Wednesday, June 27, 2012

German Court Bans Religious Circumcisions of Boys Too Young To Consent

The Chicago Tribune/Reuters: German court bans circumcision of young boys:

Jewish and Muslim groups protested on Wednesday after a German court banned the circumcision of young boys for religious reasons in the first ruling of its kind in the country.

The court in the western city of Cologne handed down the decision on Tuesday in the case of a doctor prosecuted for circumcising a four-year-old Muslim boy who had to be treated two days later for post-operative bleeding. . . .

June 27, 2012 in In the Courts, International, Men and Reproduction, Religion, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

D.C. Budget Autonomy Bill Pulled After Rand Paul Snarls Deliberation With Proposed Amendments on Abortion, Guns

The Washington Post -- D.C. Wire blog: D.C. budget autonomy bill pulled after Rand Paul offers amendments on guns, abortion, unions, by Ben Pershing:

UPDATE: The bill to give budget autonomy to the District has been pulled from Wednesday’s schedule, after negotiations between Democrats and Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) office failed to produce any agreement on his proposed amendments.

ORIGINAL POST:Add Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) to the list of Republicans eager to change the District’s laws on guns, abortion and labor unions. . . .

June 26, 2012 in Abortion, Congress, Poverty, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Chinese Couple Whose Forced Abortion Was Publicized in Photo Report Continued Harassment

USA Today: Chinese couple forced to get abortion report harassment, by Calum MacLeod:

China flagA couple forced into an abortion for not paying the fine for an extra child say they are being tormented by Chinese authorities despite the punishment of seven officials connected to the case. . . .

Marchers accused the family of being "traitors" for complaining to foreign news media that Feng was forced into a car June 2 by authorities, taken to a hospital and given drugs to induce labor and end her pregnancy at seventh months.

Photos posted on the Internet of Feng lying in her hospital bed with her dead baby daughter by her side sparked unusual and widespread anger in a nation long accustomed to both voluntary and forced abortions. . . .

June 26, 2012 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

North Carolina Senate Rejects Funds for Forced Sterilization Victims State: No compensation for sterilization victims, by Leo Hohmann:

A dark chapter in North Carolina’s history in which the state forcibly sterilized 7,600 of its own citizens ended in 1974, but the push to compen-sate the victims will apparently drag on into the next budget year.

Legislators did not include any money in a state budget deal for living victims of the North Carolina “eugenics” program, carried out by a state-sanctioned board from 1929 through 1974. . . .

House leaders passed a compensation plan two weeks ago to pay $50,000 to living victims. But the deal fell apart in the Senate. . . .

June 24, 2012 in Poverty, Race & Reproduction, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Sterilization | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Campbell Brown Accuses Planned Parenthood of Being "Rigid" and "Calcified"

The New York Times op-ed: Planned Parenthood’s Self-Destructive Behavior, by Campbell Brown:

PLANNED PARENTHOOD has a large target on its back. At no time in the organization’s history has it faced such a concerted Congressional challenge to its agenda. But most worrisome is the organization’s shrinking number of defenders, and Planned Parenthood has only itself to blame. It has adopted a strategy driven by blind partisanship, electing to burn bridges instead of building them. That strategy is damaging, and possibly imperiling, its mission. . . .

June 24, 2012 in Abortion, Congress, Contraception, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Regs May Force Mississippi's Only Abortion Clinic To Close

The New York Times: Mississippi’s Only Abortion Clinic at Risk as Law Nears, by Campbell Robertson:

It was only recently that Dr. Willie Parker began flying down here from Washington, heading to work at a vaultlike building that sits unassumingly on a busy thoroughfare. On his way in, he may pass Prof. Matt Friedeman, standing on the sidewalk with a Bible and a handful of pamphlets, having made the four-minute drive from his home as he has done once a week for years.

And once inside, Dr. Parker will begin seeing the young women who have made their way from all corners of the state to the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi’s only abortion clinic. . . .

June 24, 2012 in Abortion, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

U.S. Conference of Mayors Passes Resolution Supporting Comprehensive Reproductive Healthcare

RH Reality Check - blog: National Conference of Mayors' Resolution Shows Widespread Support for Reproductive Rights, by Sheila Bapat:


Image1 The past two years have brought overwhelming rhetoric against reproductive freedom and the passage of an unprecedented number of restrictions at the state level. Representative Lisa Brown’s statements against Michigan’s HB 5711, and the uproar they caused, crystallize the battle pro-choice members of state legislatures continue to face in supporting the health and rights of women.  


However, a resolution passed Saturday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors sends a strong message that there is widespread support for reproductive rights among city leaders throughout the country. On Saturday June 16, the US Conference of Mayors, a nonpartisan organization representing about 1,300 cities, passed a resolution in support of comprehensive reproductive health for women – from contraception to abortion care. . . .

June 24, 2012 in Abortion, Contraception, Reproductive Health & Safety, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Beauty Salons' Toxic Chemicals Lead to Reproductive Health Problems

Huffington Post – The Blog: Workplace Toxins Reveal the Beauty Industry's Ugly Side, by Michelle Chen:

You shouldn't have to suffer to be beautiful. But many women suffer for the beauty of others, polishing nails and styling hair with a toxic palette of chemicals.

Working long hours amid noxious fumes, salon workers, typically women of color, are in constant contact with chemicals linked to various illnesses and reproductive health problems. . . .

June 24, 2012 in Poverty, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tracy Thomas on Regulating First-Trimster Abortions

Tracy A. Thomas (University of Akron School of Law) has posted Back to the Future of Regulating Abortion in the First Term on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Image1

In 2011, more abortion bills were passed to restrict abortion than ever before. The proliferation and rate of proposals outpaces anything seen in the last quarter of a century since abortion was legalized in 1973. In what has been called “a year for the record books,” legislatures in all fifty states introduced a total of 1,100 bills resulting in 135 new laws restricting abortion. These laws include fetal pain bans on abortion after 20 weeks, mandatory ultrasound laws, 72-hour waiting periods, and heartbeat bills that ban abortion after 8 weeks. These laws represent an unprecedented seismic shift in the law from moderate regulation to overt hostility. The advent of significantly more stringent limits on abortion seems to blatantly defy the holding of Roe v. Wade permitting abortion in the first trimester. This abortion activism is part of a larger movement against women’s reproductive health that’s been called the “war on women.” These new laws are part of a war over women’s health being fought around the country — and in much of the country women are losing. State by state, legislatures are creating new obstacles to abortions and are treating women in ways that are patronizing and humiliating.

Despite the recent acceleration of abortion regulation, challenges to the Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade by early term regulations are nothing new. Even before the dust settled in Roe, states had legislated to whittle away at the right to abortion by implementing obstacles to abortion under the guise of protecting women’s health and ensuring informed consent. This Article goes back to two of these early cases of informed consent abortion regulations in order to provide important context for the current deluge of first-term abortion regulations. It offers a legal history of City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, and Ohio v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health (Akron II). These two cases, both out of Akron, Ohio, maneuvered the legal boundaries of first-term regulations, with very different results; the first striking down such regulation, while the second upheld limitations on early abortions.

The renewed movement to restrict abortion in the first term resurrects these earlier decisions about abortion informed consent and puts them front and center as the courts will have to shift from considering legislation of late term “partial birth” abortion to early term regulations. This legal history offers insights and analyses gleaned from a review of the historical record found in archives and long-forgotten files in dusty basements. It relies on interviews with key players in the case to fill in the story between the black and white lines of judicial opinions. For the public dispute over abortion in Akron seized the locality while it captured the attention of the national media.

June 24, 2012 in Abortion, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Iowa Republicans Try to Block Federal Funding For Abortions In Cases Of Rape or Incest

The New York Times Blog: Anti-Abortion Grandstanding, by Andrew Rosenthal:

Republican lawmakers are tireless in their protection of gun ownership. Their argument is that states and localities have no right to play around with Americans’ constitutional rights and, anyway, the Supreme Court has spoken on this.

They are equally tireless in their effort to deny another constitutional right – to privacy. The Supreme Court has also spoken on a woman’s right to decide when and whether to have a child. But it seems like a week doesn’t go by without news of some group of Republican officials trying to deny those rights to women, especially poor women. . . . 

June 24, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Poverty, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

14 Abortion Clinics Licensed Under New PA TRAP Law 14 Pa. abortion clinics licensed under new law, by Marie McCullough:

Fourteen of Pennsylvania's 22 abortion clinics have been licensed to continue providing surgical abortions under a controversial new law, passed after revelations that state regulators ignored horrors at a West Philadelphia abortion clinic, the state Department of Health announced Monday. . . .

June 19, 2012 in Abortion, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Planned Parenthood Sends Giant Pack of Birth Control Pills To Follow Romney on Campaign Trail

PillaminaThe Hill: Giant pack of birth control to follow Romney on campaign trail, by Elise Viebeck:

Planned Parenthood's political arm is sending a special surrogate out on the campaign trail to highlight the group's disagreements with Mitt Romney: a gigantic package of birth control. 

Dubbed "Pillamina" by the group, the costumed figure will follow the presumptive Republican nominee to draw attention to his objection to President Obama's birth-control coverage mandate. . . .

June 19, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Contraception | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Gary Bauer Urges "Skeptical Pro-Lifers" To Embrace Mitt Romney

FoxNews: Mitt Romney and abortion -- questioning a pro-life convert, by Gary Bauer:

Pro-life advocates love a good conversion story. And in recent years they have cheered as a long list of politicians, celebrities, and former abortion facility workers have embraced the pro-life cause.

But there’s one man whose pro-life transformation many abortion opponents seem unwilling to accept: Mitt Romney. . . .

June 19, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Presbyterian Minister Asks, "Would Jesus Have Said 'Vagina?'"

The Huffington Post: Would Jesus Have Said "Vagina?", by Bruce Reyes-Chow:

Okay, I am not preaching anywhere this Sunday, but feel free to "liberate" the idea, should you need a sermon starter. That said, I do hope that more than a few preachers out there are going to somehow use the recent Michigan state legislature vagina kerfuffle as fodder for some good conversations on power, community and discernment.

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about but have noticed an increased use of the word "vagina," you are not imagining things. The increased volume of verbal vagina usage can be attributed to last Thursday's rebuke of Michigan State Representative Lisa Brown after her use of the word "vagina" during a debate on abortion the day before. . . .


For more on the story, click here.

June 19, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Religion, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

NYT’s Editorial on Michigan’s Proposed Abortion Legislation

New York Times editorial: Michigan's Attack on Women's Rights: Image1

Even at a time when extreme attacks on women’s reproductive rights and freedom are nothing unusual, a sweeping measure on a fast track in Michigan’s Republican-led State Legislature stands out. . . .

June 19, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Reproductive Health & Safety, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thanks To My Spring Research Assistants!

Phil Grommet
Olivia Carrano Beth Shyken
Thank you to my fabulous research assistants for their invaluable help with this blog during spring semester 2012:

Philip Grommet (3L), Beth Shyken (2L), and Olivia Carrano (2L)

June 19, 2012 in Law School, Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Virginia Board of Health Proposes Reprieve for Abortion Clinics Facing New Regulations

The Washington Post: Va. Board of Health pushes to give abortion clinics surprise reprieve, by Laura Vozzella & Anita Kumar:

Virginia’s Board of Health offered a surprise reprieve Friday to abortion clinics, voting to exempt existing facilities from new rules that would require extensive renovations.

The board’s decision on imposing stricter building requirements is not the final word. Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) still must weigh in on the softened regulations, which had been among the toughest in the nation. His office declined to state an immediate position. . . .

June 15, 2012 in Abortion, State and Local News, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Supporters of Male Contraception Still Waiting Stop our sperm, please, by Irin Carmon:

Meet the men who want better male birth control -- and want it badly

Lenny Smalls, whose Facebook page says he lives in Chicago and works as a transportation analyst, is very interested in long-acting, reversible male contraception. According to his posts on a fan page for one form being tested — known as RISUG or Vasalgel — Smalls is sufficiently frustrated by the pace of such drugs coming to the U.S. market to have begun personally testing an Indonesian herbal product called gandarusa. . . .

June 15, 2012 in Contraception, Men and Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Two Female Michigan Representatives Silenced After Using Word "Vagina" in Abortion Debate

Detroit Free Press: With video: Two female Michigan lawmakers silenced after vagina, abortion comments, by Kathleen Gray: Image1

Freedom of speech has it limits – at least in the state House of Representatives.

State Reps. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield, and Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, were told today that they wouldn’t be recognized to publicly speak on any matters before the House because of comments they made Wednesday during an emotional debate on a bill that puts new restrictions on abortion providers.

Brown, who voted against the legislation, told supporters of the bill, “I’m flattered you’re all so concerned about my vagina. But no means no.” . . .

June 15, 2012 in Abortion, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP), Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Senate Republicans Push Sex-Selective Abortion Bill Despite House Defeat

The Hill: Sex-selective abortion issue hits Senate, by Elise Viebeck:

Senate Republicans are floating a bill meant to ban sex-selective abortions after an identical measure was defeated in the GOP-controlled House. 

The effort highlights the special attention paid to abortion issues by Republicans in Congress, who are more widely known for their interest in fiscal policy. . . .

June 14, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Bioethics, Congress | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)