Monday, September 5, 2011

Abortion Access Still Imperiled in Colombia Despite Court Ruling Lifting Some Restrictions

Women News Network: Women's reproductive rights under threat in Colombia, by Hanna Hindstrom:

(WNN) Buga, COLOMBIA: At 11 years old, Nina was raped by her stepfather. Traumatised and pregnant, she sought an abortion. But every doctor she met claimed conscientious objection and refused. She was forced to travel 35 miles to another city, where she eventually tracked down an obstetrician willing to help.

She was one of the lucky ones.

Despite a landmark ruling five years ago – when Colombia’s Constitutional Court decriminalised abortion in cases of rape, foetal abnormality or to save the mother’s life – less than 0.5 percent of procedures are carried out legally each year. Many doctors simply turn girls like Nina away. . . .

September 5, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, International, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexual Assault | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Virginia Health Department Releases Onerous New Abortion Clinic Regulations

Huffington Post: Virginia Abortion Clinics Threatened By New Regulations, by Laura Bassett: 

There are 22 facilities that provide first-trimester abortions in Virginia, and all of them may have to close their doors over the next two years if they can't meet the state government's rigorous new health clinic regulations.

Virginia lawmakers passed legislation in the spring that required the Department of Health to release a set of "emergency" draft regulations for abortion clinics that were to go into effect by December 31.

The rules, released late on Friday, borrow a number of very specific physical plant requirements from a rulebook intended for the construction of new hospitals. . . .

September 1, 2011 in Abortion, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Kansas Seeks to Avoid Disclosing How Abortion Clinic Rules Were Developed

The Kansas City Star: Kansas balks at disclosing how it developed new rules for abortion clinics, by Brad Cooper:

Image1 The state of Kansas is battling to keep from revealing details about how it developed new rules for abortion clinics.

Lawyers for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the attorney general want to prevent two abortion clinics from learning how the rules were crafted, as well as the mind-set behind them, according to their court filings.

They are asking a judge to limit the scope of what is shared with the clinics’ lawyers to prevent overly broad requests that don’t lead to relevant evidence, the court documents say. . . .

September 1, 2011 in Abortion, In the Courts, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

U.S. Unintended Pregnancy Rate Varies Widely Based On Income

Guttmacher Institute: Disparities in Unintended Pregnancy Grow, Even as National Rate Stagnates , by Rebecca Wind:

Image1 Substantial Progress Among Higher-Income Women Contrasts with Dramatic Increases Among the Poor

A new analysis from the Guttmacher Institute shows that following a considerable decline between 1981 and 1994, the overall U.S. unintended pregnancy rate has remained essentially flat—about 5% of U.S. women have an unintended pregnancy every year. However, the rate has increased dramatically among poor women, while among higher-income women it has continued to decrease substantially, according to “Unintended Pregnancy in the United States: Incidence and Disparities, 2006,” by Lawrence B. Finer and Mia R. Zolna.

In 1994, the unintended pregnancy rate among women with incomes below the federal poverty line was 88 per 1,000 women aged 15–44; it increased to 120 in 2001 and 132 in 2006—a 50% rise over the period. At the same time, the rate among higher-income women (those with incomes at or above 200% of the poverty line) fell from 34 in 1994 to 28 in 2001 and 24 in 2006—a 29% decrease. Poor women’s high rate of unintended pregnancy results in their also having high—and increasing—rates of both abortions (52 per 1,000) and unplanned births (66 per 1,000). In 2006, poor women had an unintended pregnancy rate five times that of higher-income women, and an unintended birth rate six times as high. . . .

September 1, 2011 in Abortion, Contraception, Poverty, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Religious Leaders Push for Broad Exemption from New Contraception Insurance Mandate

The Washington Post - Ezra Klein blog: The birth control battles, by Sarah Kliff:

Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, has drawn a fair amount of attention for advocating “family planning as a pro-life cause.” His column Tuesday in The Washington Post praised the use of contraceptives in efforts to reduce maternal deaths in Africa.

“Support for contraception does not imply or require support for abortion,” he wrote. “Even in the most stringent Catholic teaching, the prevention of conception is not the moral equivalent of ending a life.”

What’s gotten less notice: an influential group of progressive religious leaders pushing back against insurance coverage for contraceptives in the health reform law. . . .

September 1, 2011 in Congress, Contraception, President/Executive Branch, Public Opinion, Religion, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Michael Gerson Advocates Embracing Contraception as a "Pro-Life Cause"

Washington Post op-ed: Family planning as a pro-life cause, by Michael Gerson:

. . . The very words “family planning” light up the limbic centers of American politics. From a distance, it seems like a culture war showdown. Close up, in places such as Bweremana, family planning is undeniably pro-life. When births are spaced more than 24 months apart, both mothers and children are dramatically more likely to survive. Family planning results not only in fewer births, but in fewer at-risk births, including those early and late in a woman’s fertility. When contraceptive prevalence is low, about 70 percent of all births involve serious risk. When prevalence is high, the figure is 35 percent. . . .

September 1, 2011 in Abortion, Contraception, In the Media, International, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Idaho Woman Files First Challenge to a Post-20-Week "Fetal Pain" Abortion Ban

Ms.: First-Ever Legal Challenge to Fetal Pain Law in ID:

In Idaho, Jennie Linn McCormack filed the first-ever lawsuit in the country challenging the state's "fetal pain" law, which bans abortions in the state after 20 weeks gestation. McComark, noting the lack of accessible abortion providers for women in southeast Idaho, contends that Idaho's law unconstitutionally restricts women in the region from accessing abortion services. McCormack seeks class-action status for her case against Bannock County, Idaho's prosecuting attorney, Mark Hiedman. . . .

September 1, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Federal Court Blocks Texas's New Abortion Sonogram Law

Boston Herald: Federal court blocks Texas law requiring sonograms before abortions, by Christy Hoppe:

TexasFlag1 A federal court invalidated most of the Texas’ new abortion sonogram law Tuesday, deeming it unconstitutional to force doctors to tell patients details that aren’t medically relevant and that they don’t wish to hear.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks in Austin issued a temporary restraining order against the state that makes the law virtually unenforceable. He held that the state cannot penalize doctors for failing to follow the statute, which was signed this summer by Republican Gov. Rick Perry and due to take effect Sept. 1. . . .

Wall St. Journal: Texas' Perry Condemns Court Ruling Blocking Portions of Sonogram Law, by Ana Campoy:

DALLAS—Abortion opponents in Texas are preparing to challenge a federal judge's order that temporarily blocks key elements of a new state sonogram law.

An abortion-rights group filed a lawsuit earlier this summer questioning the constitutionality of the law, which was scheduled to go into effect Thursday. It would require every woman seeking an abortion to have a sonogram and to listen to a description of the fetus, including whether it has developed limbs or internal organs. . . .

September 1, 2011 in Abortion, In the Courts, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)