12-21-16 Lena Dunham didn't 'intentionally trivialise' abortion
Lena Dunham didn't 'intentionally trivialise' abortion
Lena Dunham has apologised for a "distasteful joke" about abortion. In the latest episode of her podcast, Women of the Hour, the actress discussed a woman's legal right to choose to have an abortion - something she supports. She spoke about a girl asking her to be part a project which involved women sharing stories of abortions. At the end of the story she said: "I still haven't had an abortion, but I wish I had." The comment didn't go down well.
12-16-16 Conflicting abortion decisions
Conflicting abortion decisions
Ohio Gov. John Kasich this week vetoed a controversial bill that would have banned abortions as early as six weeks, while on the same day signing another restrictive law banning abortions after 20 weeks. The six-week “heartbeat bill” outraged pro-choice activists when it was passed by the Republican-led legislature last week, after being tucked into separate legislation on child abuse prevention. It would have prohibited abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected—and before many women even know they are pregnant. Kasich said that the heartbeat bill was “clearly contrary to the Supreme Court’s current rulings on abortion,” and that he did not want to subject Ohioans to a costly court battle defending it. But he approved a 20-week abortion ban with no exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal anomaly. A recent Washington Post poll showed that 56 percent of Americans supported shortening the window for abortions from 24 weeks to 20.
12-16-16 Why reproductive rights activists are nervous about a Trump presidency
Why reproductive rights activists are nervous about a Trump presidency
The push to confer full "personhood" status on every fertilized human egg has been rejected by voters and lawmakers in state after state, including deep-red Mississippi. But activists are cautiously hopeful that their cause could get a boost from Republicans who are about to assume leadership in Washington. Georgia Representative Tom Price, who has been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to run the Department of Health and Human Services, has twice co-sponsored federal legislation that would define fertilized human eggs as legal persons — a move that would outlaw not just abortion, but also potentially birth control pills and other common methods of contraception. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, then a congressman from Indiana, also co-sponsored that bill, which was introduced in 2005 and 2007, as well as similar legislation in 2011. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who will see his power expand under the Trump administration, co-sponsored the same bill both years too, as well as similar legislation in 2009, 2011, and 2013. Personhood activists, who generally oppose abortion even in the case of rape and incest, have several policy changes in mind as the new administration takes office. As health secretary, for instance, Price could make it easier for employers or insurance plans to stop covering abortion and birth control. He could curtail federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells and contraception. And he, Pence, and Ryan could use their high-profile positions to raise awareness of the personhood movement.
12-2-16 New abortion rules
New abortion rules
After several months of heated public debate, Texas health officials announced this week that they would begin implementing a controversial new rule requiring that fetal remains be buried or cremated by hospitals and abortion clinics, starting Dec. 19. Proposed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in July and approved by the state health agency, the regulations ban hospitals and clinics from disposing of fetal remains alongside other medical tissue—which includes disposing of it in landfills or the sewer system. The rules won’t apply to miscarriages or at-home abortions. State Sen. Don Huffines said the new requirement would stop “the most innocent among us” from being “thrown out with the daily waste.” But the rule has sparked an outcry among the medical community and abortion activists, who said cremation or burial could cost clinics thousands of dollars per case, and make it more difficult for women to obtain abortions.
11-16-16 Trump: Supreme Court Nominees Will be "Pro-Life"
Trump: Supreme Court Nominees Will be "Pro-Life"
US President-elect Donald Trump has said that uture Supreme Court nominees would be "pro-life" and defend the constitutional right to bear arms. (Webmaster's comment: Good-Bye Roe vs Wade. Welcome back back-alley abortions.)
11-14-16 US election 2016: 'Mike Pence' gifts to abortion provider surge
US election 2016: 'Mike Pence' gifts to abortion provider surge
Donations to US abortion provider Planned Parenthood in the name of Vice President-elect Mike Pence have surged. Donald Trump's running mate, who has been a long-time opponent of Planned Parenthood, will be sent a gift certificate for every donation made. The campaign, aimed at embarrassing Mr Pence, began in 2011 when as an Indiana congressman he introduced several anti-abortion measures. They included the first bill to strip the provider of all federal funding.
11-10-16 Abortion could be made illegal in parts of Trump’s America
Abortion could be made illegal in parts of Trump’s America
The next US president plans to overturn the country's long-standing nationwide provision for abortions, and if states are allowed to decide, many will opt for a ban. Abortion provision in the US will soon come under attack. President-elect Donald Trump has given mixed messages in the past, but in this campaign he vowed to rescind women’s abortion rights at the federal level. US law enshrining abortion provision across the country was set by a landmark court ruling in 1973 known as Roe versus Wade. Trump has vowed to overturn this, by appointing conservative judges to the nation’s highest court. If Roe versus Wade is overturned, individual states would decide the law. Several conservative ones such as Louisiana and Kentucky have long tried to chip away at abortion availability, so they might enact extreme restrictions or bans.
11-4-16 Medicated abortions
American women are now undergoing medicated abortions nearly as often as surgical abortions, partly in response to state restrictions imposed on abortion clinics. Forty-three percent of abortions at Planned Parenthood clinics in the U.S. used medication instead of surgery in 2014.
11-2-16 The super-secret outlaw doula delivering babies in backwoods California
The super-secret outlaw doula delivering babies in backwoods California
When the contractions come and you've got a two-hour mountain drive to the hospital, who are you going to call? "There are renegades delivering babies in the woods," Aria says, in a tone both ironic and mischievous. She is a doula living in Hayfork, California, a community of about 2,500 located in the rugged mountains of Trinity County. Towns here often don't consist of much more than a gas station, general store, post office, and a requisite bar, and are linked by narrow, windy roads. Drives through the dense wilderness between them can take up to a few hours. In these remote outposts there exists an underground current of women who have their babies at home, hours from the nearest hospital. Some of these expectant mothers employ a midwife or doula if they can, and some deliver their children without any assistance at all. But others use uncertified midwives, a practice that is illegal for mothers in some states (though not California), and always illegal for the uncertified midwife. "I've caught a few babies illegally," Aria says. Doulas are licensed to provide emotional support and advocacy for mothers during the birthing process, but they are not healthcare providers. Aria is training to be a Certified Professional Midwife, though. So far she's completed the required classes and passed the exams. Now she's accumulating field experience, having officially logged attendance at 15 home births as a midwife assistant out of the necessary 50.
10-28-16 Abortion: The impact of the next president
Abortion: The impact of the next president
Finally: An “unapologetic defense of abortion rights” from a Democratic presidential candidate, said Adrienne LaFrance in TheAtlantic.com. Until Hillary Clinton became the party’s first woman nominee, Democrats supported the divisive issue of abortion rights with “carefully hedged language.” But in last week’s final presidential debate, Clinton said flatly, “I will defend Roe v. Wade, and I will defend women’s rights to make their own health-care decisions.” Period. Republican Donald Trump, meanwhile, attacked Clinton’s support of late-term abortions with graphic, inaccurate language suggesting women callously have healthy babies “ripped from their wombs” days before birth. In fact, partial-birth abortion has been illegal since 2003. To date, 43 states have restrictions on late-term terminations, and studies show that just 1.3 percent of all abortions take place after 21 weeks. Most of them are wanted pregnancies in which the fetus has a major birth defect, or the mother’s health is at risk. (Webmaster's comment: The facts have never stopped a Republican or many Christians from distorting the truth!)
10-20-16 Italy abortion row as woman dies after hospital miscarriage
Italy abortion row as woman dies after hospital miscarriage
Italian prosecutors have begun an inquiry into the death after a miscarriage of a woman of 32 who was pregnant with twins. The family of Valentina Milluzzo said the doctor treating her refused to abort the foetuses because he was a "conscientious objector" to abortion. The hospital involved has categorically rejected the family's claims. The woman's burial has been postponed while further investigations are carried out.
10-18-16 'I had a mail-order abortion': The women forced to go it alone
'I had a mail-order abortion': The women forced to go it alone
Many Irish women travel to England for abortions but sometimes this is not practical. One woman tells us how a website made it possible. They arrived in a small beige envelope. Getting hold of the abortion pills was nerve-wracking enough, says Catriona. “But the really hard part came after.” Catriona, a marketing consultant living in Ireland, is one of a growing number of women who buy medications online to terminate their pregnancy in countries where abortions are illegal. One source is a site called Women on Web, which provides free medical advice along with the pills for those who are less than 9 weeks pregnant. A study published this week found it received 1438 requests for help from Ireland and Northern Ireland last year, and numbers have nearly tripled since 2010. Catriona found herself pregnant earlier this year when she already had a 5-month-old baby. The last pregnancy had been hard; she had developed pelvic problems that left her in agony for the last two months and she was still in pain. “My body was still recovering.” Many Irish women travel to England for abortions but this wasn’t practical for Catriona as there was no one to mind the baby; her partner had just started a new job and so couldn’t take time off work and their parents live abroad.
10-17-16 Home abortions are safe – we should let women do it themselves
Home abortions are safe – we should let women do it themselves
The abortion pill is so safe and easy to use we should let women take it at home, says Clare Wilson. Throughout history, abortions at home have been a byword for horror, danger, even a grisly death. Many countries that legalised abortion did so partly to eradicate them. But now we have the abortion pill. Women who are up to nine weeks pregnant can safely have an abortion at home by taking two medicines over two days, according to the World Health Organization. The second dose of pills triggers bleeding and painful stomach cramps while the embryo is passed; this typically takes a few hours but can last several days. A few per cent of women have an incomplete abortion requiring a hospital visit to complete the process. But it’s more or less like an early miscarriage – which women are usually told to cope with at home – and statistically is still safer for the woman than continuing with the pregnancy and giving birth. It’s also safer than many other medicines that we are allowed to buy from pharmacies without a prescription, such as Viagra in the UK. So why can’t women get abortion pills from pharmacies and manage the process themselves at home if they choose? It might sound radical but it’s already widespread in countries where abortion is illegal, with women buying the pills from online pharmacies. While some countries, such as Poland, are trying to tighten their already strict abortion laws, the advent of mail-order abortion pills means the law is becoming almost irrelevant.
10-12-16 Abortion laws may be relaxed for rape cases in El Salvador
Abortion laws may be relaxed for rape cases in El Salvador
Rape victims in El Salvador may be allowed to have abortions under proposals put forward by the governing party. The left-wing Farabundo Marti Liberation Liberation Front (FMLN) wants to allow abortion in cases of rape, risk to the mother's life or if the foetus is unviable. The practice is currently completely banned in El Salvador. The FMLN will need the support of an extra 12 lawmakers to pass the bill. The bill was backed by the president of Congress, Lorena Pena, who proposed that women whose life was at risk or those who had been raped or trafficked be allowed to end their pregnancy. "It's a duty of legislators to give women a chance to save their lives, so that they don't die in those circumstances. It [the bill] is also meant to take into account the impact giving birth has on girls who have been raped," she said.
10-7-16 Why abortion will remain legal
Why abortion will remain legal
Russia’s most powerful cleric is calling on the government to ban abortion, said Ola Cichowlas. Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, last week signed a petition for a total prohibition of the procedure, as well as of contraceptives with “abortive” side effects. But even though the Kremlin has been supportive of the church and the new wave of social conservatism, it’s unlikely to listen. The church “has little influence” over reproductive norms, and abortion is entrenched in Russian culture. The Soviet Union was the first country in the world to legalize the procedure, and for decades abortion was the preferred form of birth control, since the pill wasn’t available and Russian condoms were unreliable. Although the Soviet Union collapsed 25 years ago, Russia’s abortion rate is still “enormously and abnormally high,” with one in three pregnancies terminated. Only China, with its one-child policy, has more abortions per capita. While Russia has every incentive to increase its birth rate, Kremlin officials admit that banning abortion is financially unviable, since it would increase the number of children “without parental protection who are socially dependent on the state.” Human rights activists point out that Russian orphanages are already neglected and underfunded. For now, at least, “state officials seem content to keep things as they are.”
10-6-16 Poland abortion: Parliament rejects near-total ban
Poland abortion: Parliament rejects near-total ban
Poland's parliament has voted overwhelmingly to reject a controversial citizens' bill for a near-total ban on abortion. The government said that protests against the bill had given ministers "food for thought". Poland already has among the tightest abortion laws in Europe, and the proposal sought to ban all abortions unless the mother's life was at risk. MPs voted to reject the bill by 352 votes to 58. The bill came from an anti-abortion citizens' initiative that gathered some 450,000 signatures. It was initially backed by the Catholic Church, but bishops then said they could not support one of the proposals, to jail women who had an abortion.
10-5-16 There is no pro-life candidate in the 2016 race
There is no pro-life candidate in the 2016 race
In most presidential elections, it's quite clear which candidate is the pro-life candidate. This election is different. In Donald Trump, the Republicans have put forward a candidate whose nominal pro-life convictions seem belied by everything else about his history and temperament. This has led some people, including some pro-life Christians, to stroke their chins and argue that the Democratic candidate is the real pro-life candidate. One recent example of this argument comes to us by way of Eric Sapp, writing at The Christian Post that "Hillary Clinton is the best choice for voters against abortion." In a roundabout way, this piece seems to suggest that Democratic policies might lower the number of abortions by making life better for women in ways beyond actually banning abortions. It does this by suggesting that Republicans aren't really pro-life because they sometimes promote pro-life bills that contain exceptions allowing for abortions in certain circumstances.
10-3-16 Black Monday: Polish women strike against abortion ban
Black Monday: Polish women strike against abortion ban
Black is the choice of colour for those opposing the proposed total ban. Women in Poland have gone on strike in protest against proposals for a total ban on abortions. They marched through the streets wearing black as a sign of mourning for their reproductive rights. Women who oppose the ban are staying away from work and school and refusing to do domestic chores, in a protest inspired by a women's strike in Iceland in 1975. Anti-abortion protests are being held around the country too.
9-24-16 Will Poland impose a total ban on abortion?
Will Poland impose a total ban on abortion?
The touchstone issue of abortion has reared its head once again at the centre of Polish politics. There were opposing demonstrations outside Poland's parliament on Friday as it debated a motion to ban abortion outright. If passed, Poland would join just two other European states that ban the procedure - Malta and the Vatican City. In this staunchly Catholic nation, the issue inflames huge passions on both sides. Abortion is already mostly banned. The only exceptions are a severe and irreversible damage to the foetus, a serious threat to the mother's health, or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. As a result, even by conservative estimates there are far more illegal abortions than legal ones in Poland - between 10,000 and 150,000, compared to about 1,000 or 2,000 legal terminations. Access to contraception has also been tightened. The only over-the-counter contraception now available is the condom.
9-24-16 Female Farc fighter admits babies were aborted
Female Farc fighter admits babies were aborted
Women have played an important part in Colombia's Farc leftist guerrilla army ever since it was founded in 1964. They make up about 30% of the ranks and are equal to their male colleagues. But one female fighter has told the BBC women sometimes had to abort their babies to remain in the army. Members of the Farc have now agreed to lay down their arms, reintegrate into society and become a political party.
9-19-16 #BBCElectionTrain: The only abortion clinic in North Dakota
#BBCElectionTrain: The only abortion clinic in North Dakota
Fargo in North Dakota is home to the state's only abortion clinic, where women who travel for hours to get there are confronted by protesters outside. The BBC's Aleem Maqbool spoke to people outside to find out why they are there, and the women inside about how they feel about it. Fargo was one of the stops Maqbool, producer Ashley Semler and video journalist Franz Strasser took along a train route called the Empire Builder, talking to Americans in the northern part of the country about the election and the issues they're not hearing about.
9-14-16 How Planned Parenthood became Republicans' new white whale
How Planned Parenthood became Republicans' new white whale
member ObamaCare? The Affordable Care Act, the law that Republicans loathed with such a desperate passion that they would move any mountain, cross any river, shut down any government to destroy? They still hate it, of course, which you'll find out if you ask them. But curiously, they're no longer holding votes to repeal it, almost as if something robbed the issue of its urgency. It's not that they've been distracted by the presidential campaign, because they still have a legislative white whale they're sailing after with murder in their eyes. Only now, funding for Planned Parenthood is the focus of Republican indignation, the one line they pledge never to cross, the sword upon which they threaten to hurl themselves at every moment where congressional action on anything is required. How did this change come about, and what does it portend for the future?
8-30-16 Drug-induced abortion less safe in Ohio after 2011 law
Drug-induced abortion less safe in Ohio after 2011 law
A law intended to improve the safety of abortion by medication tripled the rate of complications because it stopped physicians from following latest research. An Ohio law intended to make abortions safer has instead tripled the rate of complications. The 2011 law requires providers to stick to US Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines for abortion by medication. These suggest specific timings and doses of drugs, but were drawn up in 2000. Research has since found different dosages and timing are safer – most Ohio doctors had already made those adjustments before the law was passed. Analysing data from four Ohio clinics, Ushma Upadhyay at the University of California, San Francisco, and her team found that, after the law was passed, women undergoing abortion by medication were three times more likely to need additional treatment such as extra drugs or a blood transfusion. They were also nearly twice as likely to report a side effect – such as nausea or vomiting – during their abortion. “There’s a new wave of state-level restrictions on abortion that purport to improve health and safety, but what we’re finding is that they may end up harming women if these regulations are not based in scientific evidence,” says Upadhyay.
8-28-16 Ireland's abortion laws: Rose of Tralee becomes latest battleground in divisive debate
Ireland's abortion laws: Rose of Tralee becomes latest battleground in divisive debate
The Rose of Tralee, the Republic of Ireland's long-running beauty pageant, is not usually a platform for thorny issues. But, this week, it became the unlikely battleground in Ireland's ongoing debate over abortion legislation. Brianna Perkins, the Sydney Rose, sparked the controversy with comments she made live on television to hundreds of thousands of viewers last Monday night. "I think it is time to give women a say on their own reproductive rights," she told presenter Dáithí Ó Sé. Her words were unexpected for the Rose of Tralee, a quintessentially Irish tradition that is probably best known for being wholesome and wholly unthreatening, and the reaction on social media was immediate and emotional.
7-8-16 Abortion: The Supreme Court moves left
Abortion: The Supreme Court moves left
The sham is over, said Rekha Basu in The Des Moines Register. In perhaps the most significant victory for reproductive rights since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court last week voted 5-3 to strike down two Texas laws that imposed crippling restrictions on abortion clinics “under the guise of protecting women’s health.” The laws imposed “ridiculous requirements” that would have shuttered 75 percent of Texas abortion clinics, demanding that doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals and that facilities “have hospital-level surgical operating rooms,” with specific rules on cabinet spacing, corridor width, and plumbing. During arguments before the court, pro-choice groups pointed out that “statistically, abortion is a safe procedure.” Indeed, women are 14 times more likely to die in childbirth than in abortions, yet midwives aren’t required to set up surgical centers. Seeing through Texas’ transparent tactic, the court ruled that its restrictions imposed an “undue burden” on women’s constitutional right to an abortion.
7-5-16 2016 is already a catastrophic year for the pro-life movement
2016 is already a catastrophic year for the pro-life movement
The pro-life movement suffered another defeat last week. In its Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt decision, the Supreme Court overturned a Texas law that required abortionists to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital and to meet the health and safety standards of other surgical centers. It was an ominous sign that the fortunes of the anti-abortion cause are changing. After a few years of tangible victories, 2016 is turning out to be the worst year for the pro-life cause in at least a generation.
6-29-16 The Texan women saved by the Supreme Court
The Texan women saved by the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a Texas law known as HB2 poses a "substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions," placing an "'undue burden' on their constitutional right to do so." The decision is a major victory for abortion rights advocates — but more directly, it's a major victory for individual women. Not yet, of course. Right now the legacy of HB2 still means that 900,000 Texans of child-bearing age live a 300-mile round trip from their nearest abortion provider — six to eight hours of driving there and back, plus the cost of a tank of gas, and likely at least one lost day of work. And abortion, rather famously, is one of those things that can't be long put off. We may not know their names or faces, but there are many women living in Texas today for whom SCOTUS's decision has already come too late. Abortion opponents would have you believe that life itself lies at the heart of this debate, and they're not wrong — but it's not the lives of as-yet-unborn people. At the heart of the abortion debate are the lives of already-in-existence people, people who, for whatever reason, have decided not to carry a pregnancy to term.
6-28-16 Strict Texas abortion law struck down
Strict Texas abortion law struck down
The US Supreme Court has struck down a 2013 Texas abortion law that imposed restrictive regulations on the procedure. The law requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and clinics to maintain hospital-like conditions. Republicans contended the law protects women while advocates argued the measure restricts access to abortions. The key decision is the first major abortion ruling since 2007.
6-27-16 Supreme Court strikes down abortion restrictions in Texas
Supreme Court strikes down abortion restrictions in Texas
In a major victory for pro-choice advocates, the US Supreme Court struck down a Texas abortion law today. In a major victory for pro-choice advocates, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas abortion law today. The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, centred around a Texas law called House Bill 2, or HB2. The law requires abortion clinics to meet the same building standards as outpatient surgery centres – such as having wide hallways and advanced air conditioning and heating systems. It also requires the doctors performing abortions to seek active “admitting privileges” at a hospital within 48 kilometres of their clinic. The ruling could have reverberations in other states with similar laws on the books, such as Louisiana and Mississippi. Upholding Texas’s HB2 could have bolstered similar efforts in other states, making it much harder for women across the country to seek an abortion. Proponents of HB2 had said that the restrictions would help protect women’s health. But pro-choice advocates argued that HB2 effectively limited access to abortions. Since the law passed in 2013, many clinics in the state have been forced to close. In a 5-3 vote, the Supreme Court ruled to reverse the decision of the Fifth Circuit. The decision, delivered by Justice Stephen Breyer, said that HB2 would place an “undue burden” on women’s constitutional right to seek an abortion, particularly for those who are poor, disadvantaged, or living in rural areas. The building standards in particular would pose a “substantial obstacle”: “The dramatic drop in the number of clinics means fewer doctors, longer waiting times, and increased crowding,” the decision read.
6-27-16 Why the Supreme Court couldn't tolerate Texas' abortion laws
Why the Supreme Court couldn't tolerate Texas' abortion laws
Texas finally pushed Anthony Kennedy too far. For more than two decades, states have pushed the envelope on abortion regulation, passing restrictions that in some cases make it nearly impossible for abortion clinics to operate. On Monday, the Supreme Court finally cracked down on these attempts to surreptitiously ban abortion. In the Court's most important abortion decision since 1992, the Court struck down the worst parts of a Texas abortion statute that would have required most of the state's abortion clinics to close. It was a major victory for the pro-choice movement. In the 1992 landmark Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court upheld Roe v. Wade. But this upholding of Roe came at a major cost. The Court's opinion permitted restrictions of abortion that did not constitute an "undue burden." In theory, this standard could provide robust protection for reproductive rights. In practice, the Court has allowed states to pass virtually any regulation of abortion that isn't an outright ban on pre-viability abortions. That is, until Monday. Texas' abortion statute was passed in such egregious bad faith that Kennedy — one of the authors of Casey and the Court's swing vote on abortion rights — couldn't look the other way.
6-27-16 Oklahoma in the US opens first abortion clinic in 30 years
Oklahoma in the US opens first abortion clinic in 30 years
The first new abortion clinic in more than three decades is opening in the US state of Oklahoma, weeks after politicians in the state passed a bill to criminalise abortion. The measure, which was vetoed by the state's governor, illustrates the deep divisions over the issue. Existing abortion services are limited in Oklahoma, forcing some women to travel as long as eight hours for treatment elsewhere.
6-19-16 Women march to defend abortion rights in Poland
Women march to defend abortion rights in Poland
Thousands of people have taken part in a demonstration in the Polish capital of Warsaw to defend women's rights. The protests were sparked after a recent proposal to tighten the country's abortion laws.
6-12-16 Why one woman carried out her own abortion
Why one woman carried out her own abortion
More than 100,000 women in Texas, US, have induced their own abortions, according to a recent study. The US Supreme Court is to hear a case regarding abortion law in Texas. It is to decide on whether a 2013 ruling stating that abortion clinics meet certain requirements is constitutional. Dozens of clinics have closed as a result of the ruling, and researchers say self-induced abortions may increase if clinics continue to close. Women typically use a pill called misoprostol to induce their own abortions. Here, one young woman explains why she crossed the border into Mexico, where the drug is cheaper and easier to obtain without a prescription. (Webmaster's comment: The Republicans have finally done it. They've managed to bring back the back-alley abortion. Now all they have to do is Build A Wall between the United States and Mexico and make it illegal for a pregnant woman to cross it, for her own safety of course, thus making sure that a woman bears the fruit of a man's loins and passes on his genes.)
5-21-16 Oklahoma governor vetoes bill to criminalise abortions
Oklahoma governor vetoes bill to criminalise abortions
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would make abortion a criminal offence in the US state. Although she opposes abortion, she said the measure was vague and would not withstand a legal challenge. The state senate on Thursday backed the bill that would have punished doctors who terminate a pregnancy with up to three years in prison. They would also be barred from practising medicine. To override the veto, lawmakers require a two-thirds majority in each chamber. Abortion is legal in the US, and abortion rights activists have already described the bill as unconstitutional.
5-19-16 Oklahoma lawmakers pass bill to outlaw abortion
Oklahoma lawmakers pass bill to outlaw abortion
Lawmakers in the US state of Oklahoma have passed a bill that would make the act of performing an abortion a crime. Under the bill, a doctor who performs an abortion could be sentenced to up to three years in prison and be barred from practising medicine in the state. Abortion is legal in the United States and abortion-rights activists say the bill is unconstitutional. The legislation now heads to Governor Mary Fallin who has previously backed curbs on abortion. Two abortion clinics remain in Oklahoma after the state recently enacted a number of new regulations on the facilities.
5-11-16 Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic killer unfit for trial
Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic killer unfit for trial
Mr Dear has confessed to killing three people and wounding nine others. A man who confessed to killing three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic last year has been declared mentally unfit to stand trial. Robert Dear will be treated at a state psychiatric hospital and may eventually be tried if his mental health improves. On 27 November, Mr Dear, 57, opened fire at the clinic in Colorado Springs. Nine people were also wounded. In a previous court appearance, Mr Dear called himself a "warrior for the babies" and made repeated outbursts. On Wednesday, Mr Dear called the judge a "filthy animal" as he was led out of the courtroom.
5-11-16 Why do pro-life conservatives support anti-immigrant groups pushing population control?
Why do pro-life conservatives support anti-immigrant groups pushing population control?
America's anti-immigration restrictionist movement has historically had one foot in the labor protectionist camp and another in the population control camp. Many pro-life conservatives count themselves among immigration restrictionists — which makes the anti-immigration movement's population control argument downright bizarre, given that population control and abortion politics have been a key flashpoint in conservatives' broader culture war with the left. But even as the environmental left has been shunning the restrictionist movement, conservatives have been embracing it. Indeed, the right is the sole link to mainstream respectability for three of America's most influential restrictionist groups — FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), CIS (Center for Immigration Studies), and NumbersUSA — all founded by John Tanton, an ophthalmologist who laments that Hitler gave eugenics a bad name.
4-22-16 Pro-choicers’ terminology problem
Pro-choicers’ terminology problem
When it comes to discussing a pregnant woman’s “uterine contents,” pro-choice liberals have a language problem, said Jonah Goldberg. Hillary Clinton recently illustrated this difficulty when she asserted on Meet the Press that “an unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.” Unborn person? Clinton’s use of that word violates the pro-choice side’s prime directive, which is never to refer to the unborn as “a child” or “a person.” Instead, he or she—that is, “it”—must be called a fetus or, when it is being vacuumed out, “uterine contents.” When the White House asked for $1.8 billion to combat Zika, spokesman Josh Earnest said the funding would make sure that “unborn children in this country can be properly protected.” Ooops. TV and movies often exhibit the same unconscious use of pro-life terms, with characters talking about pregnant women’s unborn “babies,” not fetuses. Emotionally, this is totally natural. If a woman wants her baby, “it becomes a baby long before it’s born.” If not, pro-choice absolutists insist, it’s just a blob of cells right up to nine months. No wonder they have such a problem in talking about the unborn. “And it’s not just a problem of language.”
4-8-16 Abortion: Why don’t pro-lifers want to punish the woman?
Abortion: Why don’t pro-lifers want to punish the woman?
Abortion is the most polarizing issue in America, said Nia-Malika Henderson in CNN.com, but Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump “managed to unite advocates on both sides” of the debate last week. In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Trump said that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who terminate their pregnancies. A recent convert to the pro-life cause, Trump was presumably trying to tell GOP primary voters what he thought they wanted to hear, unaware that most pro-lifers advocate criminal prosecution of doctors who perform abortions, but not of the women who undergo them. Trump quickly recanted his position, said Rachel Lu in TheFederalist.com, but not before doing immense damage to the pro-life cause. Pro-lifers do believe that the unborn are “precious human beings” and that abortion is murder. But we see women as “the second victims of abortion,” often pressured into a sinful choice by boyfriends or circumstances. They are deserving of our compassion and our help, but not punishment.
4-6-16 Some stillbirths are avoidable if we know enough to act in time
Some stillbirths are avoidable if we know enough to act in time
Some stillbirths can be prevented if at-risk babies are induced in time. New NHS guidelines will help but scientists could do much more, says Jop de Vrieze.
4-6-16 'Hello governor, I have my period': Abortion bill protests go viral
'Hello governor, I have my period': Abortion bill protests go viral
For the past week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence's office has been bombarded by calls, emails and Facebook posts like these in protest of a recently introduced anti-abortion bill. The bill focuses on limiting abortions based on foetus characteristics including foetal abnormalities, gender, race or ancestry. It also requires that fetal remains be buried or cremated. The group Periods for Pence - created by an Indianapolis resident who has asked to remain anonymous - is encouraging people to communicate their frustrations or opposition through updating the governor's office on the status of their periods as frequently as possible.
4-2-16 US Election 2016: Donald Trump says 'laws are set' on abortion
US Election 2016: Donald Trump says 'laws are set' on abortion
Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has said US abortion laws should remain unchanged, although he believes the procedure amounts to murder. In an interview with CBS News, Mr Trump said: "The laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way". His comments come as Mr Trump has struggled this week to articulate his position on abortion. He withdrew a call for women who have abortions to be punished, only hours after suggesting it. After an outpouring of criticism from both anti-abortion and abortion rights activists, Mr Trump later said only the people who perform abortions should face punishment.
3-31-16 Trump abortion row: Republican front-runner changes stance
Trump abortion row: Republican front-runner changes stance
US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has withdrawn a call for women who have abortions to be punished, only hours after suggesting it. He had proposed "some form of punishment" for women who have abortions if they were made illegal. But after strong criticism, Mr Trump repeated the Republican party line that only the person performing the abortion should be punished, not the women. The Republican front-runner supports a ban on abortions, with some exceptions. Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973 after a landmark Supreme Court ruling.
3-25-16 Bill to defund Planned Parenthood
Bill to defund Planned Parenthood
After passing a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, Florida lawmakers provided a list of other “health centers” that could provide breast exams, contraception, and other women’s care—and the list included dozens of public school nurse’s offices, prisons, podiatrists, and dentists. “I don’t think an elementary school can prescribe me birth control,” said college student Kheyanna Suarez.
3-12-16 Sierra Leone abortion bill blocked by President Bai Koroma again
Sierra Leone abortion bill blocked by President Bai Koroma again
Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma has again refused to sign a bill legalising abortion, saying it should be put to a referendum. It was unanimously passed by MPs in December, but Mr Koroma refused to sign it after protests by religious leaders. After consultations, MPs returned the bill to him last month, unaltered. The law would allow women to terminate a pregnancy in any circumstances up to 12 weeks and in cases of incest, rape and foetal impairment up to 24 weeks. Abortion is currently illegal in Sierra Leone under any circumstances.
3-11-16 Unplanned pregnancies in the U.S. are at new low
Unplanned pregnancies in the U.S. are at new low
Unplanned pregnancies in the U.S. are at a 30-year low, having fallen 18 percent between 2008 and 2011, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The drop has occurred in part because of long-acting reversible contraceptives like intrauterine devices and implants—the use of which has tripled since 2007.
3-4-16 Supreme Court: The battle over Texas abortion law
Supreme Court: The battle over Texas abortion law
Antonin Scalia’s chair is still draped in black crepe, said Robert Barnes in The Washington Post, but at the Supreme Court this week, all eyes were on Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote may decide “the most important abortion case in decades.” At issue is a 2013 Texas law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same building codes and hygiene standards as surgical facilities, and for abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The cost of compliance has already driven most Texas abortion clinics out of business, leaving only 19 in the entire state to serve 5.4 million women. Other conservative states have passed 250 abortion restrictions over the past five years, so the court’s ruling could have major national implications. In the past, Kennedy has shown a paternalistic concern with “protecting” women from choosing abortions they may later regret, said Noah Feldman in BloombergView.com, and in oral arguments this week he aggressively demanded proof that the law was really forcing clinics to close.
3-2-16 US Supreme Court hears landmark abortion case
US Supreme Court hears landmark abortion case
The US Supreme Court has heard arguments in a controversial abortion case that may have implications for millions of women across the country. It considered a challenge to a Texas law that imposes strict regulations on abortion doctors and clinics. But the court's eight justices so far appear divided on the hot button issue.
3-1-16 US Supreme Court to hear case on restrictive Texas abortion law
US Supreme Court to hear case on restrictive Texas abortion law
The Court will consider whether to uphold a Texas law that requires abortion clinics to close unless they meet stringent building regulations, among other criteria. It’s been called the most momentous abortion case confronting the US Supreme Court in a generation. On Wednesday, the justices will hear a Texas case that could affect abortion provision across the country. The law being challenged, known as HB2, was passed in Texas in 2013. Since then, the number of clinics in the state has dropped from around 40 to around 10. If the law stands, these would also be at risk of closure. HB2 stipulates that doctors working at abortion clinics must have permission to admit people at a hospital within 50 kilometres of the clinic, and that all clinics meet the same building standards as outpatient surgery centres. In many cases, this would require expensive modifications to increase room size and corridor width. The law also rules out any abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and limits the way the procedure can be carried out. (Webmaster's comment: The conservatives can not stop abortions by law but they can make them impossible to perform by law. These conservatives hate women and see them only as baby making machines for a man's pleasure.)
1-26-16 Filmmakers who targeted Planned Parenthood face charges
Filmmakers who targeted Planned Parenthood face charges
A Texas grand jury has cleared Planned Parenthood of misconduct after the abortion provider was accused of selling foetal body parts for profit. Instead, the panel charged the filmmakers behind the accusations with tampering with government records. Mr Daleiden and fellow activist Sandra Merritt each face a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. No further details were provided by prosecutors. Mr Daleiden also faces a misdemeanour count related to purchasing human organs.