Thursday, January 31, 2013

Even Limited Easing of Ireland's Abortion Ban Meets Resistance

Irish flagThe Economist: Still restrictive:

A limited plan to ease Ireland’s laws against abortion provokes sharp debate

THE Irish Supreme Court ruled 21 years ago that abortion was legal if the risk that pregnancy might prompt suicide put the life of a woman in grave danger. The case involved a sexually abused and suicidal teenager whom the lower courts stopped from travelling to England for an abortion, a decision the Supreme Court reversed. Yet successive governments ignored the court’s decision. Ireland still has one of the rich world’s most restrictive abortion regimes. . . .

Three years ago, however, the European Court of Human Rights embarrassed the politicians into taking action by calling on Ireland to clarify its abortion law. . . .

January 31, 2013 in Abortion Bans, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Oregon Stands Alone Among States in Lacking Abortion Restrictions

The Washington Post - Wonkblog: All states except Oregon now limit abortion access, by Sarah Kliff:

Roe v. Wade guaranteed abortion as a legal right across the country. A separate decision two decades later, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, guaranteed states’ rights to limit access to abortion, so long as it did not pose an “undue burden” on the woman.

States have, over the past four decades, made no short use of that latter right. Only one state, Oregon, has not layered additional restrictions on top of the Roe decision. . . .

January 31, 2013 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Faith and Abortion Providers

MSNBC - Melissa Harris-Perry: Faith’s role in the fight for abortion access, by Rev. Matthew Westfox:

As both a person of faith and an advocate for reproductive freedoms, I often find myself talking about the connection between religion, spirituality, and reproductive justice. We talk about religious questions raised by patients and clients, and we talk about how to use religious language in reproductive justice activism.

Yet one group seems to be left almost completely out of these conversations—abortion providers . . . .

Video available here.

January 31, 2013 in In the Media, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Senator Coburn Seeks to Ban Abortion Coverage in All State Health Insurance Plans

The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: Coburn bill would restrict abortion in plans created by healthcare law, by Sam Baker:

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced a bill Friday to ban abortion coverage in new healthcare plans created by President Obama's reform law.

The bill would restrict multistate plans selected by the Office of Personnel Management. Two multi-state policies would be available through each state's insurance exchanges, to ensure a certain level of competition among private insurers. . . .

January 31, 2013 in Abortion, Congress | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Linda Greenhouse on Roe's Legacy

NPR  Roe v. Wade at 40:  A Look at Its Legacy:

Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion, just turned 40. Host Neal Conan speaks with Linda Greenhouse, who covered the Supreme Court and writes in a New York Times opinion piece that it  Linda_greenhousewas about "the rights of doctors...acting in what they considered to be the best interest of their patients." . . .

The New York Times: Misconceptions, by Linda Greenhouse:

Francis Lorson, the longtime chief deputy clerk of the Supreme Court, once told me the following story. On a January day in the mid-1970s, he and Justice Potter Stewart were in an official car traveling from the court to the White House, where the justice was to preside at a swearing-in ceremony. As they rode along Pennsylvania Avenue, they saw a crowd heading in the opposite direction, up Capitol Hill toward the court. . . .

January 31, 2013 in Abortion, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ethiopian Women in Israel Were Coerced into Receiving Birth Control Shots

Feministing:  Birth Control Shots Were Forced on Ethiopian Immigrants to Israel, by Alexandra Zbrodsky:

Five years after allegations were first levied, and over a month after the issue again attracted mainstream attention through the Israel Educational Television documentary “Vacuum,” the Israeli government has admitted that Ethiopian women were coerced into accepting long-acting birth control shots, likely Depo-Provera. . . .


January 31, 2013 in Contraception, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Swedish Court Overturns Law Forcing Sterilization On Transgender People Seeking a Legal Change of Sex

Time:  Transgender People in Sweden No Longer Face Forced Sterilization, by Rebecca Nelson:

Until late last week one of Europe’s most progressive nations had one of the continent’s most repressive policies on transgender people. Swedish law had required all transgender people to undergo sterilization if they want to legally change their sex. In a Dec. 19 decision, the Stockholm Administrative Court of Appeal overturned the law, declaring it unconstitutional. . . .

January 31, 2013 in International, Sexuality, Sterilization | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Arkansas Bill To Ban Insurance Coverage for Abortion Fails To Advance

Arkansas News:  Bill to ban abortion coverage through insurance exchange stalls, by John Lyon & Bob Moritz:

LITTLE ROCK — A bill that would prohibit insurers from offering coverage for abortion through Arkansas’ health insurance exchange failed to clear a House committee Tuesday. . . . 

January 30, 2013 in Abortion, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New York Republicans Won't Support Governor Cuomo's Proposal to Expand Abortion Rights

The Huffington Post: New York Abortion Rights: Dean Skelos Says GOP Won't Compromise On Part of Cuomo's 'Women's Agenda', by Yancey Roy: Dean Skelos

Sen. Dean Skelos says Republicans won't go along with a Cuomo administration proposal to expand abortion rights -- signaling that the GOP won't compromise on every high-profile issue in 2013 despite having to share Senate power with Democrats. . . .

January 30, 2013 in Abortion, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Challenges to Contraception Mandate Likely to Reach Supreme Court

The New York Times: A Flood of Suits Fights Coverage of Birth Control, by Ethan Bronner:

In a flood of lawsuits, Roman Catholics, evangelicals and Mennonites are challenging a provision in the new health care law that requires employers to cover birth control in employee health plans — a high-stakes clash between religious freedom and health care access that appears headed to the Supreme Court. . . .

January 28, 2013 in Contraception, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ross Douthat on Feminism and the Anti-Abortion-Rights Movement

The New York Times (op-ed column): Divided by Abortion, United by Feminism, by Ross Douthat:

IN 1942, 71 years before last week’s Pentagon decision allowing women on the front lines of combat, the United States government established the Women’s Army Corps, with Athena as its insignia, and welcomed our country’s first female military recruits.

One of these pioneering women was a corporal from Big Spring, Tex., named Nellie Gray. . . . [T]he soldier-turned-bureaucrat-turned-lawyer helped found one of America’s most enduring mass movements, establishing an annual protest march that continues to the present day.

That protest is the March for Life, the annual rally against Roe v. Wade. . . .

January 27, 2013 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Some Catholic Leaders Challenge Anti-Choice Advocates' Silence on Gun Deaths

The New York Times: In Fight Over Life, A New Call by Catholics, by Laurie Goodstein:

The March for Life in Washington on Friday renewed the annual impassioned call to end legalized abortion, 40 years after the Roe v. Wade decision. But this year, some Roman Catholic leaders and theologians are asking why so many of those who call themselves “pro-life” have been silent, or even opposed, when it comes to controlling the guns that have been used to kill and injure millions of Americans. . . .

January 27, 2013 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Religion, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Abortion Opponents March in Washington to Protest Roe's 40 Year Legacy

Reuters - FaithWorld blog: Washington anti-abortion marchers protest 40 years of legal abortion in the U.S.:

Anti-abortion activists marched in Washington on Friday to protest the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal in the United States 40 years ago.

Condemning abortion as an abuse of human rights, people from across the country participated in the March for Life that takes place annually in the nation’s capital. . . .

January 27, 2013 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Medical Groups Encourage Screening for Reproductive Coercion

Medical News Today:  Reproductive Coercion Common in Abusive Relationships, by Kelly Fitzgerald:

Adolescent girls and women should now be screened for reproductive coercion, a form of abuse that occurs when male partners sabotage their contraception intentionally.

This form of abuse, known as reproductive coercion, can manifest in several ways, such as deliberately giving a partner a sexually transmitted disease (STIs), forcing a partner to have an undesired abortion or pregnancy, or seizing control of a woman's contraceptive pills. . . .

January 27, 2013 in Abortion, Contraception, Medical News, Men and Reproduction, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

At Sundance Film Festival, "After Tiller" Features Four Doctors Who Perform Third-Trimester Abortions

The Los Angeles Times: Sundance Film Festival: 'After Tiller' about abortion doctors, patients, by Mark Olsen:

The documentary about four doctors who perform third-trimester abortions was screened at the festival with heavy security. Filmmakers Martha Shane and Lana Wilson wanted to show audiences how much the doctors cared about and for their patients, and talked to the women too.

PARK CITY, Utah – The Sundance Film Festival has a relaxed, down-to-earth vibe, but the atmosphere at the premiere screening of the documentary "After Tiller" was noticeably tense. . . .

January 24, 2013 in Abortion, In the Media, Reproductive Health & Safety, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In Colorado Med Mal Case, Catholic Hospital Argues Fetuses Are Not Persons

The Colorado Independent: In malpractice case, Catholic hospital argues fetuses are not people, by John Tomasic:

Lori Stodghill was 31-years old, seven-months pregnant with twin boys and feeling sick when she arrived at St. Thomas More hospital in Cañon City on New Year’s Day 2006. She was vomiting and short of breath and she passed out as she was being wheeled into an examination room. Medical staff tried to resuscitate her but, as became clear only later, a main artery feeding her lungs was clogged and the clog led to a massive heart attack. Stodghill’s obstetrician, Dr. Pelham Staples, who also happened to be the obstetrician on call for emergencies that night, never answered a page. His patient died at the hospital less than an hour after she arrived and her twins died in her womb. . . .

January 24, 2013 in Fetal Rights, In the Courts, Religion and Reproductive Rights, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize as "Tampering with Evidence" Abortions Caused By Rape

In case anyone was under the misconception that male Republicans were getting the message about abortion and rape:

The Huffington Post: New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortions After Rape as 'Tampering With Evidence', by Laura Bassett:

A Republican lawmaker in New Mexico introduced a bill on Wednesday that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term in order to use the fetus as evidence for a sexual assault trial. . . .

January 24, 2013 in Abortion Bans, Sexual Assault, State Legislatures, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Should the Abortion Rights Movement Drop the "Pro-Choice" Label?

The Atlantic: The End of Pro-Choice: Will 'No Labels' Really Help the Abortion Debate, by Lily Rothman:

If someone told you that the director of the Washington office of Planned Parenthood had said that politicians should vote to keep abortion safe and legal, the news would not be particularly surprising. But if you heard that the same woman had referred to that brand of lawmaking as "pro-abortion," the shock factor might change. The phrase "pro-abortion" is taboo. But, in March 1975, when that Planned Parenthood higher-up, Jeannie I. Rosoff, spoke to the Wall Street Journal, her wording would not have seemed so odd—the alternative to "pro-abortion" was not in common usage yet. In fact, elsewhere that WSJ article, an edition of Alan L. Otten's "Politics & People" column, was the very first print appearance of the phrase "pro-choice". . . .

January 24, 2013 in Abortion, Public Opinion | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Roe v. Wade 40th Anniversary Round-Up

Adapted from Feministing:  Daily Feminist Cheat Sheet:  40 years of "Roe v. Wade" Edition, by Alexandra Zbrodsky (more links provided at Feministing):


Center for Reproductive Rights (video): Happy 40th anniversary, Roe!

Another poll shows seven out of ten Americans oppose overturning Roe.

The Economist: Abortion law: Roe turns 40

Ezekiel Reis Burgin on why abortion rights are critical to him as a trans man.

Jill Filipovic on the broader implications of Roe.

Naomi Cahn and June Carbone ask: Did the pro-life movement lead to more single moms? 

Let's not forget about those who risk their lives for women's autonomy.

The Nation reprints a 1973 editorial about Roe.

A New York Times op-ed reminds us of the lengths to which women will go to end untenable pregnancies.

January 24, 2013 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Public Opinion, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lynn Paltrow and Jeanne Flavin on the Policing of Pregnancy

Lynn M. Paltrow (National Advocates for Pregnant Women) & Jeanne Flavin (Fordham University) have published Arrests of and Forced Interventions on Pregnant Women in the United States, 1973-2005:  Implications for Women's Legal Status and Public Health in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.  Here is the abstract:

In November 2011, the citizens of Mississippi voted down Proposition 26, a “personhood” measure that sought to establish separate constitutional rights for fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses. This proposition raised the question of whether such measures could be used as the basis for depriving pregnant women of their liberty through arrests or forced medical interventions. Over the past four decades, descriptions of selected subsets of arrests and forced interventions on pregnant women have been published. Such cases, however, have never been systematically identified and documented, nor has the basis for their deprivations of liberty been comprehensively examined. In this article we report on 413 cases from 1973 to 2005 in which a woman’s pregnancy was a necessary factor leading to attempted and actual deprivations of a woman’s physical liberty. First, we describe key characteristics of the women and the cases, including socioeconomic status and race. Second, we investigate the legal claims made to justify the arrests, detentions, and forced interventions.

Third, we explore the role played by health care providers. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings and the likely impact of personhood measures on pregnant women’s liberty and on maternal, fetal, and child health.

January 22, 2013 in Pregnancy & Childbirth, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)