Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Federal Judge Rules North Carolina's "Choose Life" License Plate Unconstitutional Absent Pro-Choice Alternative

Reuters: North Carolina barred from issuing "Choose Life" license plates, by Colleen Jenkins: NC CL plate

A federal judge has permanently blocked North Carolina from issuing an anti-abortion specialty license plate, ruling that offering plates with a "Choose Life" slogan without an alternative supporting abortion rights is unconstitutional. . . .

December 11, 2012 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Dorothy Roberts on Punishment of Black Mothers through Prison and Foster Care Systems

Dorothy E. Roberts (University of Pennsylvania Law School) has posted Prison, Foster Care, and the Systemic Punishment of Black Mothers on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Image1

This article is part of a UCLA Law Review symposium, “Overpoliced and Underprotected: Women, Race, and Criminalization.” It analyzes how the U.S. prison and foster care systems work together to punish black mothers in a way that helps to preserve race, gender, and class inequalities in a neoliberal age. The intersection of these systems is only one example of many forms of overpolicing that overlap and converge in the lives of poor women of color. I examine the statistical overlap between the prison and foster care populations, the simultaneous explosion of both systems in recent decades, the injuries that each system inflicts on black communities, and the way in which their intersection in the lives of black mothers helps to make social inequities seem natural. I hope to elucidate how state mechanisms of surveillance and punishment function jointly to penalize the most marginalized women in our society while blaming them for their own disadvantaged positions.

December 11, 2012 in Incarcerated Women, Parenthood, Poverty, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Kristine Knaplund on Determining Parentage for ART Children Born Abroad

Kristine S. Knaplund (Pepperdine University School of Law) has posted What's Blood Got To Do With It? Determining Parentage for ART Children Born Overseas on SSRN. Here is the absract: Image1

The United States has long followed the English common law view that citizenship can be attained at birth in two ways: by being born in the U.S. (jus soli), or by being born abroad as the child of a U.S. citizen (jus sanguinis). The first, jus soli, is now part of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the state wherein they reside.” Jus soli theoretically does not inquire into the citizenship of the child’s parents; the relevant fact is that the birth takes place in the United States. Jus sanguinis, in contrast, arises from the parent-child relationship. The State Department translates jus sanguinis as “from the bloodline,” citing it as the “traditional Roman law principle.” By “natural parent,” the State Department means a blood relationship with a U.S. citizen: “It is not enough that the child is presumed to be the issue of the parents’ marriage by the laws of the jurisdiction where the child was born.”

A purely genetic connection to the child is sufficient to establish parentage in relatively few instances in American law. One is child support: even if the genetic father has had no contact with the child, and has done nothing to establish a relationship (or even been prevented from knowing about the child), the genetic connection may be enough if no other presumed father is on the scene. This article explores a second instance in which the genetic connection is paramount: when an American citizen gives birth abroad. A genetic test works well for children conceived coitally, but may wreak havoc for those conceived using assisted reproduction techniques (ART). Citizenship has recently been denied to the children of two American women who used anonymously donated gametes to conceive and give birth to a child: one in Israel, and one in Switzerland; in a third case, the U.S. Embassy refused to recognize the birth mother as the child’s mother because she had used donated eggs and given birth to the child in India.

Part I of this Article discusses the origins of jus sanguinis in Roman and English common law, including ancient and medieval views of conception and maternity in determining the child's bloodline. Not surprisingly, these views differ significantly from those held today. Taking into account this scientific background, Part II examines citizenship laws in early U.S. history, and assumptions of who were the parents of a child, both in wedlock and out of wedlock. While the definition of paternity has always taken note of biology as well as a man’s relationship to the birth mother, science began to play a more prominent role in the legal definition of parenthood once blood grouping and blood tests were available in the early 1900s. Part III then introduces the law of U.S. citizenship today, which in its main outlines is the same as first codified in 1952. The ability of DNA testing to positively identify the father in most cases, plus advances in ART that separate the two functions of the birth mother – genetics and gestation – have greatly complicated the definition of parentage for children, but the State Department has, in large part, continued to use the same parentage standard first detailed in 1952. Part IV examines and critiques three methods of identifying parentage: the State Department’s preferred method (genetics), the common law parturient test, and the recently developed intent test, to examine which method of determining parentage should be used for children born abroad. Part V concludes the article.

December 10, 2012 in Assisted Reproduction, Parenthood, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sarthak Garg and Keshav Gaur on Reproductive Rights of Surrogate Mothers in India

Sarthak Garg & Keshav Gaur (both of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law) have posted Reproduction Rights of Women: Ethical or Viable Role of Surrogate Mother on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Reproductive behavior is governed by complex biological, cultural and psychological relations, hence reproductive health and rights must be understood within the context of relationships between men and women, communities and societies. This research encompasses with these problems which concerned about the reproductive health and rights of the women. It furthermore explains the vulnerability of women and gender biased violence against them. This paper also laid stress on the impact of men’s action over the reproductive health and rights of the women and the key initiatives to deliver reproductive rights and services to the women. Though, this paper also focuses on the rights of the surrogates’ mother and the initiatives taken by the government for the enhancement of the surrogacy and their rights in India. In this research we conceptualize the incidents related to the surrogacy and the legal issues in the global scenario. However, we also gestate the landscape of surrogacy in India, as it is new concept for India and not acceptable as well on various portfolios so we also laid focus on the social and economic background for the profound this concept in the grass root level. While construing this research we also analysis the Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) bill, in that we critically analysis it’s positive and negative aspects for the concept of surrogacy in India. Eventually, this research also laid impact over the commissioning parents and their rights regarding surrogacy. In the conclusion our research concludes procreating a child in surrogate woman’ womb is grateful gift to those mothers who cannot conceive child.

December 10, 2012 in Assisted Reproduction, Bioethics, International, Parenthood, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Scholarship and Research, Sexual Assault | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

New Planned Parenthood Abortion Policy Alienates Some Affiliates

NBC News: Abortion mandate costs Planned Parenthood a few affiliates, by M. Alex Johnson:

A Planned Parenthood affiliate in New York is leaving the organization rather than comply with a policy that all affiliates must offer on-site abortions, fueling hopes among anti-abortion activists of a split within the abortion-rights movement. But the move is an isolated one that has nothing to do with political battles, officials of the family planning organization say, and the policy appears likely to take effect in the new year with little disruption. . . .

December 9, 2012 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Planned Parenthood's Remarkably Successful Campaign Strategy

The Washington Post (Blog): Inside Planned Parenthood's campaign strategy, by Sarah Kliff:

Planned Parenthood Action Fund earned an honor this campaign cycle that had nothing to do with women’s health: It was the most effective political group in the 2012 election.

Over 98 percent of its spending was in races that ended with the desired result, according to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation. . . .

December 9, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

British Columbia Conservative MP's Motion on Sex Selective Abortion Stirs Controversy

The Province: Battle looms over Tory MP's motion on sex-selective abortion, by Jordan Press: Canadianflag

A Conservative backbencher’s motion on sex-selective abortions caught the ire of opposition parties Wednesday, with the NDP and Liberal leaders claiming it was another attempt to outlaw abortion, while the MP behind the proposal called it a stand for human rights.

The volleys over Tory MP Mark Warawa’s motion are part of an ongoing tug-of-war between anti-abortion MPs who want to claim the motion for their cause, and advocates who want to keep the proposal distanced from the politically controversial abortion debate. . . .

December 9, 2012 in Abortion, Bioethics, International, Politics, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Secretary of State Clinton Pressured to Address Abortion While in Ireland

Think Progress: Clinton Pressured To Address Abortion While In Ireland, by Hayes Brown: Hillary

An open letter from Irish and American activists is calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to address Ireland’s abortion laws during her visit today and tomorrow.

The renewed look at Ireland’s abortion laws come in the aftermath of the tragic death of an Indian citizen living in Ireland, Savita Halappanavar, due to complications from her pregnancy and the refusal of her hospital to perform an abortion. Ireland maintains some of the strictest abortion laws in the world, but has pledged to reexamine them following global interest in Halappanavar’s story. . . .

Irish Central: Fine Gael TD deems Hillary Clinton's remark on women's health as "offensive reference" to abortion debate, by Dara Kelly:

Fine Gael TD Michael Creed has criticized a remark made by Hillary Clinton during her visit to Ireland as an "offensive reference" to Ireland's abortion debate. . . .

During her speech in DCU on human rights, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said global programs had been refocused to ensure the health of women and girls.

“So our starting point must be this: women’s lives matter," she said. "And promoting the human rights of women begins with saving the lives of women whenever we can.” . . .

December 9, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, International, President/Executive Branch, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

4th Circuit Hears Arguments in Challenge to Montgomery County, Maryland, Ordinance Requiring Disclaimers at Anti-Abortion Centers

The Washington Post: Montgomery County defends disclaimer at anti-abortion pregnancy centers, by Victor Zapana:

Lawyers for Montgomery County on Thursday vigorously defended a controversial ordinance that requires certain anti-abortion pregnancy centers to post signs warning that the centers do not employ licensed medical personnel and urges pregnant women to “consult with a licensed health care provider.”

Their arguments, made over the course of an hour and a half before a dozen judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, were disputed by the centers, whose attorneys argued that the signs violated their right to free speech. . . .

December 9, 2012 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Senate Approves Bill To Provide Insurance Coverage for Abortion for Military Rape Victims

The Huffington Post: Abortion for Military Rape Victims Passes Senate, by Laura Bassett:

US SenateIn a historic bipartisan vote on Tuesday, the Senate passed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's (D-N.H.) amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that would extend abortion insurance coverage to victims of rape in the military. If the House of Representatives decides to include the measure in its version of the defense bill, military servicewomen who have become pregnant from rape will no longer have to pay out of pocket for an abortion procedure for the first time since 1981. . . .

December 9, 2012 in Abortion, Congress, Sexual Assault | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Richard Storrow on Judicial Review of Restrictions on Gamete Donation in Europe

Richard F. Storrow (CUNY School of Law) has posted Judicial Review of Restrictions on Gamete Donation in Europe on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Image1

The decision of S.H. and Others v. Austria vindicates the right of governments to enact restrictions on gamete donation against claims that these restrictions violate the guarantees of the European Convention on Human Rights. Van Hoof and Pennings in this issue predict that legal diversity on the question of gamete donation will persist in the wake of this decision and discuss how the decision itself is insufficiently protective of the private and family interests of individuals who seek reproduction-assisting medical treatment. This commentary discusses the difficult balancing work of the European Court of Human Rights, its questionable expansion of the margin appreciation doctrine in S.H. and Others v. Austria and how the decision might influence national courts in the future.

December 5, 2012 in Assisted Reproduction, Bioethics, Fertility, International, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Pamela Cox on Marginalized Mothers and Reproductive Autonomy

Pamela Cox (University of Essex) has posted Marginalized Mothers, Reproductive Autonomy, and 'Repeat Losses to Care' on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Image1

Over 70,000 children are ‘looked after’ by local authorities in England and Wales. Emerging research suggests that a significant proportion of their birth parents have either already lost a child to permanent adoption or will go on to lose others. These ‘repeat loss’ cases raise difficult questions about marginalized mothers and their reproductive autonomy. This article considers past and present tactics used by the state in its attempts to limit that autonomy, including institutionalization, sterilization, long‐acting contraception, and permanent adoption. It argues that the gradual democratization of intimate citizenship over the past century, defined as a person's ability to choose and direct their intimate relationships, has obliged the contemporary state to develop new tactics which aim to build personal capacity and to balance enhanced child protection with enhanced reproductive autonomy.

December 5, 2012 in Contraception, International, Parenthood, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Scholarship and Research, Sterilization | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oklahoma Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Restrictions

The Huffington Post: Oklahoma Supreme Court Rejects Two Anti-Abortion Laws, by Laura Bassett:

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that two anti-abortion laws recently passed by the state Legislature are unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. One of the laws would require women to have an ultrasound procedure before an abortion and hear a detailed description of the fetus, and the other would restrict the use of medication to end a pregnancy. . . .

December 4, 2012 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)

Senator Shaheen Promises to Fight for Servicewomen's Access to Reproductive Healthcare

The Hill (Blog): Shaheen vows to fight for abortion coverage for women in the military, by Ramsey Cox:


Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) vowed Friday to fight for abortion rights and healthcare coverage for military service women if the Senate defense bill reaches a conference committee with the House.

Shaheen said the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 3254, includes language allowing reproductive healthcare for female service members.

December 4, 2012 in Abortion, Congress, Politics, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Announcing "Female Condoms Are_________" Film Contest

Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), PATH, the Universal Access to Condoms (UAFC) Joint Programme and the National Female Condom Coalition (NFCC): International Film Contest - Female Condoms Are ________________: Image1

Female condoms may be one of the most promising health technologies that people don’t know or hear much about. But together we can change this.

SHARE YOUR STORY: Why does the world need female condoms? How can female condoms enhance your life? Filmmakers of all levels of experience are encouraged to enter.

WIN CASH PRIZES: Winning entries will be screened at the Women Deliver 2013 Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—the largest global meeting of the decade to focus on the health and well-being of girls and women.

HOW TO ENTER: Visit contest website for complete contest details, including eligibility requirements, Official Contest Rules, submission instructions, and more. This contest runs from November 28, 2012–March 1, 2013. 

Questions? Contact femalecondomfilm@path.org or visit www.femalecondomfilm.org.

December 4, 2012 in Contraception, Film, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexuality Education | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Opposition to Contraception Mandate By Self-Insured Companies

RH Reality Check: The Sliding Scale of Sin: Tyndale Publishers and Contraception Without a Co-Pay, by Imani Gandy:

Recently, the district court for District of Columbia granted a request by Tyndale House Publishers to block the Affordable Care Act birth control benefit ensuring that employer-sponsored health insurance include coverage of contraception without a co-pay. (Jessica Mason Pielko wrote about the ruling here.)

Like so many other organizations, both religious and secular, for-profit and non-profit, Tyndale’s complaints are the same: the birth control benefit in the ACA infringes upon their right to religious freedom . . .

What sets Tyndale apart from other companies challenging the birth control benefit, some of which have been successful in their challenges, and some of which have not, is that Tyndale is self-insured, whereas companies like Hobby Lobby purchase group health insurance plans from a commercial insurance carrier. . . .

December 3, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The False Promise of Life Exceptions to Abortion Bans

The Cap Times: What the Irish abortion tragedy means for the U.S., by Julie F. Kay:

When I argued a case challenging Ireland’s ban on abortion before the European Court of Human Rights in 2009, I told the story of my client, “Ms. C,” who had been battling cancer when she became pregnant. Ms. C’s doctors in Ireland, where abortion is illegal and lifesaving abortion is largely unavailable, refused to provide her with even basic information about the risk that continuation of pregnancy posed to her life, and so she had no option but to travel to England to obtain an abortion.

The human rights court found this to be a clear violation of my client’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights and in 2010 demanded that Ireland reform its abortion laws. The case was considered a major victory for women.

But the victory exists only on paper, as is clear from the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar. . . .


December 3, 2012 in Abortion Bans, International, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

U.S. Birth and Abortion Rates Drop

The Pew Research Center: U.S. Birth Rate Falls to a Record Low; Decline Is Greatest Among Immigrants:

The U.S. birth rate dipped in 2011 to the lowest ever recorded, led by a plunge in births to immigrant women since the onset of the Great Recession. . . .

The New Republic: Pro-Life Activists Conveniently Ignore the Abortion Drop, by Amy Sullivan:

Abortion isn’t generally a subject that inspires many hip-hip-hoorays, but a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some encouraging news: the U.S. abortion rate fell 5 percent in 2009, the largest single-year drop in a decade. . . .


December 2, 2012 in Abortion, Pregnancy & Childbirth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Vast Majority of Irish Support Abortion Law Reform

Irish Central: Over 85 percent of Irish people support limited abortion, by Patrick Counihan:

The vast majority of Irish people support a change to abortion legislation in the wake of the death of Indian mum-to-be Savita Halappanavar.

A new opinion poll for the Sunday Business Post newspaper shows that eight out every 10 people support legislation based on the 20-year-old X Case ruling on abortion by the Supreme Court. . . .

December 2, 2012 in Abortion Bans, International, Public Opinion | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ipas Mexico Creates Computer Game to Help Women Learn About Safe Abortion Options

Ipas: Innovative game created by and for young people offers information on medical abortion:

Any young woman who uses an interactive computer game designed by Ipas Mexico is guided from the starting point of a missed period through an educational journey that helps her decide whether she wants to continue or terminate her pregnancy—and in the case of the latter, whether medical abortion is the right choice for her. . . .


December 2, 2012 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, International, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)