Thursday, May 29, 2014
Federal Judge in Wisconsin TRAP Trial Tells Plaintiff To Make Further Efforts To Seek Admitting Privileges
ABC News: Judge: Abortion Doctor Must Research Privileges, by Todd Richmond:
A federal judge told a Milwaukee abortion doctor Thursday to renew his efforts to obtain hospital admitting privileges, hinting that it could resolve a lawsuit alleging a Wisconsin law requiring such privileges is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge William Conley said he was "bewildered" that Affiliated Medical Services abortion provider Dr. Dennis Christensen and his attorneys haven't received definitive responses from any Milwaukee hospitals. He told them to demand better answers from two facilities where Christensen is seeking admitting privileges. . . .
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Slate: Caught in a TRAP, by Emily Bazelon:
If an Alabama law and others like it stick, abortion clinics will disappear from swaths of the U.S. map.
Abortion is on trial this week in Alabama. Technically speaking, the witnesses are appearing before federal District Judge Myron Thompson to discuss a new state law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. That sounds reasonable, I know, but it isn’t, and it’s also not what’s at stake. This trial is about whether poor women in red (and even purple) states will continue to have access to abortion, or whether some states will succeed in shutting down every clinic within driving distance, all in the name of protecting women (from themselves). . . .
NPR: Research: Children Of Judges May Influence Court Decisions, by Shankar Vedantam:
It's been suspected that judges are swayed by their personal beliefs and affiliations. An analysis found that judges become more likely to rule in "pro-feminist" ways if the judges have daughters. . . .
In this paper, we ask whether personal relationships can affect the way that judges decide cases. To do so, we leverage the natural experiment of a child's gender to identify the effect of having daughters on the votes of judges. Using new data on the family lives of U.S. Courts of Appeals judges, we find that, conditional on the number of children a judge has, judges with daughters consistently vote in a more feminist fashion on gender issues than judges who have only sons. This result survives a number of robustness tests and appears to be driven primarily by Republican judges. More broadly, this result demonstrates that personal experiences influence how judges make decisions, and it is the first paper to show that empathy may indeed be a component in how judges decide cases. . . .
TIME: What’s Desperately Needed in Sex Education Today, by Jaclyn Friedman:
The tragic story of Elliot Rodger and his misogynistic path to murder in Santa Barbara should compel us to have a truthful conversation about sex ed and intimacy with our teens. It's time.
Most sex education messages in the U.S. go to great pains to elide one basic truth: that sex can be an incredible, pleasurable experience. In theory, that’s to avoid encouraging young people to have sex, but what it does in practice is deprive us all of the expectation that sex should be great. And increase the odds that the sex we do have will live down to those suppressed expectations. When we don’t expect sex to be a mutually satisfying experience shared by two people, it leaves us vulnerable to some truly poisonous alternative ideas, including the stubborn myth that sex is a precious commodity that men acquire from women. . . .
Monday, May 26, 2014
WBAY: Federal Trial Begins Tuesday on Wisconsin's Abortion Law, by Matt Smith:
A federal trial starts Tuesday over a new abortion provision in Wisconsin.
The law signed by Governor Scott Walker requires doctors performing abortions to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.
Federal Judge William Conley will decided whether the provision violates the U.S. Constitution and whether it poses an undue burden on women seeking abortions. . . .
The Huffington Post: Wendy Davis Greeted By 'Abortion Barbie' Posters In Los Angeles, by Laura Bassett:
Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis received a hostile greeting in Los Angeles Thursday morning, when life-sized posters depicting her as "Abortion Barbie" began popping up throughout the city ahead of her fundraiser there.
The posters say "Hollywood welcomes Abortion Barbie Wendy Davis," and they show Davis' face on a mostly-naked barbie doll with a plastic baby in her belly. Conservative pundit Erick Erickson nicknamed Davis "Abortion Barbie" earlier this year because when she was a state senator, she stood on her feet and spoke for 11 hours straight to filibuster a draconian package of anti-abortion bills. . . .
Planned Parenthood: Map: Abortion in the South: Using Admitting Priveleges Laws to Restrict Safe and Legal Access, by Sasha Collins:
Since the original ruling more than 40 years ago, Americans consistently have opposed overturning Roe v. Wade. As a result, the strategy that abortion opponents turn to is restricting and eliminating safe and legal abortion access via technicality and needless regulation. And in several states, they’re finding success. One of the most popular tactics is called “admitted privileges.” It requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. In the last year, admitting privilege requirements have passed in several states, with two more (Oklahoma and Louisiana) poised to move in the next several weeks. . . .
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The Montgomery Advertiser: Doctor: Abortion safer than getting shot of penicillin, by Brian Lyman:
A Texas doctor Wednesday said a state law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals was medically unnecessary and might end up harming women.
"The risk of death from live childbirth is about 8.8 per 100,000," Dr. Paul Fine, an OB-GYN and medical director of a Planned Parenthood affiliate serving Texas and Louisiana. "The risk of death from abortion is about six per 1 million. The risk of death from childbirth is about 14 times high than that of abortion." . . .
The Advocate: New restrictions planned for La. abortion clinics, by Melinda Deslatte:
Doctors who perform abortions in Louisiana will be required to have the ability to admit patients to a nearby hospital, a restriction that abortion-rights groups say will shutter three of the state’s five clinics.
With no debate Wednesday, the House voted 88-5 to send House Bill 388 by state Rep. Katrina Jackson to the desk of Gov. Bobby Jindal. The Republican governor supports the proposal and intends to sign it into law. . . .
The Washington Post - Post Politics blog: Sen. Walsh hits Daines on abortion in ad featuring woman who says she was raped, by Sean Sullivan:
Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) is taking to the airwaves Wednesday with a new TV ad in which a woman who says she was raped criticizes Rep. Steve Daines (R) for sponsoring a restrictive legislation on abortion. . . .
Daines's campaign declined to comment on the ad. The congressman is also going up with a deeply personal statewide spot featuring a woman. In the ad, Rebekah Uzenski of Bozeman details how her ex-husband would physically abuse her before she thanks Daines for supporting the Violence Against Women Act. . . .
Monday, May 19, 2014
USA Today: Texas abortion law creates obstacles for Valley women, by Rick Jervis:
The women who visit Lucy Felix at her advocacy center are lately faced with a slate of difficult choices: risk deportation to drive to a clinic, cross the nearby border into Mexico for a risky abortion or keep an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy to term.
Since Texas lawmakers passed new restrictions on abortion clinics last year, the number of clinics in the Rio Grande Valley that perform the service has dropped from two to zero, forcing women to drive more than 300 miles roundtrip to other cities for services or attempt riskier procedures across the border. . . .
Montgomery Advertiser: Montgomery abortion clinic director testifies in trial, by Brian Lyman:
The fate of the state's abortion clinics may hinge on two questions: Can physicians at those clinics obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals, and if they can't, would the closing of those clinics put a substantial burden on abortion rights?
As testimony Monday on the first day of a federal trial indicated, the respective answers of the state and the clinics involved are miles apart. . . .
TuscaloosaNews.com: Trial over Alabama abortion law begins, by Phillip Rawls:
The operators of three of Alabama's five abortion clinics testified Monday they use out-of-town doctors who wouldn't be able to admit patients to local hospitals as required under a new state law and would have to end abortion services if a federal judge allows the measure to take effect. . . .
Saturday, May 17, 2014
CNN: Missouri lawmakers approve three-day abortion waiting period, by Faith Karimi & Jennifer Feldman:
Missouri lawmakers gave final approval to a measure that requires a woman to wait 72 hours from her initial doctor's visit before she gets an abortion.
The Republican-controlled House voted 111-39 in favor of the legislation late Wednesday.
Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has not said whether he'll sign it. . . .
Thursday, May 15, 2014
A map of seven abortion restrictions on abortion access as of May 14, 2014, is available at:
FiveThirtyEight: Maps of Access to Abortion by State, by Allison McCann.
National Journal: Why Women Don't Think Their Birth Control Is Free, by Clara Ritger:
More than half of women are still paying for their contraception despite the Affordable Care Act's mandate, a new survey shows.
Obamacare made contraception free. So why do only 42 percent of sexually active women report having their birth control fully covered?
In part, it's because some women who report using birth control rely on male condoms—which are not covered under the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate. The health law requires that new insurance policies cover all FDA-approved contraception prescribed for women without cost sharing, meaning that couples using male condoms still have to pay for them.
That's a significant number of women, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's 2013 Women's Health Survey, released Thursday. . . .
Marco Rubio Responds to Criticism Over Ill-Advised Climate Change Comments by Dubiously Claiming Scientific High Ground on Abortion
ThinkProgress: Marco Rubio’s scientific blunder on abortion, by Tara Culp-Ressler:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has recently come under fire for failing to name a single source to justify his assertion that “there’s no scientific evidence” to prove humans are contributing to climate change, is defending his comments by claiming that at least he knows the science about abortion.
In an interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday, the senator said that liberals who criticize him for ignoring climate science are revealing their “hypocrisy” because they ignore the science supporting the idea that life begins at conception. Rubio claimed this concept is a “proven fact” that people on the left are ignoring. . . .
If Rubio is trying to use abortion politics to prove that he and his Republican colleagues have a clear grasp of science, though, he waded into the wrong issue area. . . .
I've written about the anti-choice movement's deliberate exploitation of the ambiguity of the term "life" here.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
TIME: North Dakota Pushes ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban to Higher Court, by Dan Kedmey:
More than 60 North Dakota lawmakers demanded a higher court revisit an overturned state law that would have banned abortions on fetuses with a detectable heartbeat
North Dakota’s Attorney General will appeal a court’s decision to strike down a state law banning the vast majority of abortions.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland overturned the ban last month, calling the law “invalid and unconstitutional.” It would make abortions illegal from the time the fetus develops a heartbeat, which can often be detected six weeks into a pregnancy. . . .
ACLU news release: Ignoring Women’s Protest, Missouri Senate Passes Bill Tripling Time Women Must Delay their Abortions:
Jefferson City, Mo. –In the face of a substantial overnight protest on the capitol steps, early this morning the Missouri Senate passed a bill that forces a woman who has already met with her health care professional and decided to have an abortion to delay getting the medical care she needs for at least 3 days. Missouri law had already required women to delay their abortions for 24 hours. The bill now goes back to the House, which has already passed a similar bill.
Women have been gathering in front of the capitol since 2 p.m. Monday for an ongoing filibuster in protest of the bill. They stayed throughout the night and have vowed to continue their protest for 72 hours.
“Once again, legislators are interfering with a personal, private decision made by a woman with her family and her doctor,” said Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “It’s time for all of us to take out our pink Wendy Davis sneakers and let our elected representatives know that we won’t stand by while they play politics with women’s health.”
This legislative session alone, Missouri has considered more than two dozen bills designed to prevent a woman from getting an abortion. Earlier this year, Missouri Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger compared a woman’s decision about whether to continue a pregnancy to buying a new car or carpet.
In fact, women who decide to have an abortion have already carefully considered their decision. There is only one health center in Missouri that provides abortions. This law forces women to make additional trips to the clinic which makes it more costly for women and forces them to find additional child care and take additional days off of work.
This is especially burdensome for low-income women and rural women, who often can’t take extra days off work or travel long distances.
If this bill becomes law, Missouri will join South Dakota and Utah as the only states with a 72-hour forced waiting period.
Monday, May 12, 2014
AZCentral: Court to hear Arizona abortion drug limits case:
A federal appeals court panel is set to hear arguments on the legality of Arizona's new rules limiting the use of abortion-inducting drugs.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction blocking the rules from going into effect last month. The panel will hold a hearing on the case Tuesday. . . .
MSNBC: LIVE NOW: 72-hour Missouri abortion filibuster, by Irin Carmon:
Missouri progressive activists are staging a nonstop, 72-hour “women’s filibuster” on the steps of the Missouri State Capitol building today to protest an abortion bill that would force a woman to wait three days between two clinic visits before having an abortion.
The activists’ hope is to prevent Republicans in the state Senate from breaking a Democratic filibuster on the bill, which already passed the House. The legislative session ends Friday. . . .