Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Colorado Personhood Coalition Submits Signatures for Abortion Ban

The Denver Post: Signatures turned in for Colorado anti-abortion measure, by Electa Draper:

Image1 The Colorado Personhood Coalition Monday submitted more than 121,000 signatures to the secretary of state to get its anti-abortion measure on the November ballot.

The group, which claims 1,500 volunteers and the engagement of 500 churches in the cause, needs about 86,000 validated signatures to get the measure before voters again. This would be the group's third try since 2008 to amend the state Constitution. . . .

August 7, 2012 in Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Fetal Rights, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sandra Fluke To Introduce Obama At Denver Event

The Wall Street Journal: Contraception Policy Advocate to Introduce Obama, by Laura Meckler:

Sandra Fluke, who came to prominence by supporting the Obama administration's decision to require most employers to offer free contraceptive coverage, will introduce President Barack Obama at a Wednesday event in Denver.

President Barack Obama will draw fresh attention to his administration’s decision to require most employers to offer free contraceptive coverage, when he’s introduced in Denver Wednesday by Sandra Fluke, the young woman who came to prominence for supporting that policy. . . .

August 7, 2012 in Congress, Contraception, President/Executive Branch | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Congressman and Boxing Icon Pacquiao Opposes Philippines Reproductive Health Bill

The Wall Street Journal – blog: Manny Pacquiao Hits Out Against Contraception, by Shibani Mahtani:


When Philippine President Benigno Aquino pushed forward a controversial health bill yesterday that seeks to subsidize contraception in the predominantly Catholic country, he set himself up for possible criticism from more than just the country’s powerful Catholic church. Another likely foe: Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.


The famous athlete, who is also a congressman representing the Philippines district of Sarangani, has come out swinging against the idea of using state funds to make contraception more widely available in the country, which has one of the highest birth rates in Asia. . . .

August 7, 2012 in Contraception, International, Poverty, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Religion, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Sexuality Education | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ohio Congressional Candidate Accuses Pro-Choice Obama of Supporting Genocide

Politico: Marisha Agana defends Obama/Hitler tweet, by Tomer Ovadia:

An Ohio congressional candidate isn’t backing down from a controversial tweet in which she put President Barack Obama in the company of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong. Rather, she’s glad to finally get some media attention. . . .

August 7, 2012 in Abortion, Politics, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Louisiana Charter School Tests Girls For Pregnancy And Kicks Out Those Who Refuse Or Are Pregnant

ACLU Blog of Rights: Get Tested Or Get Out: School Forces Pregnancy Tests on Girls, Kicks out Students Who Refuse or are Pregnant, by Tiseme Zegeye:

In a Louisiana public school, female students who are suspected of being pregnant are told that they must take a pregnancy test. Under school policy, those who are pregnant or refuse to take the test are kicked out and forced to undergo home schooling.

Welcome to Delhi Charter School, in Delhi, Louisiana, a school of 600 students that does not believe its female students have a right to education free from discrimination. According to its Student Pregnancy Policy, the school has a right to not only force testing upon girls, but to send them to a physician of the school administration’s choice. A positive test result, or failure to take the test at all, means administrators can forbid a girl from taking classes and force her to pursue a course of home study if she wishes to continue her education with the school.

This is in blatant violation of federal law and the U.S. Constitution. . . .

August 6, 2012 in Pregnancy & Childbirth, State and Local News, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

“Latch On NYC” – Criticism for Mayor Bloomberg's Breastfeeding Campaign

TIME op-ed column: Breastfeeding Wars: Why Locking Up Baby Formula Is A Bad Idea, by Amy Tuteur: Image1

Mayor Bloomberg's campaign against formula feeding in hospitals is profoundly out of touch with the realities of motherhood

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is right to want to promote breastfeeding, but his administration’s “Latch On NYC” campaign is an exercise in excess. First announced in May, the campaign is asking maternity hospitals to 1. ban formula feeding of newborn infants unless medically indicated; 2. restrict access to formula for hospital staff by locking it up and reporting its distribution to the New York City Health Department. . . .

August 6, 2012 in Parenthood, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Philippines to Vote on Reproductive Health Bill

The New York Times: Philippines Set to Vote on Reproductive Health Bill, by Floyd Whaley:

Image1 MANILA — Despite opposition from the powerful Roman Catholic Church, the Philippines moved a step closer Monday to passing a bill that would mandate sex education in schools and government-supported contraception provision. . . .

August 6, 2012 in Contraception, International, Poverty, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Sexuality Education | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Pregnancy Coverage Not Among New Healthcare Guarantees for Adult Dependents

The Washington Post: Parents’ insurance covers children up to age 26 — but not for pregnancy, by Michelle Andrews:

The health-care overhaul provides a safety net for young adult children, who can now stay on their parents’ health plans until they reach age 26. But it doesn’t guarantee that their parents’ plan will cover a common medical condition that many young women face: pregnancy.

Group health plans with 15 or more workers are required to provide maternity benefits for employees and their spouses under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. But other dependents of employees aren’t covered by the law, so companies don’t have to provide maternity coverage for them. . . .

August 6, 2012 in Pregnancy & Childbirth, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Video on Benefits of Contraceptive Use in U.S.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Iowa Human Services Director Denies Republican Demand To Block Medicaid Payments for Abortions In Cases of Rape, Incest, Fetal Anomaly

IndyStar.com: House GOP members denied abortion demand, by Tony Leys:

Iowa’s human services director has denied a petition from House Republicans demanding that the state Medicaid program stop paying for abortions of pregnancies involving severe fetal abnormalities or caused by rape or incest.

Chuck Palmer wrote in a letter Friday that banning state payment for such abortions would violate federal requirements. Breaking those rules, he wrote, “would jeopardize all federal Medicaid funding Iowa receives, approximately $2.1 billion annually. This funding is important to the delivery of vital care to vulnerable Iowans.” . . .

August 5, 2012 in Abortion, Sexual Assault, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

UN Urges Passage of Philippines Birth Control Bill, Opposed by Catholic Church

Philippines flagABC News: UN warns on Philippines birth law:

The United Nations is warning that failing to pass a controversial birth control law in the Philippines could reverse gains in development goals.

There has been considerable opposition from the Catholic church to the bill, which seeks to make it compulsory for the government to provide free contraceptives.

The UN Population Fund is hoping President Benigno Aquino's allies, who dominate the House of Representatives, can gather the numbers to pass the bill on Tuesday after years of debate. . . .

August 5, 2012 in Contraception, International, Poverty, Religion, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Women of Color in U.S. More Likely Than White Women To Die In Childbirth

Reuters: More minority women die in childbirth, by Genevra Pittman:

Minority women in the United States are more likely to die during or soon after childbirth than white women, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Black, Hispanic and Asian women - and a handful of white women not born in the U.S. - accounted for 41 percent of all births nationwide between 1993 and 2006, but for 62 percent of pregnancy-related deaths, researchers found. . . .

August 3, 2012 in Medical News, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Race & Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Richard Storrow on Regulation of Assisted Reproduction in Italy and Spain

Richard F. Storrow (City University of New York School of Law) has posted Religion, Feminism and Abortion: The Regulation of Assisted Reproduction in Two Catholic Countries on SSRN.  Here is the abstract: Image1

Perspectives on abortion and religious values have been two primary influences on the development of the various regulatory regimes that govern assisted reproduction around the world. This article examines why two countries with similar histories of allegiance to Roman Catholicism have developed highly divergent legal regimes to regulate assisted reproduction. Italy has enacted one of the most restrictive regimes known, Spain one of the most permissive. The comparative analysis employed here will afford insight into how the development of legislative responses to assisted reproduction correlate with religious commitments, feminist sentiment and the regulation of abortion. This article concludes with a discussion of what implications its analysis might have for the regulation of the infertility industry in the United States.

August 3, 2012 in Assisted Reproduction, International, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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

The following op-ed on Arizona's post-20-week abortion ban was published just before the 9th Circuit issued its emergency injunction, but it provides a helpful analysis of how these bans challenge the status quo on permissible abortion regulation.  As the op-ed suggests, any modification of the current abortion rights framework, such as to recognize a new compelling governmental interest in preventing fetal pain that could override a woman's right to abortion, would have to happen at the Supreme Court level.  Under Planned Parenthood v. Casey, this is unquestionably an abortion ban (much as the district court tries to deny this), and it violates Casey's prohibition on laws that ban abortion before viability.  Therefore, the district court's decision seems plainly wrong, and the Ninth Circuit should not have difficulty overturning it.  Whether this ends up in the Supreme Court and what happens there is another question.

The Washington Post op-ed: The flawed basis behind fetal-pain abortion laws, by I. Glenn Cohen:

On Thursday, Arizona’s new abortion law will take effect, outlawing the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy — a much earlier threshold than in any other law that has been upheld in court. Like-minded laws have been enacted in Nebraska, Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Georgia and Louisiana, and a bill similarly limiting abortion in the District drew support Tuesday from a majority of the U.S. House, but not from enough members to pass.

These measures differ from previous attempts to prohibit abortion in that they rely on both the scientific claim that a fetus is capable of feeling pain and the legal claim that states may prohibit abortions to prevent that pain. . . .

August 3, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, In the Courts, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Analyses of Eighth Circuit Decision Upholding S.D. Abortion Law

Here are two excellent analyses of the Eighth Circuit's recent, disturbing en banc opinion upholding the suicide-risk notification provision of South Dakota's so-called "informed consent" abortion law:

Balkinization: Anything Goes: Compelled Physician Speech in the Eighth Circuit, by Jennifer Keighley:

Last week’s en banc decision from the Eighth Circuit on South Dakota’s requirement that physicians inform women seeking abortions that they will be at an “increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide,” in the face of medical evidence demonstrating that there is no causal relationship between abortion and suicide, suggests that the Eighth Circuit believes there is virtually no limit on the state’s power to coerce physician speech in connection with an abortion procedure. . . .

RH RealityCheck: Perverting Informed Consent: The South Dakota Court Decision, by Maya Manian:

Informed consent is one of the cornerstones of health-care law and its basic principles have been well-established for decades. Informed consent law reflects the fundamental notion that every competent adult has a right to make the ultimate decisions about her healthcare that will affect her life prospects. A single driving goal animates informed consent law—respect for patient autonomy. Informed consent law preserves patient autonomy by protecting the patient’s bodily integrity and self-determination. . . .

August 2, 2012 in Abortion, In the Courts, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Federal Court Grants Denver Manufacturing Company Preliminary Injunction from Compliance with Contraception Mandate

The Denver Post: Denver firm allowed to not cover birth control; case may affect others, by Colleen O'Connor:

A Denver manufacturing company owned by a devout Catholic family got a temporary reprieve from provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act they argued infringed on their religious liberties — just as the mandate is set to take effect.

Starting Wednesday, any employer-sponsored health care plan renewed after this date must offer free access to eight services classified as preventive care for women, including Food and Drug Administration-approved contraception and sterilization procedures. Some companies did not offer these services under their health care plans, while others had to pay a deductible or co-pay. . . .


The court's order is available here.

August 1, 2012 in Contraception, In the Courts, President/Executive Branch | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

As Contraceptive Mandate Is Poised To Take Effect, Religious Groups Continue To Push Back

Reuters: U.S. rule highlights Catholic tensions over contraception, by Susan Heavey:

New rules requiring free access to prescription birth control for women with health insurance go into effect on Wednesday, but controversy lingers at some Catholic institutions struggling to balance the requirement with their opposition to contraception.

At Georgetown University, the nation's oldest Catholic university, students and administration officials are still wrestling with the requirement to cover contraceptives as part of larger effort to expand no-cost preventive care for women.

The requirement exempts churches and gives religious groups a one-year reprieve. Georgetown leaders, now preparing for returning students, have said they will not allow student health plans to include birth control this year. . . .

August 1, 2012 in Contraception, President/Executive Branch, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ninth Circuit Panel Issues Emergency Injunction Blocking Arizona's Post-20-Week Abortion Ban

The Christian Science Monitor: Federal appeals panel blocks restrictive Arizona abortion law, by Warren Richey:

The Arizona abortion law barring doctors from terminating pregnancies after 20 weeks was to take effect Thursday. The judges, from the Ninth US Circuit, granted an emergency injunction blocking the law.

A federal appeals court on Wednesday temporarily blocked enforcement of a tough new Arizona abortion law that bars doctors from routinely terminating a pregnancy after 20 weeks.

The emergency injunction granted by the three-judge panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals prevents the law from taking full effect as scheduled on Thursday. . . .

August 1, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, In the Courts, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The New York Times on Recent Court Decisions Curtailing Women's Rights

The New York Times (editorial): Three Rulings Against Women’s Rights:

At a time when abortion rights and women’s access to affordable contraception are threatened by political attacks, judges in three newly decided federal cases failed to preserve constitutional protections for women.

On Monday, Judge James Teilborg of the United States District Court in Phoenix upheld an Arizona law signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in April that bans all abortion procedures at 20 weeks from a woman’s last menstrual period, which is about 18 weeks after fertilization. . . .

August 1, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Contraception, In the Courts, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)