Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Akin Seeks Voters' Forgiveness Via Campaign Ad

The Hill: Akin Asks Voters For 'Forgiveness' in New Ad, by Alexander Jaffe:

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) late Monday released a new campaign ad asking voters to forgive him for a controversial remark about rape, amid strong pressure from fellow Republicans to exit Missouri’s Senate race....


August 21, 2012 in Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Politics, Sexual Assault | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Akin's Comments Expose New Frontiers of Republican Extremism

The New York Times editorial: New Frontiers of Extremism:

Republicans are frantically trying to get Representative Todd Akin to drop out of the United States Senate race in Missouri after his remark about abortion and rape, but not because it was offensive and ignorant. They’re afraid he might lose and cost them a chance at a Senate majority next year. He would surely be replaced by a Republican who sounds more reasonable but holds similarly extreme views on abortion, immigration, gay rights and the role of government because those are the kinds of candidates the party nominates these days in state after state. . . .

August 21, 2012 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Politics, Sexual Assault | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 20, 2012

NJ Star Ledger Asks the Right Question About Romney, Rape, and Abortion

The New Jersey Star Ledger editorial: If Romney believes a fetus is a person, how can he justify aborting it?:

U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri made himself a footnote of history this weekend with his bizarre assertion that “legitimate” rapes rarely lead to pregnancy. If he doesn’t resign, he’ll surely lose in November. . . .

But what about the larger issue of rape and abortion? . . .


For more on the broader issue of rape, abortion, and the moral status of the fetus, see: The Meaning of "Life": Belief and Reason in the Abortion Debate


August 20, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Abortion Bans, Fetal Rights, Sexual Assault | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Senate Candidate from Missouri Stirs Outrage with ‘Legitimate Rape’ Comment

The New York Times: Senate Candidate Provokes Ire With 'Legitimate Rape' Comment, by John Eligon & Michael Schwartz:

Image1 KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In an effort to explain his stance on abortion, Representative Todd Akin, the Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, provoked ire across the political spectrum on Sunday by saying that in instances of what he called “legitimate rape,” women’s bodies somehow blocked an unwanted pregnancy. . . .


August 20, 2012 in Abortion, Congress, Politics, Sexual Assault | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Spain’s Conservative Government Plans to Ban Abortion

Reuters: Spain conservatives plan to ban abortions, by Emma Pinedo:


Image1 (Reuters) - Spain's conservative government plans to ban abortions, overturning a two-year-old law allowing terminations on demand, a justice ministry source told Reuters, in a move likely to galvanize support among its core voters.


The previous Socialist government passed a law in 2010 allowing women to have a termination up to 14 weeks into a pregnancy or up to 22 weeks in cases of severe abnormalities, in line with most European countries. . . .

August 18, 2012 in Abortion Bans, International, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Michelle Obama, Ann Romney, and Feminism

The New York Times - Campaign Stops blog: The Other Running Mates, by Jamie Stiehm: Image1

The argument over whether American feminism is really dead — or just beaten back into a corner — never fails to get a conversation going. Indeed, it’s fair to say we can’t stop talking, writing or reading the chatter about it, in private or in public. In the late summer stretch from now into September, this topic is bound to heat up as Michelle Obama and Ann Romney make their own campaign stops — though 2012 is no 2008 when it comes to up-ending age-old paradigms for women in politics. . . .

August 18, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AP 'Trash' Abortion Story Lambasted by Rachel Maddow


MSNBC: AP stands behind abortion story Rachel Maddow called 'trash', by Zachary Roth:


The Associated Press is standing behind a recent story—labelled "trash" by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow—on the ongoing political fallout from the murder of a Kansas abortion doctor. . . .


Here is Rachel Maddow demanding a retraction or apology:



August 18, 2012 in Abortion, In the Media, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Remaining Criminal Charges Against Kansas Planned Parenthood Clinic Dropped

Reuters: Abortion charges against Kansas Planned Parenthood Clinic dropped, by Kevin Murphy:  Image1

(Reuters) - Prosecutors on Friday dropped 32 remaining criminal charges accusing a Planned Parenthood clinic in Kansas of performing late-term abortions, ending the first-ever criminal case against a U.S. Planned Parenthood clinic over abortion. . . .

August 18, 2012 in Abortion, In the Courts, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Pregnant Teen, Who Sparked Debate on Dominican Republic Anti-Abortion Laws, Dies

CNN: Pregnant Dominican teen at center of abortion debate dies, by Rafael Romo:

(CNN) -- A pregnant leukemia patient who became a flashpoint in the abortion debate in the Dominican Republic died Friday morning, a hospital official told CNN.

The 16-year-old, who had been undergoing chemotherapy, died from complications of the disease, said Dr. Antonio Cabrera, the legal representative for the hospital.

Her case stirred debate in her country, as her life was potentially at risk because of anti-abortion laws in the Dominican Republic. . . .


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

Thorny Legal Issues Surround Assisted Reproductive Technology

DC Bar: Reproductive Technology and the Law, by Anna Stolley Persky:

Enid Abrahami, a single mother by choice, conceived her first child with her own egg and a stranger’s sperm, thanks to a fertility clinic in New York. Abrahami then gave birth to her son in Israel, where she lives these days. She had no trouble attaining her son’s American citizenship. Abrahami, who has dual Israeli and American citizenship, grew up in both New York City and Tel Aviv.

When she decided to have a second child, Abrahami found that she was having trouble getting pregnant using her own eggs. So this time she used both somebody else’s egg—called a donor egg—and sperm from the same donor used to conceive her son. Again, for her second child, a daughter, the embryo was transferred to her uterus in New York and the baby was born in Israel.

But this time, when Abrahami went to fill out the paperwork for her daughter’s citizenship, a U.S. Embassy official learned that she was a single mom and had used donor sperm. . . . Abrahami was told that she could not transfer her citizenship onto her daughter. She was told that citizenship is transferred only through DNA, and that she needed proof that at least one of the donors was a U.S. citizen. . . .

August 18, 2012 in Assisted Reproduction, Fertility, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ryan Sponsored Bill That Would Undermine Legality of In Vitro Fertilization, Used by Romney's Children

AlterNet/Mother Jones: Ryan Sponsored Abortion Bill That Would Make Romney's Kids Criminals, by Stephanie Mencimer:

Now that Mitt Romney has chosen Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, Ryan's long history as a culture warrior is getting a fresh look. Women's groups have already honed in on his extreme anti-abortion record, which consistently has earned him a  100 percent voting approval rating  from the National Right to Life Committee.

What isn't so well known about Ryan's record, though, is that one piece of legislation he supported is so extreme that it would have turned Romney's children into criminals.

The Sanctity of Human Life Act , which Ryan co-sponsored, would have enshrined the notion that life begins at fertilization in federal law, thus criminalizing in vitro fertilization—the process of creating an embryo outside of a woman's womb. . . .


It's not clear that laws like this would immediately criminalize in vitro and other medical procedures that create and disgard fertilized embryos (or prevent them from implanting).  But certainly it would be logically (and morally) inconsistent to define zygotes and embryos as full legal persons and then deny that their destruction is "murder."  For more, see the essays written for a symposium on Mississippi's similar, failed ballot initiative.

August 14, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion Bans, Congress, Fetal Rights, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Importance of Birth Control to Women's Olympic Success

The Huffington Post - The Blog: Olympic Champions and Birth Control, by Laura Stepp:

I just returned from the summer Olympics wishing this: If only a female U.S. medalist had appeared on TV and said, "I want to thank Mom, Dad, my coach... and my IUD."

I'm kidding. Sort of. . . .

August 14, 2012 in Contraception, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Anti-Choice Advocate and "March for Life" Organizer Dies

WTVM.com/RNN: Anti-abortion advocate, March for Life leader dies, by Jennifer Bowen:

Nellie Gray, an anti-abortion advocate who helped spearhead the March for Life, one of the largest demonstrations in Washington, has died. The March for Life website said Gray passed away over the weekend. She was 88. . . .

August 14, 2012 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Brazilian Women Protest Policies That Promote Unnecessary C-Sections

Jezebel: Brazilian Women Taking Back Control of Their Birth Canals, by Doug Barry:

Brazil, the land of talking exotic birds, is wrestling with a childbirth culture that has, in recent years, relied on interventionist procedures such as C-sections. More than half of all babies born in Brazil are delivered via cesarean, a figure, according to the Associated Press, that rises to 82 percent for women on private insurance. Last month, however, Brazilian women, in a push to gain more control over childbirth, organized 13 marches all over the country, largely in response to a medical regulating agency in Rio de Janeiro forbidding doctors from performing home births and labor coaches known as "doulas" from helping in hospital wards. . . .

August 13, 2012 in International, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Susan B. Anthony List to Launch Anti-Abortion Bus Tour Targeting Obama

AFP: Anti-abortion bus to target Obama in key US states:

An anti-abortion group plans to launch a bus tour next week through five key states in this year's White House race to highlight President Barack Obama's "extreme" record on the polarizing issue.

The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) on August 20 will embark on a tour of 30 cities in five swing states -- Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia and Florida -- with a bus banner reading: "Women Speak Out: Abortion is Not Health Care." . . .

August 13, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More Analysis of Arizona's Post-20-Week "Fetal Pain" Abortion Ban

RH Reality Check: How to Save an Unconstitutional Abortion Ban, As Dictated by the Supreme Court, by Jessica Mason Pieklo:

There are a number of things to be troubled about in U.S. District Court Judge James Teilborg's decision to uphold HB 2036, an Arizona law that makes it a felony to have an abortion after 20 weeks gestation. But one of the most dangerous signals in the opinion is the federal court's willing acceptance of the idea that an otherwise unconstitutional abortion ban may be salvaged so long as that ban only affects just a few women. . . .

Politico: Abortion-rights groups absent on pain laws, by Kathryn Smith:

When new limits on abortions are proposed, abortion-rights groups usually go all out to stop them.

So why haven’t they gone all out against state fetal-pain laws, enacted in nine states since early 2010? . . .

August 13, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Fetal Rights, In the Courts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Not All Pregnant Women See Charms of 3-D Fetus Statues

The Huffington Post: 3-D Fetus Statues Get Thumbs Down From Pregnant Moms, by David Moye:

Three dimensional ultrasound photos are becoming increasingly common, but a Japanese engineering company is using the technology to create statues from sonograms that some might consider embryo art. . . .

But while the company flack said the customers have been satisfied, pregnant women who viewed the video thought the concept was fetally flawed. . . .


This is interesting in light of the anti-choice movement's fervent efforts to portray embryos and fetuses as morally equivalent to fully developed children and as completely separate from the women who carry them within their bodies.  The fact that many women seem to find the 3-D models "creepy" suggests that, notwithstanding the prevalence of ultrasound imaging, pregnant women find it unnatural and unsettling to regard the fetus as an entity severed from their own bodies.


August 12, 2012 in Anti-Choice Movement, Culture, Pregnancy & Childbirth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Paul Ryan May Help Boost Mitt Romney's Anti-Abortion-Rights Credibility

Paul RyanPolitico: Paul Ryan’s anti-abortion record appeals to conservatives, by Joanne Kenen:

Paul Ryan’s budget-cutting zeal isn’t the only stance that has conservatives fired up. His anti-abortion record can energize social conservatives who had been slow to embrace Mitt Romney.

“We are thrilled with this pick,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List said of Ryan. “He has a pristine pro-life voting record and will be an asset to Gov. Romney’s campaign.” . . .

The Daily Beast: Paul Ryan’s Extreme Abortion Views, by Michelle Goldberg:

Mitt's VP pick is a known fiscal conservative, but his social ideology is at least as radical. Michelle Goldberg on Ryan's insinuations that women who choose abortion could be jailed.

By now, you surely know, if you didn’t already, that Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick, wants to privatize Social Security and turn Medicare into a voucher system. You might have read that, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, his economic plan “calls for radical policy changes that would result in a massive transfer of resources from the broad majority of Americans to the nation’s wealthiest individuals.”

Less attention has been paid, though, to Ryan’s hard-right positions on social issues. Indeed, on abortion and women’s health care, there isn’t much daylight between Ryan and, say, Michele Bachmann. Any Republican vice-presidential candidate is going to be broadly anti-abortion, but Ryan goes much further. . . .

August 12, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Abortion Bans, Contraception, President/Executive Branch | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

U.S. Women Seeking Abortion Look to Mexican Pharmacies for Help

The Texas Tribune: Looking to Mexico for an Alternative to Abortion Clinics, by Thanh Tan:

Mexico-flagIn this Roman Catholic stronghold, where abortion is deeply stigmatized, reproductive health providers tell stories of women going to pharmacies across the border in Mexico, in search of a drug they hope will terminate unwanted pregnancies.

But the providers say that the pharmacies, which are largely unregulated, often fail to give proper instructions for the drug, misoprostol, and that it does not always give the women the result they seek. . . .

August 12, 2012 in Abortion, International, Poverty, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Commentary on Why Many Religions Are Anti-Feminist

The Huffington Post (Blog): Why Religion Opposes Female Rights, by Nigel Barber:

Recently, the Catholic hierarchy moved to bring the Leadership Conference of Women Religious into line with orthodox Church teachings . This organization of American nuns had been in conflict with the Vatican over issues related to women's rights, including reproductive rights. The spectacle of an all-male task force being brought in to tell women what they must think may seem badly dated. Yet, male priests still tell most of the world's women what to think and their message is often anti-feminist. . . .

August 12, 2012 in Culture, Religion, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)