, Reproductive Health & Safety, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Examining the Surge in Abortion Bills

Time Magazine - Swampland Blog: What's Behind the Surge of Abortion Bills?, by Katy Steinmetz:

USmap2 The political climate is what some have called a “perfect storm” for anti-abortion activists seeking to curb the procedure and make direct attacks on Roe v. Wade.  Droves of social conservatives have taken office in recent elections, angst over health care reform continues, and the Planned Parenthood “sting” has given opponents leverage to undermine the other side.

NARAL, an abortion-rights group, tries to track each piece of abortion-related legislation making its way through state legislatures. Last year they tracked 174 bills. This session's count is already up to 351. And there are some clear themes. One of the biggest is a financial push to stop coverage for abortions. Another chunk of bills seeks to copy Nebraska's controversial measure banning abortions after the 20-week mark -- some of which, like Idaho's, make it a felony to violate the ban. (Such measures are based on the idea that a fetus can feel pain by this point in the timeline.) . . .

March 30, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Politics, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Preserving Friendship in the Face of Infertility

Slate Magazine: Infertility Is Wrecking Our Friendship, by Lucinda Rosenfeld: 

I can't even mention my kids to my friend who is having trouble conceiving without her crying. What should I do?

Dear Friend or Foe,
My very close friend "Janette" is desperate to have a biological child with her husband. Because her husband has a genetic disorder, they're doing IVF and testing to ensure that any potential child doesn't get the same disorder, which would result in severe retardation. So far, Janette has gone through seven unsuccessful rounds of IVF. While she has the financial resources to try as many times as she's physically capable, lately she seems to have reached a breaking point. She insists she doesn't want to adopt but also insists that she can't bear the strain of continuing with IVF—yet she continues.

Janette has shared her fertility struggles with only a few close friends, including me. And we've tried to be there for her through the roller coaster. The problem is: I have young children, as do many of our mutual friends. Whenever the topic of conversation turns to anything regarding others' pregnancies, babies, etc., Janette becomes emotional to the point of tears. So we avoid mention of our kids at all costs. If we try to empathize, she says she doesn't want any "advice" because "no one understands." This leaves us listening to her agonize in silence. . . .

March 30, 2011 in Assisted Reproduction, Culture, Fertility | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Cuts to U.S. International Family Planning Assistance Would Have Devastating Impact


Cuts Would Jeopardize Lives and Health of Women in Poor Countries, Cripple Highly Effective U.S. Global Health Effort

Thousands of women in poor countries would die from pregnancy-related complications and one of the most successful U.S. global health programs would suffer severe damage if funding for U.S. international family planning and reproductive health assistance were cut significantly, according to two new Guttmacher Institute analyses.

The first analysis examines the stark impact of potential funding cuts. The United States currently contributes $648 million for family planning and closely related reproductive health care overseas. Guttmacher estimates that every $100 million decrease in the program would result in the following outcomes . . . .

March 30, 2011 in International, Politics, Poverty, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

GOP Presidential Candidate Blames "Abortion Culture" For Under-Funded Social Security

The Hill - Ballot Box Blog: Santorum says 'abortion culture' to blame for problems with Social Security, by Shane D'Aprile:

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said Tuesday that America's "abortion culture" is at the heart of problems with the nation's Social Security system.

The likely 2012 presidential contender, who earned a reputation as a hardcore social conservative during his time in Congress, said thanks to the number of abortions in the United States each year, not enough children are being born to support the system in the long term. . . .

March 30, 2011 in Abortion, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

NAWL Student Writing Competition: Entries Due May 1, 2011

National Association of Women Lawyers Student Writing Contest:

Clipboard Opportunities for Law Students:
Currently, the National Association of Women Lawyers is soliciting entries for the Fifth Annual Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition.  The competition carries a $500 prize for the first place essay and the opportunity for the winning essay to be published in the summer edition of the Women Lawyers Journal, our quarterly publication sent to thousands of NAWL members and subscribers nationwide. 

The guidelines can be obtained from Professor Jennifer Martin, St. Thomas University School of law at

Entries must be received by May 1, 2011.

March 27, 2011 in Law School, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CSBR Sexuality Institute 2011: Applications Due April 15, 2011

Via the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR):

Date: July 16-23, 2011
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR) is pleased to announce the 4th CSBR Sexuality Institute 2011 to be held between July 16th and 23rd 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Designed as a comprehensive curriculum on sexuality, sexual and reproductive health and rights with an in depth discussion on the linkages between research and practice, the CSBR Sexuality Institute offers a holistic interdisciplinary program combining history, theory, research and politics of sexuality with applications of advocacy and fieldwork.

The CSBR Sexuality Institute brings together leading sexual and reproductive rights activists, academics and researchers. Held previously in Malaysia (2008), Turkey (2009) and Indonesia (2010) with participants from 23 countries throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the institutes include lectures, group work, roundtables, panels, site visits and film screenings, as well as a methodology to engage participants’ own experiences around sexuality.

For more information, click here.

Continue reading

March 27, 2011 in Conferences and Symposia, International, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexuality, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Op-Ed Discusses Dangers of Prohibiting Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Huffington Post: Insurance Bans on Abortion Go for the Jugular, by Carlton W. Veazey:

HealthCare An unprecedented drive to ban insurance coverage of abortion has been gaining momentum since the health care law was signed a year ago, yet very little is known about it. If successful, this effort may be more devastating to women's reproductive health care than the hundreds of individual state laws that mandate counseling and sonograms, forced delays, and bans on specific procedures. Rather than chip away at reproductive rights bit by bit as these laws do, insurance prohibitions go for the jugular. They can do maximum damage by restricting or eliminating private coverage or making it extremely difficult to obtain, without the uproar that accompanies federal legislation and Supreme Court decisions. No wonder abortion opponents are intent on insurance bans! . . .

March 27, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Beth Burkstrand-Reid on Abortion Politics and Assisted Reproductive Technology

Beth Burkstrand-Reid (University of Nebraska at Lincoln, College of Law) has posted The More Things Change...:Abortion Politics & the Regulation of Assisted Reproductive Technology on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

  Prof Abortion and assisted reproductive technology (“ART”) may seem paradoxical in reproductive health: a woman seeks to terminate a pregnancy in the first, while a woman goes through herculean attempts to attain one in the latter. In fact, they share fundamental concerns: women’s health and autonomy. Both include medical procedures, with potential health risks and benefits, and both help a woman choose whether and when to become a mother. Abortion and ART share another commonality: when these issues enter public and political discourse, consideration of women’s health often recedes into the background. This response to articles by June Carbone and Jody Lyneé Madeira suggests that issues central to the development of abortion-related regulation and jurisprudence have the potential to drive the development of ART and related law.

March 27, 2011 in Abortion, Assisted Reproduction, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Poll Shows Montanans Oppose State Constitutional Amendment to Ban Abortion

Missoulian: Poll: Most in Montana against amendment on abortion ban, sales tax, by Mike Dennison:

MT flag HELENA - Do a majority of Montanans want to amend the state Constitution to ban abortion? Impose a sales tax? Vote by mail? Or have the Legislature attempt to "nullify" federal laws that they disagree with?
No, no, yes and maybe, according to a Lee Newspapers poll, which also reveals that Montanans aren't necessarily opposed to having the Legislature meet in annual sessions, either. . . .

Abortion: When asked if they would support a constitutional amendment to ban abortion by saying life begins at conception by defining "person" as a member of the human species at any stage of development, 56 percent of those surveyed said they would not, and 35 percent supported it. Nine percent were undecided.

The amendment is contained in House Bill 490, which needs 100 total votes from the Legislature to make it on the 2012 ballot. . . .

March 25, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Public Opinion, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New South Dakota Abortion Law Requires "Pregnancy Center" Visit and Three-Day Waiting Period

The New York Times: S.D. Requires Visit to Pregnancy Center Before Abortion, by A.G. Sulzberger:

SD The sign out front advertises free pregnancy tests, information about abortion and testing for sexually transmitted diseases. But it is not an abortion clinic — it is home to the Alpha Center, an organization in Sioux Falls, S.D., dedicated to encouraging women to bring their babies to term.

A law signed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Tuesday makes the state the first to require women who are seeking abortions to first attend a consultation at such “pregnancy help centers,” to learn what assistance is available “to help the mother keep and care for her child.”

The legislation, which passed easily in a state Legislature where Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 3 to 1, also establishes the nation’s longest waiting period — three days — after an initial visit with an abortion provider before the procedure can be done. . . .

March 23, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Congressional Briefing on Women’s Human Rights in Africa: Monday, March 28, 2011

Georgetown Law’s Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA) Fellowship Program in cooperation with Congresswomen Louise Slaughter invite you to a Congressional Briefing addressing Women’s Human Rights in Africa:

Speakers Africa
Makda Tessema (Ethiopia)
What Next?  The Practice of Female Genital Mutilation in Ethiopia:  
Legal Boundaries and Cultural Norms
Zaamu Kaboneke (Uganda)
Climate Change and Women’s Human Rights in Uganda
Rachel Muthoga (Kenya)
2007-2008 Post-Election Violence: 
The Failure of the Kenyan Legal System to Protect Women
from Sexual and Gender Based Violence
Gladys Mbuya (Cameroon)
A Woman’s Right to Decide If, When and Whom to Marry in Cameroon
Sarah Nambasa (Uganda)
Maternal and Reproductive Health Rights of Evicted Batwa Women in Uganda
Selamawit Tesfaye (Ethiopia)
The Plight of Ethiopian Domestic Workers in the Middle East
Julia L. Ernst
Executive Director, Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA) Program
Georgetown University Law Center
Monday, March 28, 2011
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Room 121 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C.
Please RSVP by Thursday, March 24 with your name, title, affiliation, and contact information to
The Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA) Fellowship Program trains lawyers from Africa who are committed to advancing women’s human rights in their countries.  The LAWA Fellows earn a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree focusing on international women’s human rights from the Georgetown University Law Center and participate in additional professional development programming.  The LAWA Program has trained over 70 LAWA Fellows from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.  LAWA alumnae now serve as judges, parliamentarians, law professors, founders and directors of non-profit organizations, public interest lawyers, and other influential positions, where they continue to advance women’s human rights throughout Africa. 

March 23, 2011 in Conferences and Symposia, Congress, International, Law School, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Legal Uncertainty Surrounds Delaware's Abortion Law

The News Journal: Delaware law on abortion trapped in legal limbo, by Sean O'Sullivan & Chad Livengood:

Delaware Indicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell routinely started late-term abortion procedures at the Atlantic Women's Medical Services clinic in Wilmington and then ordered his patients to report to his Women's Medical Society Clinic in West Philadelphia the next day to complete the procedure.

According to a Philadelphia grand jury, Gosnell moved his patients across the state border to avoid Delaware's limits on late-term abortions.

But if Gosnell thought he was fleeing a tough Delaware abortion law, he was wrong.

While Delaware code prohibits abortions after 20 weeks, that section of the state's abortion law was ruled invalid after the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.

And for nearly 40 years, Delaware has avoided most attempts to clarify its statute. . . .

March 21, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)