Sunday, October 20, 2013
Slate Magazine: Women Jailed for Miscarriages in El Salvador, by Amanda Marcotte:
El Salvador received plenty of international attention this summer for its strict ban on abortion, which led the government to deny an abortion to a woman who was near death and whose pregnancy had no chance in resulting in a live baby. The government eventually allowed her to end her pregnancy, as long as it was performed in the maximally dangerous way through cesarean section, but that doesn't mean that things are getting any better for women in El Salvador. As the BBC reported on Thursday, one major side effect of the country's anti-abortion law is that women are being jailed simply because their bodies failed to sustain a pregnancy. Showing up at a public hospital with a miscarriage is risky business in El Salvador, because instead of medical care, you might find yourself being cuffed to the bed and accused of "murder." . . .
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The Columbus Dispatch: More Ohio Abortion Clinics Closing, by Darrel Rowland & Alex Felser:
With the closure of two more abortion clinics and a third on the brink of shutting down, Ohio women will have fewer places to terminate pregnancies than perhaps anytime since the years after the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973. . . .
The Washington Post: Maryland Board of Physicians closes probe of abortion doctor after woman’s death, by Lena H. Sun:
The Maryland Board of Physicians has closed its investigation into allegations that an abortion doctor provided improper care to a woman who died in February after the procedure, according to a copy of the letter sent to the physician. . . .
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
The Hill - Healthwatch blog: Conservatives want more time to fight against birth control mandate, by Elise Viebeck:
Conservative House members expressed a desire Tuesday to fund the government only until Dec. 15 in order to force a fight over ObamaCare's birth control mandate.
Members of the House GOP discussed a proposal that would reopen the government through mid-December, just weeks before a provision of the mandate takes effect on Jan. 1 for religiously affiliated groups. . . .
The modified policy will allow the employees of religious institutions to obtain free birth control directly from their insurance company.
The institutions themselves will not have to "contract, arrange, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage," according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Critics say the policy still does not go far enough to protect groups that oppose contraception. . . .
Monday, October 14, 2013
The Huffington Post/AP: Kansas Abortion Lawsuits Have Cost The State Over $913,000, by John Hanna:
Kansas has paid more than $913,000 to two private law firms that are helping the state defend anti-abortion laws enacted since conservative Republican Gov. Sam Brownback took office, and such expenses appear likely to grow.
The attorney general's office disclosed the figures in response to requests from The Associated Press. More than $126,000 in legal fees stem from two lawsuits filed this summer against restrictions enacted just this year. . . .
Sunday, October 13, 2013
The New York Times: With New Abortion Restrictions, Ohio Walks a Narrow Legal Line , by Erik Eckholm:
. . . Ohio has become a laboratory for what anti-abortion leaders call the incremental strategy — passing a web of rules designed to push the hazy boundaries of Supreme Court guidelines without flagrantly violating them. Many of the rules, critics say, are designed to discourage women from getting abortions or to hamper clinic operations, even forcing some to close. . . .
ABC News: Court Says Nebraska Teenager Too Immature to Decide on Abortion, by Sidney Lupkin:
A Nebraska teenager in foster care was denied access to an abortion, because the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled she wasn't mature enough to make that decision on her own, according to a court opinion published this month. . . .
Under the governing Supreme Court case law, courts are supposed to grant a teenager permission for an abortion if (1) she is sufficiently mature to make the decision on her own or (2) the abortion would be in her best interests (or, under some states' laws, if telling her parents would not be in her best interests). Here, the biological parents' rights were reportedly terminated based on their abuse and neglect. One would think that would satisfy the second part of the test, but the court apparently found that inquiry to be inapplicable, at least as applied to the teenager's biological parents, given that their rights were terminated. There is a sad irony in the courts' further determination that "the young woman wasn't mature enough to make the abortion decision on her own because she was financially dependent on her foster parents and had never lived on her own or mentioned any work experience." It seems those were the very factors that led her to make the mature decision that parenthood was not a realistic option.
The Huffington Post: Ted Cruz Calls Birth Control 'Abortifacients', by Laura Bassett:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Friday repeated the misguided conservative talking point that the birth control coverage rule included in Obamacare forces employers to cover abortion-inducing pills.
Cruz told the crowd at the 2013 Values Voter Summit that the Obama administration is forcing Christian-owned businesses like Hobby Lobby to provide "abortifacients" or pay millions of dollars in fees. Hobby Lobby is one of several religious-owned businesses currently suing the administration over its requirement that most employers include contraception coverage in their health insurance plans. . . .
American-Statesman: Study: 22,286 Texas Women Could Be Denied Abortions, by Chuck Lindell (Oct. 2):
A University of Texas study indicates that more than 22,200 Texas women would be prevented from obtaining an abortion in the next year if stricter regulations go into effect later this month, a court filing shows.
The study results, submitted to federal court this week by abortion providers seeking to block the regulations, was conducted by UT’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project, a three-year collaboration that measures the impact of state laws affecting reproductive health. . . .
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Judge Denies Virginia's Request to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging Onerous Abortion Facility Regulations
The Washington Post: Challenge to Virginia abortion regulations moves forward, by Rachel Weiner & Antonio Olivio:
An Arlington County judge on Wednesday ruled that a lawsuit challenging new regulations of Virginia clinics that perform abortions can move forward.
The Falls Church Medical Center is seeking to overturn an April decision by the Virginia Board of Health that applies strict, hospital-style building codes to the clinics. Among other things, the rules mandate the width of hallways and doorways as well as the number of parking spaces. Some providers have said costly renovations needed to comply would put them out of business. . . .
Californians seeking an abortion have more access to care under a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) Wednesday.
The law authorizes nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, and certified nurse midwives to perform aspirations, a type of first-trimester abortion that involves inserting a small tube through the cervix to remove the fetus. Before the bill was passed, only doctors could perform such procedures. . . .
See also: The Los Angeles Times: New California abortion law: More dangerous than skydiving?, by Robin Abcarian:
. . . The low complication rate, of course, did not stop antiabortion groups from rallying against the bill, including some who used breathtakingly disingenuous arguments.
Last May, for instance, Steve Macias, a California Republican Party officer and executive director of the antiabortion group Cherish California’s Children, said the new law would legalize back-alley abortions. He also claimed that first-trimester abortions are more dangerous than skydiving. . . .
San Jose Mercury News: Santa Clara University president triggers abortion uproar, by Tracy Seipel & Josh Richman:
A decision by Santa Clara University's president to drop health insurance coverage of elective abortions for the Catholic university's faculty and staff has triggered a serious rift at the school. . . .
The thorny issue echoes a nationwide debate at Catholic universities over their institutional identities and ability to consider the convictions of those who do not identify with -- or who disagree with -- certain principles the Catholic tradition holds as central.
The uproar at SCU comes on the heels of a contentious vote this week by trustees of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, another Jesuit school that decided not to provide coverage for elective abortions. . . .
The Los Angeles Times: Loyola Marymount drops health coverage for 'elective' abortions, by Larry Gordon:
Employees will instead be offered a separate plan to cover the procedures. The decision is seen as a compromise between abortion foes and a more liberal group.
Amid a debate about the role of Catholic colleges in a secular society, Loyola Marymount University this week decided to drop staff health insurance coverage for "elective" abortions and instead offer employees a separate, unsubsidized plan to cover those procedures.
The move was seen on campus as a compromise between traditionalist alumni and faculty — who think the university should have nothing to do with abortion — and a more liberal group who contend LMU should not impose religious doctrine on the large number of non-Catholics it enrolls and employs. . . .
The New York Times: Abortion Vote Exposes Rift at a Catholic University, by Ian Lovett:
LOS ANGELES — Not three weeks have passed since Pope Francis said the church had grown “obsessed” with abortion, declaring, “We have to find a new balance.” But on the campus of Loyola Marymount University, overlooking this city’s west side, a fight over abortion now threatens to rip the school asunder. . . .