Friday, June 17, 2011
Annitston Star: Senate passes ban on abortions after 20 weeks, by Tim Lockette:
MONTGOMERY — On the final day of the legislative session, the Alabama State Senate passed a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.
Senators voted 26-5 to pass the measure, one of a raft of bills proposed by the Republican majority, that would limit access to abortion. Before the bill's passage, abortions could be conducted until the fetus was considered viable, about 24 to 26 weeks into the pregnancy.
The bill would also require doctors who perform abortions to provide a report of each abortion to the Alabama Department of Public Health and compile an annual report of abortions.
Proponents of the bill said the measure, titled the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act," was inspired by scientific evidence suggesting that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. . . .
Saturday, June 11, 2011
FOX 8 News WVUE: Bill to ban abortions in Louisiana pushed one step back:
A bill banning abortions in Louisiana took one step back Wednesday. The issue was scheduled to go to the floor of the Louisiana House of Representatives for debate, but that never happened and now it’s unclear whether there is even enough time left this legislative session, let alone support, to make the bill law in Louisiana. . . .
Today's Conservatives Concede Privacy Right Recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut, Just Not as Applied to Abortion
The American Prospect: Reading Between the Rights, by Scott Lemieux:
Nearly 50 years after Griswold v. Connecticut, conservatives think the Constitution protects your privacy.
This week marks the 46th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court reproductive-rights case Griswold v. Connecticut, in which the Court struck down Connecticut’s ban on the distribution and use of contraceptives (at least for married couples). The decision was important not only in itself but because it laid the framework for other important decisions like Roe v. Wade, which came less than 10 years later. . . .
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Business Insider: Anti-Abortionist Announces He's Going To Run Against Obama In Iowa, by Ricky Kreitner:
Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry is challenging President Barack Obama's bid for the Democratic nomination in Iowa.
He announced today that he has made major TV ad buys in Iowa, set to begin airing tomorrow.
Terry founded Operation Rescue in the 1980s and gained nationwide attention for blocking entrances to abortion clinics. . . .
Reuters: Immediate IUD use after abortion found safe, by Gene Emery:
Implanting an intrauterine device (IUD) in the womb immediately after an abortion, instead of waiting 2 to 6 weeks, poses few risks to the woman, according to a new study.
Placing the IUD immediately increases the chance -- but only slightly -- that it will fall out within 6 months, the new study of 575 women has concluded.
Switching to immediate insertion "could prevent more than 70,000 unintended pregnancies annually in the United States," the research team, led by Dr. Paula Bednarek of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, notes in the June 9 New England Journal of Medicine.
But federal law discourages that practice among low-income women covered by the Title X program. . . .
Healthland (TIME): A Dumped Boyfriend Gets Even With an Abortion Billboard, by Meredith Melnick:
Greg Fultz, 35, is causing controversy in his hometown of Alamogordo, N.M. To get back at his ex-girlfriend, Fultz erected a billboard on the town's main drag in May claiming that his ex had an abortion.
The $1,300 anti-abortion ad shows Fultz holding the outline of a baby and reads: "This Would Have Been a Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To NOT KILL Our Child!"
Actually, Fultz acknowledges, he isn't sure whether his ex, Nani Lawrence, terminated her pregnancy because she won't tell him. Regardless, he explains that while the billboard is "inspired" by his life events, it's not intended to target his ex. Its primary purpose is to serve as a much broader pro-life message, Fultz said. . . .
Huffington Post: The Anti-Abortion Movement Is Wasting Money, by Roy Speckhardt:
Abortion divides Americans along religious lines. A 2009 survey from the Pew Forum confirms other reports that nearly all humanists and other nontheists join most Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus in their support for a woman's right to abortion services, while Christians and Muslims are split on the issue. Leading the charge against abortion access are the evangelical Christians, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses. Considering these divisions, and what's currently happening in Indiana in an effort to block funding for reproductive health services, is there a chance to coalesce across religious lines toward shared aims? . . .
The Bellingham Herald: N.C. House passes abortion bill that would require 24-hour waiting period, by Jim Morrill:
Women seeking an abortion would have to first wait 24 hours, get an ultrasound and hear about the risks under a bill passed Wednesday by the North Carolina House.
The "Woman's Right to Know Act" passed after a long and emotional debate. It now goes to the Senate and if passed there, to Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue.
The bill passed the House 71-48, largely along party lines. It fell one vote short of a veto-proof majority. . . .
abc27: Pa. Senate passes controversial abortion clinic measure, by Miles Snyder:
The Pennsylvania Senate has passed an amendment to legislation that would impose more stringent regulations on abortion clinics, but opponents believe the measure is an attempt to shut down the facilities. . . .
Reuters: Louisiana House may consider bill to ban abortion, by Kathy Finn:
The Louisiana state House of Representatives could soon consider a bill that would ban abortions and launch a battle to overturn the historic Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The bill by Republican state Rep. John LaBruzzo defines human life as beginning at the moment of conception and makes it a crime to terminate a pregnancy except when the birth would endanger the mother's life. . . .
The Portland Press Herald: Senate rejects abortion rules, transgender bills, by Rebekah Metzler:
The Maine Senate on Wednesday killed three bills that would have added conditions for women who seek to have abortions in Maine. . . .
Without debate, the Senate killed three bills that would have required women who seek abortions to wait 24 hours, read state-issued information about the procedure and, if they are younger than 18, get parental consent. . . .
Iowa Independent: House-amended abortion bill passes without debate, by Meghan Malloy:
A controversial Senate abortion bill amended by the Iowa House will return to the Iowa Senate with further restrictions than an earlier version proposed by the House this session. It was approved without debate, 54-37.
Senate File 534, which aimed to establish a certification of need process for future clinics performing abortions after 20 weeks, was amended by the House Ways and Means Committee to reflect that abortions in Iowa would be banned after 20 weeks “gestation,” rather than “post-fertilization.”
Omaha World Herald: Nonsurgical abortions increasing, by Rick Ruggles:
Abortions have declined over the past decade in the region and nationwide, but a more recent method of having them is on the rise.
As states such as Nebraska place more restrictions on abortions, a form of chemically induced abortion available in the United States since 2000 has given women another way to end pregnancies.
There has been a nationwide increase in abortions performed with a combination of pills, and in Iowa and Nebraska, the increase has been substantial.
In Nebraska, 746 women had abortions through the pill regimen in 2010, up from 70 in 2004. In Iowa, 2,666 had medication abortions in 2009, up from 1,653 in 2004. . . .
Publicly Subsidized Family Planning Services Are Vital to Health and Wellbeing of Poor and Marginalized Women
Guttmacher Institute: Publicly Subsidized Family Planning Services are Indispensible for Many Women, by Joerg Dreweke:
Family planning services are vital to the health and well-being of poor and low-income women in general, and marginalized populations in particular, according to three new articles in the Guttmacher Policy Review. These services constitute
- a gateway into the U.S. health care system for women who would otherwise only have a tenuous connection to medical care, or none at all;
- a source of urgently needed contraceptive services and other sexual health care for young women in foster care, who are at high risk of unintended pregnancy; and
- a highly successful public health program that boosts maternal and newborn health, saves billions in taxpayer dollars, and averts significant numbers of unintended pregnancies, unplanned births and abortions. . . .
Friday, June 3, 2011
Republicans in the Tennessee state Legislature have abandoned attempts to defund Planned Parenthood by attaching an amendment to the state budget after they were advised by the Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey (R) and House Speaker Beth Harwell (R) that it is unconstitutional to do so. In Tennessee, the state constitution does not allow changes to be made to general law through appropriation bills.
Senator Beverly Marrero (D-Memphis) stated, "Generations of women in Memphis and West Tennessee have relied on Planned Parenthood for preventative health care they could not receive anywhere else. To attack women's rights and health care access for political gain is shameful and should not be tolerated by Tennessee voters."
Had Senator Stacey Campbell's (R) amendment not been declared unconstitutional, it would have blocked $747,900 in annual Title X funding from going to Planned Parenthood for the Greater Memphis Region and $335,000 from the Planned Parenthood Nashville Health Center. The Republican legislators have pledged to introduce separate bills to defund Planned Parenthood in next year's session. . . .
Obama Administration Forbids Indiana to Enforce New State Law Cutting off Medicaid Funds for Planned Parenthood
The New York Times: U.S. Says New Indiana Law Improperly Limits Medicaid, by Robert Pear:
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration prohibited the State of Indiana on Wednesday from carrying out a new state law that cuts off money for Planned Parenthood clinics providing health care to low-income women on Medicaid.
The state law penalized Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics also perform abortions.
Dr. Donald M. Berwick, administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the state law imposed impermissible restrictions on the freedom of Medicaid beneficiaries to choose health care providers. The freedom of choice, he said, is generally guaranteed by the federal Medicaid law.
But state officials said Wednesday that they intended to continue enforcing the state law, which took effect on May 10, when it was signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican. . . .
KS Abortion Rights Supporters Denounce Legislator`s Comment Suggesting Women Should "Plan Ahead" for Rape by Purchasing Supplemental Abortion Coverage
Lawrence Journal World: Reproductive rights supporters criticize legislator for controversial comments on abortion, by Scott Rothschild:
Topeka — Abortion rights supporters Wednesday criticized Kansas legislators for approving controversial abortion restrictions and making controversial comments along the way.
“Far too many Kansas legislators feel women’s health doesn’t matter,” said Sarah Gillooly, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. She said the 2011 legislative session, which concluded Wednesday, was a “war on women.”
The Kansas chapter of the National Organization for Women demanded that Rep. Pete DeGraaf, R-Mulvane, apologize for a comment he made during debate May 13 on a bill requiring women to buy additional insurance to cover abortion; coverage that could only be used to save the life of the mother. . . .
The Iowa Independent: Pawlenty: No criminal penalty for abortion, state spokesman later clarifies Pawlenty's initial assessment, by Lynda Waddington:
When asked by a reporter at an Iowa stop what the penalty should be for women who have abortions and doctors who perform abortions if his stance on overturning legal abortion prevails, Tim Pawlenty initially said there shouldn’t be a criminal sanction. It was a statement that his spokesman quickly clarified after the appearance.
Pawlenty, a former governor of Minnesota, is credited with being the second state executive to proclaim an Abortion Recovery and Awareness month, and has been quite clear during other Iowa appearances that his belief is that the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade should be overturned, effectively banning all access to legal abortion services in the country. Yet when asked by Carroll Daily Times Herald reporter Douglas Burns what the penalty should be for doctors or women engaging in abortion, Pawlenty said there isn’t “a specific penalty that we have proposed for that” and while he believes there should be “consequences,” he isn’t willing to call for “criminal sanctions.”. . .
NPR: Abortion Foes Push To Redefine Personhood, by Julie Rovner:
Last year's GOP takeover of the U.S. House and statehouses across the country has dramatically changed the shape of the nation's abortion debate. It has also given a boost to an even more far-reaching effort: the push to legally redefine when life itself begins.
The question being raised in legal terms is: When does someone become a person?
The answer varies under the law. "The definition of personhood ranges if you're talking about property law, or inheritance, or how the census is taken," says Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union's Reproductive Freedom Project.
All those differences are exactly what Keith Mason wants to change. He's president of Personhood USA, a group that's trying to rewrite the laws and constitutions of every state — and some countries — to recognize someone as a person "exactly at creation," he says. "It's fertilization; it's when the sperm meets the egg.". . .
Ruthann Robson (CUNY School of Law) has posted Lesbians and Abortions on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
While there are doctrinal and theoretical connections, the arguments for women’s freedom to be a lesbian or to have an abortion are usually articulated independently from each other. At one time, the abortion right seemed more secure than lesbian rights, but recently lesbianism seems to be accorded more legal protection than abortions. This article argues that lesbians have an important stake in the legal recognition of abortion rights.
The article rehearses the doctrinal linkages, distinctions, and relative strength of the rights of lesbians and the right to abortion in American jurisprudence. The remainder of the article discusses the specific overlaps between lesbians and abortion as lived realities and as subject to legal regimes. For example, the article considers the availability of reproductive choice after the choicelessness of rape committed against lesbians, including a discussing of hate crimes against lesbians involving rape and of the erratic "rape exception" to abortion regulations. The next section examines the difficulties lesbians, especially young lesbians, face as what might be called "reproductive amateurs" who can become pregnant. As minors, they may be legally forced to interact with parents or judges hostile to their sexuality as well as to their desire to terminate pregnancy. As both minors and adults, they may be less likely to discover their pregnancy early, and thus they may be more likely to encounter strict time limits in abortion statutes.
The final section considers the construction of lesbians and of women who have abortions as "independent" or as "man-hating" women. It argues that the paternalism of the law and specific statutes that seek to remove certain choices from women express male anxiety about the power of women, including, perhaps paradoxically, sex selection.