Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Huffington Post: New Atlanta Billboard Campaign Ties Abortion To Slavery, by Laura Bassett:
The Radiance Foundation, an Atlanta-based anti-abortion group, launched a billboard campaign on Sunday that compares abortion to the history of slavery in America. The 50 billboards -- which were strategically erected on Juneteenth, which commemorates the ending of slavery in the U.S. -- feature the slogan, "The 13th Amendment Freed Us. Abortion Enslaves Us." . . .
The Huffington Post - HuffPost Chicago: Illinois Abortion Notification Law Heads Back To Courts:
Though the Illinois law requiring a teenage girl's parents be notified before she has an abortion passed in 1995, it has thus far gone completely unenforced in the decade-and-a-half-plus since it became law due to continued legal challenges.
On Friday, supporters of the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act had another setback, as a state appeals court passed the matter on to ta lower court, which will now have to determine the law's constitutionality. Meanwhile, it remains under injunction, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. . . .
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Draft House 2012 DC Spending Bill Would Extend Ban on DC's Use of Own Funds for Low-Income Women's Abortions
The first draft of the House’s 2012 D.C. spending bill would cut federal payments to the District by almost 10 percent but mostly spare the city from restrictive “riders” on social policy.
The bill, which was released Wednesday and will be considered by a House appropriations subcommittee Thursday, does include a ban on the District using its funds to pay for abortions for low-income women. That prohibition, which Republicans imposed during their last tenure in the House majority, was also included in the short-term spending deal agreed to in April by President Obama and the GOP. The agreement sparked anger and protests among local officials. . . .
The Wall Street Journal - Washington Wire Blog: Anti-Abortion Group Calls Out Romney, Cain, by Patrick O'Connor:
The pledge calls on each of the Republicans running for the White House to promise to pick only abortion rights opponents for cabinet and high-level administration posts and to nominate judges who adhere to what the group sees as a strict interpretation of the Constitution.
Signing the pledge were Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. . . .
abcNews: Abortion Fight Heats up in Defense Budget Debate, by Huma Khan:
Jessica Kenyon was applying to become an officer in the Army and had just earned her spurs when she found out she was pregnant.
Little did the now 30-year-old realize that her military career would be short-lived. Kenyon, who was sexually assaulted by another servicemember, was denied an abortion at the military hospital in North Korea where she was stationed. Instead, she was told her only option would be to find a facility in Seoul or leave the country.
"You don't speak the language. You don't necessarily know how clean everything is, so you don't want to get sick," she recalls. At military bases, "they absolutely will not do it at all, no matter what, except for the health of the mother."
Under current law, only those women whose lives are endangered can get an abortion at military hospitals. Victims of rape and incest aren't entitled to federal funds for abortion services, even though other beneficiaries of government health care, like prisoners and Medicaid recipients, are.
Abortion rights supporters are hoping to capitalize on the ongoing defense budget debate to build momentum for a provision that would allow servicemembers who are victims of rape and incest to get an abortion at military hospitals. . . .
Guttmacher Institute: Providing Post-Abortion Contraceptive Services is Key to Reducing Repeat Unintended Pregnancies and Abortions, by Rebecca Wind:
Because most abortions result from unintended pregnancies—and many from repeat unintended pregnancies—better access to affordable and effective contraceptive services and supplies for women who obtain abortions should be a high priority. Virtually all abortion providers offer at least some postabortion contraceptive services, yet for many women, the facility at which they obtain an abortion is unable to fully meet their needs.
Two new studies from the Guttmacher Institute examine postabortion contraceptive services, one from the perspective of patients and one focusing on providers. The first, “Patients’ Attitudes and Experiences Related to Receiving Contraception During Abortion Care,” by Megan Kavanaugh et al., finds that two-thirds of women seeking abortion report that they want to leave their appointments with a contraceptive method in hand, and 69% believe that the abortion setting is an appropriate one for receiving contraceptive information. Among women who had had an abortion in the past five years, more than two-thirds had received a method of contraception during their visit. . . .
Time Magazine/Economic Observer: Pregnant and Bound for America: Why Chinese Moms Want to Give Birth on U.S. Soil, by Zhang Yan:
When Liu Li boarded a plane for the United States, she had a little bit of makeup on, was wearing a loose dress, and had her hair up. She tried to hold her handbag in front of her belly in a natural way, just as the middleman had taught her. She was trying to look as calm as any wealthy Chinese lady would look when travelling abroad. But Liu Li couldn't help feeling terribly nervous: she was six months pregnant when she left for the United States, where she wanted to give birth to an American citizen. . . .
Friday, June 17, 2011
The Hill's Congress Blog: Eliminating sexual assault should be a priority for DOD, by Anu Bhagwati:
Leon Panetta’s impending appointment to the position of Secretary of Defense raises a number of concerns about what he will or will not do to eliminate the scourge of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment in the armed forces.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) rightly did not let Mr. Panetta off the hook during this week’s closed-door hearing by the Senate Armed Services Committee, asking, “What needs to be done and should be done as it relates to the problem of sexual assault within the military – women in the military that have had a great deal of difficulty accessing some sense of justice?” . . .
See also: Service Women's Action Network: Rape, Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the Military The Quick Facts
ACLU press release: Bill Introduced in Senate to Repeal Discriminatory Abortion Bans for Military Women:
WASHINGTON – A bill was introduced today in the Senate that would end a ban on insurance coverage of abortion care for military women and dependents in cases of rape and incest and would repeal the ban on using private funds to obtain abortion care on military bases. The MARCH for Military Women Act (Military Access to Reproductive Care and Health), if passed, will bring the military’s health insurance policy in line with programs for civilian women who get their health insurance through the federal government.
The MARCH Act was introduced by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives earlier this month.
The United States provides health care and insurance for members of the armed forces and their families through the Department of Defense’s Military Health System. The department currently denies coverage for abortion care except when a pregnant woman’s life is endangered. Unlike the other federal bans on abortion coverage, the military ban provides no exception for cases of rape and incest, despite the fact that after joining the military, a woman’s risk of being sexually assaulted doubles and the likelihood that a woman will be assaulted more than once is particularly high.
In addition, current federal law bans servicewomen from using private funds to pay for abortion care in military hospitals except in very limited circumstances. This policy is particularly harmful to servicewomen stationed in countries that lack safe and legal abortion care facilities and forces servicewomen requesting leave of military duty to have an abortion to disclose private medical decisions to their superiors. . . .
Salon.com: Are the world's women disappearing?, by Mandy Van Deven:
The balance between males and females is becoming increasingly skewed. An expert explains why we should be worried.
What would our world be like if it contained far fewer women? It may seem like the stuff of post-apocalyptic fiction, but according to journalist Mara Hvistendahl, the author of "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men," truth is coming closer to fiction. According to Hvistendahl, a science writer and correspondent for Science magazine, the world is currently experiencing a demographic shift that is tilting our population in favor of men.
The main source of her concern is the fact that a growing number of parents in various parts of the world have been using ultrasound technology to determine the sex of their fetus and, in a disturbing number of cases, terminating females. Based on personal anecdotes and research from fields as disparate as demography, sociology, economics and genetics, Hvistendahl speculates about what this means for everything from bride buying and sex trafficking to male violence, and why it might be causing global unrest. . . .
See also: The Leonard Lopate Show (WNYC): The Consequences of Choosing Boys Over Girls:
Reuters: Texas governor addresses L.A. anti-abortion rally, by Corrie MacLaggan:
(Reuters) - Texas Governor Rick Perry, viewed as a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate, ventured far from his home state on Sunday to address a largely Hispanic group at an anti-abortion rally in Los Angeles.
The governor's English-language remarks to a crowd of about 5,000 came as part of a daylong, mostly Spanish-language event at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena to raise money for a new women's health center in South Los Angeles.
He urged the crowd to keep up pressure to roll back the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion until "Roe v. Wade is nothing but a shameful footnote in our nation's history books. . . .
Reuters: Planned Parenthood mulls challenge to North Carolina cuts, by Jim Brumm:
(Reuters) - Planned Parenthood said on Thursday it is considering a legal challenge of North Carolina's decision to eliminate state funds to the organization because it provides abortions.
North Carolina is the third state to restrict funding of the reproductive services group, which performs abortions. The Republican-dominated General Assembly voted on Wednesday to override Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue's budget veto, making the two-year spending plan law. . . .
Center for Reproductive Rights press release: CRR Files Lawsuit Challenging Texas Abortion Sonogram Law:
Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a class action lawsuit against Texas’ new abortion ultrasound law on behalf of Texas medical providers performing abortions and their patients. The law prohibits a woman from getting an abortion unless the doctor providing the abortion performs an ultrasound on the woman, takes steps to show and describe the ultrasound images to her, and plays the sound of the fetal heart. The doctor must personally place the images where the woman can see them, and describe the images in detail, regardless of her wishes. The woman must then wait at least 24-hours before she can obtain an abortion (the waiting period is two-hours for women who live more than 100 miles from an abortion provider). With the enactment of this law, Texas joins Oklahoma in having the most extreme ultrasound requirements in the country. . . .
June 17, 2011 in Abortion, In the Courts, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
The Huffington Post: 30 Years is Enough: An HIV Strategy for Women Now, by Serra Sippel:
Last week marked the 30th anniversary of what we recognize as the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In the subsequent days, we've seen stories measuring progress, touting the newest prevention methods, and updating the statistics. However, in all the talk, there has been one core aspect of HIV/AIDS that has been absent: that women comprise 50 percent of those living with HIV globally, 60 percent of those infected in sub-Saharan Africa and that 72 percent of all young people living with HIV/AIDS in southern Africa are girls between the ages of 15 and 24. . . .
Mother Jones: Santorum: Abortion Law Health Exceptions are "Phony", by Kate Sheppard:
GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has made "life" a central tenet of his political platform—specifically, the lives of fetuses. But when it comes to the lives of women, Santorum doesn't seem nearly as worked up. In a campaign stop at a "crisis pregnancy center" in Iowa this week, Santorum sought to show off his anti-abortion credentials by decrying exceptions to abortion laws for the health of the mother as a "phony" excuse. . . .
The Associated Press reports that New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has vetoed a parental notification bill for abortion. New Hampshire's prior attempt at a parental notification bill was addressed by the United States Supreme Court in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood (2006) (vacating and remanding, for possible narrower remedy, lower courts' permanent injunction).
For more on the bill see: New Hampshire Union Leader: Parental notification bill in governor's hands, by Tom Fahey:
A bill that would require a parent to be notified before a minor child could have an abortion arrived on Gov. John Lynch’s desk Friday.
It is unclear whether Lynch will sign the bill, which could also become law without his signature on Wednesday unless he vetoes it.
House Bill 329 revives the parental notification act that first passed the Legislature in 2003. Court challenges of the law led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that it did not protect a young woman’s health. The court sent it back to the lower courts and state Legislature for changes that could make it constitutional. . . .
USA Today: MTV teen pregnancy shows prompt pro-abortion rights views: Survey, by Cathy Lynn Grossman:
Many Americans are able to be simultaneously pro-choice and pro-life.
And, with the exception of support for same-sex marriage, Millennials often think like their parents (but not their grandparents) on values issues.
Those are among the widely varied findings in a new survey on Millennials' views on abortion and same-sex marriage released today by the Public Religion Research Institute. . . .
June 17, 2011 in Abortion, Contraception, Culture, Parenthood, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Public Opinion, Religion, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Sexuality, Teenagers and Children, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
New York Times: Russians Adopt U.S. Tactics in Opposing Abortion, by Sophia Kishkovsky:
MOSCOW — While the United States is often derided as a model of immorality in Russia, its anti-abortion movement has become a model for Russian activists, who have even adopted the English-language term “pro-life” as their own. American-style pickets of abortion clinics are becoming a staple of the movement in Russia. . . .
(Reuters) - A man convicted of attempted murder under Ohio's fetal homicide law after he tried to force his girlfriend to get an abortion at gunpoint was sentenced on Thursday to 13 years in prison.
Dominic L. Holt-Reid, 28, was charged last October under the 1996 statute, which defines the unlawful termination of a pregnancy as murder. He pleaded guilty to the charge in April. . . .