Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lawsuit Challenges North Carolina Pre-Abortion Ultrasound Mandate

Center for Reproductive Rights press release: Health Care Providers File Lawsuit to Challenge Demeaning and Intrusive North Carolina Ultrasound Law:

Groups Say State Violates Free Speech by Forcing Doctors To Give Patients Unwanted, Non-Essential Information

09.29.11 - The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, Planned Parenthood Health Systems, Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit today challenging the constitutionality of a new North Carolina law that requires abortion providers to show women an ultrasound and describe the images in detail four hours before having an abortion, even if the woman objects.  The lawsuit, filed in the federal district court for the Middle District of North Carolina, alleges that the new law violates the rights of health care providers and women seeking abortions. . . .

September 29, 2011 in Abortion, In the Courts, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Simple Procedure Effective in Fighting Cervical Cancer in Poor Countries

The New York Times: Fighting Cervical Cancer With Vinegar and Ingenuity, by Donald G. McNeil Jr:

Maikaew Panomyai did a little dance coming out of the examination room, switching her hips, waving her fists in the air and crowing, in her limited English: “Everything’s O.K.! Everything’s O.K.!”

Translation: The nurse just told me I do not have cervical cancer, and even the little white spot I had treated three years ago is still gone.

What allowed the nurse to render that reassuring diagnosis was a remarkably simple, brief and inexpensive procedure, one with the potential to do for poor countries what the Pap smear did for rich ones: end cervical cancer’s reign as the No. 1 cancer killer of women. The magic ingredient? Household vinegar. . . .

September 29, 2011 in International, Medical News, Poverty, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Michigan’s ‘Partial-Birth’ Abortion Ban Awaits Governor’s Likely Signature

Huffington Post: Michigan Legislature Passes 'Partial-Birth' Abortion Ban, by Laura Bassett: Image1 

WASHINGTON -- Michigan lawmakers passed legislation last week that will ban "partial-birth" abortions, which have been federally outlawed since 2007 and have not occurred on record since then.

The state-level ban -- sponsored by Republicans -- is modeled almost exactly after the federal ban that George W. Bush signed in 2003 and that the Supreme Court upheld in 2007. Doctors who perform the procedure, in which the fetus is partially delivered before being aborted, would face up to two years in jail and a $50,000 fine unless they can prove the mother's life is in danger. Democratic opponents of the measure tried to amend it to include exceptions for cases of rape or damage to a woman's health, but those proposals were voted down. . . .

September 28, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Proposed San Francisco Ordinance Targets Pregnancy Centers that Oppose Abortion

City Insider - San Francisco Chronicle blog: Pregnancy center legislation moves forward - without recommendation:


Two San Francisco supervisors, concerned over First Amendment issues, were hesitant about moving forward with a proposed law that would prohibit pregnancy centers from engaging in false or misleading advertising practices.


Centers that break the the law could face civil action by the city and fines up to $500 per violation.

The legislation takes aim at pregnancy centers that oppose abortion. The concern is that women with unplanned pregnancies are tricked into thinking that certain pregnancy centers will give them information on all of their options, including abortion, when that’s not the case. . . .

September 28, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Republican-Led House Panel Takes Aim at Planned Parenthood by Launching an Investigation

Repub elephant House Panel Launches Probe of Planned Parenthood:


A Republican-led House committee has launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood, requesting a mountain of documents covering everything from audits to abortion-funding records to its policies on reporting sexual abuse. 


In a move Democrats decried as "unfair and unjustified," Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., earlier this month wrote to Planned Parenthood informing them that the House Energy and Commerce Committee was looking at the group's "institutional practices and policies.". . .

September 28, 2011 in Abortion, Congress, Politics, Sexual Assault, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mexican President Seeks Change In Human Rights Treaty Stance In Order to Support Abortion Criminalization

Fox News Latino: Mexican president wants change in abortion stance under treaty:


Image1 Mexico City –  President Felipe Calderon has asked the Senate to scrap a commitment Mexico made when it signed the Pact of San Jose on Human Rights in 1981 to not take on the obligation of enacting legislation to protect life from conception.


The president's proposal to the Senate comes as the Supreme Court begins reviewing the constitutionality of reforms implemented in two states on the protection of life from conception, opening the way for the criminalization of abortion.


Calderon contends that a withdrawal from the Interpretive Declaration of the San Jose Pact would allow Mexico to endorse a "commitment to the right to life as a legal right protected under Mexican law," the Office of the President said in a statement. . . .

September 28, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Fetal Rights, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Another Sperm Donor Learns of His Numerous Offspring

Sperm attack ABA Journal: Lawyer Learns He Has at Least 75 Children, by Debra Cassens Weiss:

Boston lawyer Ben Seisler picked up extra money while attending law school at George Mason University by donating to a Virginia sperm bank.

Seisler earned $150 per donation, the Boston Globe reports. He apparently visited the sperm bank often. . . .

h/t: Lianne Hansen

See also Former Fairfax Sperm Donor Learns of 70 Kids, and this earlier post on a different prolific sperm donor: Ethical Questions Raised Over Single Sperm Donor's Copious Offspring

September 28, 2011 in Assisted Reproduction, Bioethics, Fertility, Law School, Men and Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Federal Court Bars Enforcement of 1972 Idaho Abortion Law

Reuters: Woman wins court order against 1972 Idaho abortion law, by Laura Zuckerman: Image1

(Reuters) - An Idaho woman prosecuted for terminating her own pregnancy with abortion pills she ordered online won a temporary court order on Friday barring enforcement of the decades-old law under which she was charged.

But the federal judge in the case also rebuffed her separate bid to block a newly enacted state law that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy unless there is proof the woman's life is in danger. . . .


I commented on this case (and the issue of standing) for the Washington Post here.


September 27, 2011 in Abortion, In the Courts, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Anti-Abortion Group To Bring Live Ultrasounds to Capitol Hill As Part of National "Voices From the Womb" Campaign

The Florida Independent: Anti-abortion group to perform live 'real time' ultrasounds on Capitol Hill, by Ashley Lopez:

Image1 An anti-abortion rights campaign called “Voices From the Womb” will perform live ultrasounds on pregnant women on Capitol Hill as part of the launch of a national campaign in October.

According to a press release on the event:

This project will feature live “real time” ultrasounds being performed on women in the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

For the first time ever, the voices of pre-born children will literally be “heard” on Capitol Hill.

All 535 members of Congress and the public will be invited to the presentation.

After the showing on Capitol Hill, “Voices from the Womb” will begin a national tour performing live ultrasounds in schools, churches, state capitals and public hearings. . . .

September 27, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Fetal Rights, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Pregnancy & Childbirth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mississippi Dems Hesitate to Attack Embryonic Personhood Amendment

Embryos The Huffington Post: As Mississippi Debates Extreme 'Personhood' Amendment, Advocates Ask Where Are The Dems?, by Laura Bassett:

WASHINGTON -- Mississippians are set to vote on a ballot measure this November that would redefine the word "person" in the state constitution to include undeveloped embryos. Members of the medical and legal communities have raised concerns that the amendment could have unforeseen, far-reaching implications for women's health, such as banning certain kinds of birth control, in vitro fertilization and stem cell research.

But state Democrats have been cautious of publicly opposing or even questioning the amendment for fear of alienating Mississippi's pro-life majority. . . .

September 23, 2011 in Anti-Choice Movement, Contraception, Fetal Rights, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hillary Clinton Promotes CEDAW, Even As U.S. Still Has Not Signed It

Hillary Clinton Sec State Huffington Post: Hillary Clinton Promotes Women's Rights Treaty That U.S. Has Not Yet Signed, by Joshua Hersh:

NEW YORK -- On the eve of high-level meetings for the United Nations' general assembly, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended an event on Monday afternoon designed to highlight the importance of women's participation in public life.

Together with a selection of major female world leaders, including Catherine Ashton, the European Union's top diplomat, and Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile and the head of U.N. Women, Clinton put her name to a document calling for developing countries -- especially in the changing Middle East -- to clear the way for women to hold leadership roles.

The joint statement read:

We call upon all States to ratify and fulfill their obligations under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and to implement fully Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women and Peace and Security and other relevant UN resolutions.

There was only one problem: the United States is the only industrialized nation -- and one of only seven in the world -- that has not yet signed onto the CEDAW treaty. . . .

September 23, 2011 in International, President/Executive Branch, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Canadian Doctors Consider Denying Fertility Treatments to Obese Women

The Globe and Mail: Canadian MDs consider denying fertility treatments to obese women, by Carolyn Abraham:

Image1 Canadian doctors are considering a policy that would bar obese women from trying to have babies through fertility treatments – provoking debate over whether the fat have the same reproductive rights as the thin.

Some studies find obese women face higher risks of medical complications while trying to become pregnant through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The science is not certain and some believe a ban would be tantamount to discrimination, yet a growing number of fertility doctors worldwide already bar treatment based on a woman’s Body Mass Index. . . .

September 23, 2011 in Assisted Reproduction, Bioethics, Fertility, International, Medical News, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Report Challenges Benefits of Single-Sex Education

The Washington Post: Study: Single-sex education may do more harm than good, by Michael Alison Chandler:

The push for more single-sex instruction in public schools is based on weak, “misconstrued” scientific claims rather than solid research and may do more harm than good, according to a study published in the journal Science on Thursday.

The authors, a group that includes psychologists, child development specialists and a neuroscientist who specializes in gender, argue that while excellent single-sex schools exist, there is “no empirical evidence that their success stems from their single-sex organization,” as opposed to the quality of students, the curriculum or short-lived motivation that comes from “novelty and belief in innovation.” . . .

See also: The New York Times: Single-Sex Education Is Assailed in Report, by Tamar Lewin

September 23, 2011 in Scholarship and Research, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Michigan House and Senate Pass "Partial-Birth Abortion" Bans

Detroit Free Press: State lawmakers approve bans of abortion procedure, by Dawson Bell:

MichiganFlag Both houses of the Legislature approved measures Wednesday to criminalize a controversial late-term abortion procedure, signaling what may be the end of a legislative debate under way since the mid-1990s.

Bills that would allow prosecutors to charge a doctor who performs the procedure -- called partial-birth abortion by its opponents -- with a two-year felony were approved by the House and Senate, but will have to be reconciled before they can be sent to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature. . . .

September 23, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Republicans Target Planned Parenthood

Huffington Post: The Republican Plan for Planned Parenthood, by Linda Flanagan & Sarah Sangree:

Like their classmates around the state, 4th graders in public schools in Summit, N.J. this year will be shepherded into class by the school nurse, separated by gender, and formally introduced to "human growth and development" -- what we used to call sex ed. They'll sit through a power point presentation on puberty, hear a bit about the pimples, body odor, and cliques that go with it, and file back to class. It all takes about 45 minutes.

Sounds pretty routine, but here in leafy, upscale Summit, N.J., where still-employed investment bankers and graduate degrees are the norm, this bland curriculum triggered a small but well-organized firestorm in 2010. It turns out that the school administration and nurses, responding to state requirements, had decided to use some resource materials supplied by Planned Parenthood for the 4th and 5th grade curricula. Planned Parenthood's name would not appear anywhere on the materials, but some residents would have none of it. . . .

September 23, 2011 in Anti-Choice Movement, Contraception, Politics, Poverty, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexuality Education, State and Local News, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Two Scientists Opposed to Embryonic Stem Cell Research Appeal Court Ruling Allowing U.S. Gov't Funding

Stem cell Reuters: U.S. scientists appeal on embryonic stem cell funding:

Two scientists on Monday appealed a ruling that permitted federal funding of human embryonic stem research to go forward, an effort by the U.S. government to try to find cures for deadly diseases.

Dr. James Sherley, a biological engineer at Boston Biomedical Research Institute, and Theresa Deisher, of Washington-based AVM Biotechnology, opposed such research and had sued to block funding. . . .

September 19, 2011 in In the Courts, Science, Stem Cell Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Levi Johnston on Abstinence and Bristol Palin's Pregnancy

Washington Post - Political Book-Worm blog: Levi Johnston on love, sex and abstinence, by Steven Levingston:

As Levi Johnston tells it, it was love at first sight — or at least what counts for love in a 15-year-old. He ran into Bristol Palin in the local grocery store back when he was a student at Wasilla High playing on the hockey team. “She had on a soft-pink turtleneck sweater. Hot,” he writes in his new book, “Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin’s Crosshairs.” . . .

September 19, 2011 in Books, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Sexuality Education, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Washington Post Editorial on Virginia’s New Abortion Regulations

The Washington Post editorial: Virginia's abortion end run: Image1 


IT’S ALREADY HARD to get an abortion in Virginia, and it’s about to get much harder.


The reason is a new set of regulations — absurdly onerous and utterly unnecessary — pushed by conservative ideologues in Richmond and adopted by the state Board of Health, which is dominated by appointees of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R). The regulations, which go into effect Jan. 1, are likely to result in the closure of many or most of Virginia’s 23 abortion clinics, which accounted for all but a few hundred of the 26,000 procedures performed in the state last year. . . .


September 19, 2011 in Abortion, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Qualitest Pharmaceuticals Recalls Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills CNN: Birth control pills recalled due to 'packaging error':

An Alabama pharmaceutical company issued a voluntary nationwide recall Friday for "multiple lots" of birth control pills due to what it described as a systemic "packaging error."

A spokesman for Qualitest Pharmaceuticals said that "there are no immediate health issues currently" because of the packaging problems. Rather, he said, the chief concern is that women may unintentionally become pregnant after taking the oral contraceptive. . . .

September 16, 2011 in Contraception, Medical News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Bill O'Reilly Back to Attacking Dr. George Tiller

Media Matters: O'Reilly Returns To Demonizing Slain Abortion Clinic Doctor George Tiller, by Adam Shah:

Bill O'Reilly has a history of demonizing the late Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas doctor who provided abortions at his Women's Health Care Services clinic. O'Reilly repeatedly referred to Tiller as "Tiller, the baby killer" and even once said: "[I]f I could get my hands on Tiller -- well, you know. Can't be vigilantes. Can't do that. It's just a figure of speech."

After Tiller was gunned down by anti-abortion zealot Scott Roeder, O'Reilly tried to whitewash his attacks on Tiller.

But on today's edition of his Fox News show, he was back to demonizing Tiller. . . .

September 16, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Culture, In the Media, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)