Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Russia Enacts Abortion Restriction, With More Likely to Follow

New York Times: Russia Enacts Law Opposing Abortion, by Sophia Kishkovsky:

RussiaFlag President Dmitri A. Medvedev has signed into law the first steps intended to restrict abortion since the collapse of communism, the latest salvo in what is beginning to resemble the fierce divide over abortion in the United States.

The changes require abortion providers to devote 10 percent of any advertising to describing the dangers of abortion to a woman’s health, and they make it illegal to describe abortion as a safe medical procedure.

Tighter restrictions on abortion may follow after Parliament considers a separate health bill in the autumn. . . .

July 19, 2011 in Abortion, International, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wisconsin Right to Life Robo-Calls Confuse Voters, Some Claim Intentionally

Mother Jones: Are Anti-Abortion Groups Trying to Keep Women Away From the Polls?, by Kate Sheppard:

Wisconsin held a special election on Tuesday, the first round of voting in the recall elections spurred by this spring's union battle in the state. But some voters in Wisconsin received an automated "robocall" from Wisconsin Right to Life on Monday—the day before the election—informing them that they would be receiving an absentee ballot application for the upcoming recall elections in the "next few days" and urging them to use that form to vote by mail.

A source working on the special election provided Mother Jones with a recording of the voicemail, which the source believes was designed to confuse voters and keep them from the polls on Tuesday. Here's the transcript of the message:

Hello, this is Barbara Lyons from Wisconsin Right to Life. I'm calling today to let you know that you will be receiving an absentee ballot application for the upcoming recall elections in the mail in the next few days. These recall elections are very important and voting absentee will ensure that your vote is counted and that we can maintain a pro-family, pro-life state senate. We hope that we can count on you to complete that application and send it back to us within 7 days. Thank you for your support. . . .

July 19, 2011 in Anti-Choice Movement, Politics, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Missouri's Post-20-Week Abortion Ban Will Become Law

Reuters: Missouri governor to let new abortion restrictions to become law, by Kevin Murphy:

Image1 (Reuters) - Missouri's governor said on Thursday he will let a measure passed by state lawmakers this spring restricting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy take effect -- though he will not sign it.

Under the state's constitution, bills sent to the governor but not signed become law.

The Missouri legislation, similar to that in several other states, prohibits abortions on viable fetuses after 20 weeks unless continuing the pregnancy would threaten the mother's life or cause substantial injury to her major bodily functions. . . .

July 19, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

UN Population Fund Executive Director Says Reproductive Choice Is Central to Development

New Europe: Interview: Reproductive rights are central to development, by Andy Carling:

UN family planning chief asks for freedom of choice for women. Image1 

UN Population Fund Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin speaks to New Europe.  

How far are we away from what the planet can cope with?
That’s a difficult question to answer. National Geographic, a few months back, when we were talking about 7 billion, if everyone stood together, they would occupy a space around the size of Los Angeles. It’s not about the space we occupy, but the inequities that exist, so you have three levels of consideration; population, poverty, inequality and in the least-developed countries, you find that population growth is high and economic growth is low, so the carrying capacity of these countries is low.

There is a need to engage with those governments to talk about population and development and to talk about planning for development. If your income is consumed by a growing population you won’t develop. We need to develop policies and programmes that address reproductive health, rights and family planning and ensure we empower women to make choices about their lives. So they can have education and access to jobs. . . .

July 19, 2011 in Abortion, Contraception, Culture, International, Parenthood, Poverty, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Institute of Medicine Considers Recommending Contraception without Co-Pays

Birth control pills NPR: Birth Control Without Copays Could Become Mandatory, by Julie Rovner:

Is there nothing in last year's Affordable Care Act that people won't fight over?

The latest battle is set to come to a head Wednesday, when the independent Institute of Medicine is expected to make recommendations about preventive health care services for women. And one service that's drawing a lot of the attentions is contraception. . . .

Listen to the story.

July 19, 2011 in Congress, Contraception | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

NY Times Op-Ed Urges Affordable Contraception

New York Times op-ed: Make Birth Control Affordable, by Vanessa Cullins:

MY daughter, a divorced mother of three, called me recently to complain about the high cost of birth control. As a physician, I’m familiar with this problem, yet it never fails to frustrate me. Our health care system could save billions — and improve the health of women and families — by placing birth control within every woman’s reach. Instead, health insurers continue to charge fees that make it difficult, sometimes impossible, for women to prevent unintended pregnancy. . . .

July 19, 2011 in Contraception | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Americans United for Life Presents Congress with Report Aimed at Undermining Federal Support for Planned Parenthood

Washington Whispers blog - U.S. News & World Report: Planned Parenthood Faces New Scrutiny Over Abortions, Abuse, by Paul Bedard:

An anti-abortion group's new probe of Planned Parenthood charges that the family planning organization has doubled its abortion business with a doubling of taxpayer support and fails to report instances of suspected child abuse.

The report, provided to Whispers, is being released tomorrow by Planned Parenthood's arch-critic Americans United for Life, which says that it is the compilation of over 20 years of investigations. The group hopes that it will push the state-level attempts to cut Planned Parenthood funding onto the national stage. . . .

July 14, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Federal Judge Blocks NYC Law Requiring "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" to Disclose Position on Abortion

Wall St. Journal: Judge Blocks NYC’s Abortion-Disclosure Law, by Michael Howard Saul:

A federal judge blocked a controversial New York City law requiring emergency-pregnancy centers to disclose that they don’t offer abortion services.

The new law, scheduled to take effect Thursday, poses a significant threat to abortion opponents’ First Amendment rights, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III said in a sweeping 22-page ruling Wednesday that imposed a preliminary injunction. . . .

July 14, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Courts Play Vital Role in Blocking New Anti-Abortion Laws

New York Times Editorial: The Courts Step In: Image1 

In three new rulings, federal judges in different states have acted to block immediate enforcement of measures that restrict abortion rights and women’s access to affordable contraception, lifesaving cancer screenings and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. These rulings are important victories for women’s health and reproductive rights. .  . .

July 14, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Contraception, In the Courts, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CDC Updates Recommendations Regarding Postpartum Use of Combined Hormonal Contraceptives

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Release: Update to CDC's U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010: Revised Recommendations for the Use of Contraceptive Methods During the Postpartum Period:

Initiation of contraception during the postpartum period is important to prevent unintended pregnancy and short birth intervals, which can lead to negative health outcomes for mother and infant (1). In 2010, CDC published U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010 (US MEC), providing evidence-based guidance for choosing a contraceptive method based on the relative safety of contraceptive methods for women with certain characteristics or medical conditions, including women who are postpartum (2). Recently, CDC assessed evidence regarding the safety of combined hormonal contraceptive use during the postpartum period. This report summarizes that assessment and the resulting updated guidance. These updated recommendations state that postpartum women should not use combined hormonal contraceptives during the first 21 days after delivery because of the high risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) during this period. During 21--42 days postpartum, women without risk factors for VTE generally can initiate combined hormonal contraceptives, but women with risk factors for VTE (e.g., previous VTE or recent cesarean delivery) generally should not use these methods. After 42 days postpartum, no restrictions on the use of combined hormonal contraceptives based on postpartum status apply. . . .

July 13, 2011 in Contraception, Medical News, Pregnancy & Childbirth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

As Anti-Choice Measures Surge, Bills Expanding Access to Reproductive Health Services Languish

The American Independent: Ohio bill aimed to ensure rape victims' access to emergency contraception gets little attention, by Sofia Resnick:

National abortion-rights organization NARAL Pro-Choice America recently deemed Ohio one of this year’s worst states in terms of women’s access to abortion and contraceptive services. Among its most restrictive anti-abortion bills this year, the so-called “heartbeat bill,” which recently passed the Ohio House, has received extensive media coverage since its introduction in February.

But a reproductive rights bill that has received scant attention is the Ohio Prevention First Act, which was introduced in both chambers late last month. The bill, which has been introduced in the past, includes several provisions, among them implementing reproductive-health education in schools; creating a teen-pregnancy-prevention task force; preventing health insurance companies from excluding coverage for FDA-approved prescription contraception; preventing pharmacies from refusing to dispense FDA-approved contraception; and giving sexual-assault victims information and access to emergency contraception. . . .

July 13, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Congress, Contraception, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexual Assault, Sexuality Education, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Pennsylvania Law Allows Birth Certificates for Stillbirths

Philadelphia Inquirer: A new Pennsylvania law will allow birth certificates for stillborn babies, by Amy Worden:

Image1 HARRISBURG - Six years ago, Heidi Kauffman, pregnant with her third child, went to her doctor for a routine exam. She was concerned because her lively baby had turned oddly quiet.

An ultrasound confirmed the worst. Three weeks before Kauffman's due date, her baby was dead.

Doctors induced labor, and the 7-pound boy Kauffman and her husband would name Kail was delivered stillborn. Racked with pain and guilt, Kauffman asked a nurse, "When do I get a birth certificate?"

"You won't," she was told. Instead, the Kauffmans received a death certificate. . . .

July 13, 2011 in Pregnancy & Childbirth, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Guttmacher Institute Analyzes the Record Number of Abortion Restrictions Enacted in First Half of 2011

Guttmacher Institute: States Enact Record Number of Abortion Restrictions in First Half of 2011:

In the first six months of 2011, states enacted 162 new provisions related to reproductive health and rights. Fully 49% of these new laws seek to restrict access to abortion services, a sharp increase from 2010, when 26% of new laws restricted abortion. The 80 abortion restrictions enacted this year are more than double the previous record of 34 abortion restrictions enacted in 2005—and more than triple the 23 enacted in 2010. All of these new provisions were enacted in just 19 states. . . .


July 13, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Poverty, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Reproductive Health & Safety, Scholarship and Research, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

PPNYC Fundraiser: July 25th

Planned Parenthood of New York City announces Seventh Annual “Summer, Sex and Spirits” Benefit at Hudson Terrace Features Burlesque Performances, Open Bar, Entertainment by Mistress B, Silent Auction and more

She helped create some of New York City’s most infamous club nights over the past decade and a half, and now the legendary DJ Justine D, along with her longtime friend DJ Ayres, have joined forces with Planned Parenthood of New York City – spinning music at the organization’s seventh annual “Summer, Sex & Spirits” Fundraiser. . . .

July 13, 2011 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Studies Show AIDS Drugs Can Prevent HIV Infection

AIDS_ribbon New York Times: Two Studies Show Pills Can Prevent H.I.V. Infection, by Donald G. McNeil, Jr.:

Two new studies released on Wednesday add to the growing body of evidence that taking a daily pill containing one or two AIDS drugs can keep an uninfected person from catching the fatal human immunodeficiency virus.

The studies were the first to show protection in heterosexuals; the only earlier one with similarly encouraging results involved gay men. . . .

July 13, 2011 in International, Medical News, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Missouri Post-20-Week Abortion Ban Awaits Governor's Signature

St. Louis Beacon: Deadline looms for Nixon to accept -- or veto -- restrictions on abortion, by Jo Mannies:

Even from her vantage point as a veteran of the abortion wars, local Planned Parenthood chief Image1  executive Paula Gianino says she is stunned by the latest turn of events.

"The climate is not like what we've ever seen, ever before,'' said Gianino, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri. "For the last six months, we've really seen an unprecedented attack on women's health and contraceptive services."

Pam Fichter, president of Missouri Right to Life -- the state's largest anti-abortion group -- contends that what's really happening is the public's "direct response to the anti-life policies" of President Barack Obama, who she contends has "energized the pro-life voters."

What's not in dispute is the result. Last fall's elections sent droves of socially conservative politicians into state capitols and Congress.  This year, by Gianino's count, more than 900 bills against abortion, contraception or family planning have been proposed in state legislatures around the county.

"So far, about 60 of them have passed," she added.

That includes two identical measures in Missouri, now before Gov. Jay Nixon, that would make it a felony to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, unless two physicians determine that the woman's life is endangered, she risks permanent damage to a major bodily function or the fetus is non-viable. . . .

July 13, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Racially Charged Anti-Choice Billboards Ignore Underlying Issue of Health Disparities

Mercury News/Oakland Tribune: Health care disparities at issue in abortion rates among black Americans, by Scott Johnson:

The abortion rate in the African-American community is several times higher than any other group, but community members and health providers say a recent anti-abortion billboard campaign in Oakland is misguided and simplistic.

The billboards, financed and distributed by the anti-abortion organization Issues4Life have prompted outrage among abortion rights groups and women's health care organizations who say the ads are inflammatory, racist and demeaning. But Walter Hoye, who directs the group, says the billboards are a way of bringing attention to what he has described as an abortion-created "genocide" in the African-American community. . . .

July 11, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Poverty, Race & Reproduction, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Commentary on the Media's Failure to Refer to Anti-Aborton Violence as "Terrorism"

Slate: The Terrorism Taboo, by Amanda Marcotte:

I'm unclear on why the word "terrorism" continues to be taboo in articles such as this one by A.G. Sulzberger in the New York Times.  The article is a profile of Dr. Mila Means, a doctor who has---somewhat incorrectly---been identified as stepping up to fill the hole left by the assassination of Dr. George Tiller by abortion opponent Scott Roeder.  "Somewhat incorrectly" because Dr. Means is only going to provide abortions up to 15 weeks, and while that was a large chunk of what Dr. Tiller did, what made him so prominent a figure was that his clinic served women almost no one else could, women whose pregnancies had gone terribly wrong much later in the pregnancy and who needed to have therapeutic abortions.  But while the loss of Dr. Tiller is still strongly felt in the world of gynecology, the larger concern with this article and articles like it is the unwillingness to describe domestic terrorism as terrorism. . . .

July 11, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, In the Media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Planned Parenthood Sues North Carolina Over Funding Cut

Bloomberg: Planned Parenthood Sues North Carolina Over Blocked Funding, by Tom Schoenberg:

NorthCarolinaFlag A Planned Parenthood affiliate sued North Carolina in federal court to stop a state law that cuts off federal and state funds to the group.

The lawsuit, filed today in Greensboro by Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, alleges a June 15 law enacted by the state’s legislature violates the U.S. Constitution and would deprive low income people of “much- needed health and teen pregnancy prevention services.”. . .

July 11, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Contraception, In the Courts, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Operation Rescue Continues to Target Abortion Providers by Name

The Washington Independent: Stalker case illuminates issue of naming abortion providers, by Sofia Resnick:


After plastering one abortion provider’s face and name on “Wanted”-style posters all over Charlotte, N.C., anti-abortion rights activist Philip “Flip” Benham is not even allowed to repeat the doctor’s name thanks to a lawsuit brought on by the physician targeted on the posters, which reportedly read: “Wanted … By Christ, to Stop Killing Babies.” Benham, who directs the Concord, N.C.-based Operation Save America, was found guilty of misdemeanor stalking last week and sentenced to 18 months probation, according to The Charlotte Observer. News outlets have not reported the name of the abortion provider in question. . . .

July 11, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)