Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oklahoma "Personhood" Measure Fails in House of Representatives, After Sailing Through Senate in February

Reuters: Oklahoma "personhood" bill fails in legislature, by Steve Olafson:


A proposed 'personhood' law in Oklahoma that would grant embryos full rights as people from the moment of conception failed in the state's Legislature without coming to a vote in the House of Representatives, lawmakers said on Thursday.

The bill, which backers hoped would provide a path to roll back the constitutional right to an abortion, had sailed through the Oklahoma Senate in February by a 34-8 vote. Many thought the Republican-dominated House would rubber-stamp the bill. . . .

April 25, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Assisted Reproduction, Contraception, Fetal Rights, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

GOP Strategists Fear That Focus on Social Issues Will Hurt Party's Chances in Fall Elections

The New York Times: Concern in G.O.P. Over State Focus on Social Issues, by Michael Cooper:

GOP2Fiscal issues and union rights were front and center in many Republican-controlled legislatures last year. But this year, with the nation heading into the heart of a presidential race and voters consumed by the country’s economic woes, much of the debate in statehouses has centered on social issues.

Tennessee enacted a law this month intended to protect teachers who question the theory of evolution. Arizona moved to ban nearly all abortions after 20 weeks, and Mississippi imposed regulations that could close the state’s only abortion clinic. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin signed a law allowing the state’s public schools to teach about abstinence instead of contraception. . . .

April 21, 2012 in Abortion, Contraception, Politics, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Poor Sex Education and Strict Abortion Laws Exacerbate Teen Pregnancy Problem in Thailand Soccer or sex? Thai teens ponder puzzling choice, by Ploy Bunluesilp:

ThailandIf you are a teen with a sexual urge, what should you do?

It's a question faced by young people across the world, and one met with many responses.

So high school seniors in Thailand were perplexed this year when they were asked for the answer in a nationwide multiple-choice test for students hoping to win a coveted place at university. They were given five possible options to choose from:

A: Call friends to go play football (soccer)
B: Talk to your family
C: Try to sleep
D: Go out with a friend of the opposite sex
E: Invite a close friend to see a movie

Most students had no idea how to respond. And it quickly became clear that they were not the only ones who struggled to identify the right answer. Parents and teachers were equally baffled. . . .

April 21, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, International, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Sexuality Education, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ireland Will Not Reform Abortion Law to Allow Life-Saving Abortions

Irish Independent: Government to vote against more liberal law on abortion, by Fionnan Sheahan & Lise Hand:

IrelandThe Government last night said legal issues prevent it from supporting legislation that seeks to introduce a more liberal abortion regime.

. . .

The bill tabled by Ms Daly in the Dail last night -- the Medical Treatment (Termination of Pregnancy in the case of Risk to Life of Pregnant Women) -- allows for abortion in Ireland where it is necessary to save the life of the mother, based on the medical opinion of two practitioners. . . .

April 21, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Vatican Reprimands U.S. Nuns for Promoting "Radical Feminist Themes"

The New York Times: Vatican Reprimands a Group of U.S. Nuns and Plans Changes, by Laurie Goldstein:

The Vatican has appointed an American bishop to rein in the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States, saying that an investigation found that the group had “serious doctrinal problems.”

The Vatican’s assessment, issued on Wednesday, said that members of the group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, had challenged church teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood, and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

The sisters were also reprimanded for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” During the debate over the health care overhaul in 2010, American bishops came out in opposition to the health plan, but dozens of sisters, many of whom belong to the Leadership Conference, signed a statement supporting it — support that provided crucial cover for the Obama administration in the battle over health care. . . .

April 21, 2012 in International, Religion, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Are Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin Pro-Choice?

The Huffington Post: Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin Are Pro-Choice, by Bob Cesca:

I've made this confession before, but it bears repeating given the subsequent quote from Michele Bachmann.

When I was in high school, I was a very serious Republican. In fact, I was the founding president of my high school's Republican club. In addition to that, I used to be the conservative voice of the opinions section of the high school newspaper and often sparred (in print) with a fellow journalism geek named Carl. It was Carl who gets partial credit for my transformation into a liberal Democrat.

Here's how he did it. . . .

April 18, 2012 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Drop in Teen Births Is Attributable to Increased Use of Contraception

The New York Times editorial: Birth Control and Teenage Pregnancy:

An encouraging new report shows a big decline in the rate of teenage births. From 2009 to 2010, the birth rate among young women ages 15 to 19 fell 9 percent, to 34.9 per thousand, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is a record low for the 65 years that data have been available, and a remarkable 44 percent drop from the 1991 rate. This good shift is largely the result of an increase in teenagers’ use of birth control — a fact that Congressional Republicans ignore as they seek to dismantle reproductive health programs. . . .

April 18, 2012 in Contraception, Politics, Scholarship and Research, Sexuality Education, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ireland Debates Bill to Allow Abortion Where Woman's Life Is at Risk

The New York Times: Ireland Takes Up Bill on Abortion Access, by Douglas Dalby:

DUBLIN — One of the most deeply divisive issues in Irish society was reignited Wednesday night when the Irish Parliament began debate on a bill that would provide for limited access to abortion.

As in the United States, it was the Supreme Court here that legalized abortion, although in strictly limited circumstances. But in the 20 years since the decision in the “X Case,”successive governments have shied away from enacting the legislation needed to carry out the order. . . .

April 18, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, International, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Minnesota House and Senate Approve Separate Abortion Restrictions

StarTribune: Abortion bills pass Minnesota House, Senate, by Jennifer Brooks:

If a woman is going to take an abortion pill like RU-486, she should do it in the presence of a doctor, the House voted Wednesday.

Representatives were less open, however, to an amendment that would have required a physician presence every time a man pops a Viagra.

The House bill was one of two unrelated bills brought up for debate in the Legislature, both aimed at bringing closer scrutiny to abortion services in Minnesota. The Senate signed off on a bill that would require the state to license clinics that perform more than 10 abortions a month.

April 18, 2012 in Abortion, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mississippi Governor Bryant Signs Bill Restricting Abortion Providers

CNN: Mississippi governor signs bill tightening restrictions on abortion providers, by CNN Wire Staff: Image1

(CNN) -- Mississippi's governor has signed into law a bill requiring physicians performing abortions in the state to be a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and to have admitting privileges at an area hospital.

"I believe that all human life is precious, and as governor, I will work to ensure that the lives of the born and unborn are protected in Mississippi," Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement Monday.

He has previously expressed his desire that the state become "abortion free.". . .

April 18, 2012 in Abortion, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Brazil High Court Decriminalizes Abortion in Cases of Anencephaly

FOX News Latino: Brazil High Court Allows Abortion in Case of Major Brain Damage: Image1

Brasilia –  Brazil's Supreme Federal Tribunal ruled that aborting a fetus suffering from anencephaly - the absence of a large part of the brain and the skull - is not a criminal offense.

Only two of the 11 justices voted against decriminalization, while another recused himself because he had previously argued the case while serving as a state attorney general. . . .

April 16, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, In the Courts, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

California Bill Would Expand Reproductive Health Care

ACLU press release: SB 1338 - Now More than Ever: California Moves to Expand Reproductive Health Care:

Image1 SACRAMENTO -- While other states and Congress are moving to restrict reproductive health care, in California nursing and medical organizations, reproductive health advocates and women's rights groups have come together to support legislation that would increase access to comprehensive reproductive health care in this state.  

SB 1338, a bill authored by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, would ensure women receive safe and early access to reproductive care by authorizing nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants to perform early, safe abortions within the terms of their licenses. SB 1338 will be heard in Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee on Monday, April 16. . . .

April 16, 2012 in Abortion, Reproductive Health & Safety, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Planned Parenthood Sues Texas Over Its Medicaid Funding Exclusion

Houston Chronicle: Planned Parenthood sues over abortions exclusion, by Todd Ackerman:

TexasTexas Planned Parenthood affiliates filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday to block a rule excluding their health centers from a key program for low-income women, the latest round in a protracted skirmish between the state and federal governments.

The suit, filed in Austin, says Texas' exclusion of Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid Women's Health Program violates the organization's constitutional rights to freedom of speech and association. It asks the court to stop the rule from taking effect May 1. . . .

April 16, 2012 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts, Poverty, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AZ Governor Jan Brewer Signs "Fetal Pain" Abortion Ban

Los Angeles Times: Arizona passes law restricting abortion, by John M. Glionna: Image1

The legislation, which largely bans the procedure after 20 weeks, follows similarly strict laws in Virginia and Mississippi. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer says it protects 'the health and safety of women.'

LAS VEGAS — Following a national trend of new get-tough abortion legislation, Arizona has passed a law that severely restricts the procedure, banning most abortions after 20 weeks — setting the stage for another showdown between social conservatives and women's rights groups.

With GOP Gov. Jan Brewer's signature on the Republication-sponsored legislation, Arizona took a stand on an issue that could become fodder during this year's presidential campaign. Proponents say the law protects fetuses, which they say can feel pain after five months of development.

The new law "strengthens Arizona's laws protecting the health and safety of women, and recognizes the precious life of the preborn baby," Brewer said in a statement. . . .

April 16, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Fetal Rights, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Guttmacher Institute Tallies State Policy Trends in First Quarter of 2012

Guttmacher Institute: State Policy Trends: Abortion and Contraception in the Crosshairs: Image1

In the first three months of 2012, legislators in 45 of the 46 legislatures that have convened this year introduced 944 provisions related to reproductive health and rights. Half of these provisions would restrict abortion access. So far, 75 abortion restrictions have been approved by at least one legislative chamber, and nine have been enacted. This is below the record-breaking pace of 2011, when 127 abortion restrictions had been approved by at least one body in the first quarter of the year, but still higher than usual for an election year. In 2010, for example, only 46 such restrictions had passed at least one house during the first quarter, while in 2008, only 34 had passed one chamber by that point. . . .

April 16, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Contraception, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reflections on What it Was Like to Obtain an Abortion in 1978

The New York Times (Op-ed): No One Called Me a Slut, by Susan Heath:

TWO weeks ago, a bomb went off outside a Wisconsin abortion center. In recent years, several states have passed or tried to pass laws requiring women seeking legal, constitutionally protected procedures to first undergo medical examinations. A young woman has been called a slut after testifying in favor of insurance coverage for contraceptive care. These are but a few of the stories about attacks on a woman’s right to choose.

It wasn’t always like this.

This is a story of how it used to be . . . .

April 16, 2012 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Anti-Choice Groups Endorse Romney

The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: Anti-abortion-rights groups rally behind Romney's campaign, by Julian Pecquet:

Vote2012Two of the nation's leading anti-abortion-rights groups rallied behind Mitt Romney on Thursday following the exit of Rick Santorum from the presidential race.

The Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List and the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) both endorsed Romney's candidacy, burnishing the former governor's credentials with conservatives. SBA had previously endorsed Santorum, while the NRLC had taken a wait-and-see approach out of fear of weakening the eventual nominee.

Romney supported abortion rights during his 2002 campaign for governor, but has worked to convince Republicans he had a genuine change of heart in 2004. . . .

April 16, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

NPR Interviews Author of New Margaret Sanger Biography

NPR: Writing the Messy Life of a Sexual Health Pioneer, hosted by Michel Martin: Ms3


I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. As women around the world are rethinking and rewriting their roles in society, we decided to take a look at how the biographies of notable women reflect those changes. So, throughout women's history month, we've been digging into biographies of all kinds of women, divas, dancers, leaders of nations and queens of fashion.

And, today, we're talking about a woman who, although she died four decades ago, is back in the news. We're talking about nurse and activist, Margaret Sanger, the founder of the organization that eventually became Planned Parenthood.

Sanger began her efforts in behalf of sex education and contraception at a time when even talking about contraception was considered obscene and, in some places, even criminal. Women risked arrest when they sought out makeshift birth control devices that were often unsafe.

To this day, Margaret Sanger is lauded by many for her work in changing that and, as well, vilified by others for ushering in a culture that her critics say devalues life and women in the process.

Her life and work are chronicled in the new book, "Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion." The author is Jean Baker. She is an historian and history professor at Goucher College and she's with us now in Washington, D.C. . . . 


Audio of the interview is available through the link above.

April 16, 2012 in Abortion, Books, Contraception, In the Media, Parenthood, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mississippi Bill Could Force State's Only Abortion Clinic To Close

The Los Angeles Times: Mississippi could close state's sole abortion clinic, by Richard Fausset: Mississippi

The sole abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi could be forced to close under a bill headed to the desk of Gov. Phil Bryant, who has said he intends to sign it.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported that the state Senate gave final legislative approval to the measure on Thursday. It now heads to Bryant, a Republican who was elected to lead the state in November -- at the same time an antiabortion "personhood" amendment failed when put to a statewide vote. . . .

April 11, 2012 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Parenthood, Politics, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Religion and Reproductive Rights, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Teacher Fired From TX Baptist School for Becoming Pregnant Out of Wedlock

ABC News: Texas Teacher Fired for Unwed Pregnancy Offered to Get Married, by Christina Ng:

A teacher and coach at a private Baptist school in Texas fired for an unwed pregnancy wants to set the record straight about who she is for those who question her fitness as a "Christian role model."

"I'm not just some teacher that went out to a bar and go pregnant and went back to school saying it's okay," Cathy Samford told today. "I was in a committed relationship the whole time and probably would have been married if things had gone differently and this would be a non-situation." . . .

April 11, 2012 in Religion, Religion and Reproductive Rights, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)