6-30-17 Abortion law needs a UK-wide update, not just Northern Ireland
Abortion law needs a UK-wide update, not just Northern Ireland
The provision of abortions for Northern Irish women has been a hot issue this week in both Belfast and Westminster, but UK-wide law has also failed to keep up with medical reality. The UK’s inconsistent and illogical abortion laws are in the spotlight again, as a battle plays out across multiple fronts. In Northern Ireland, Belfast’s Court of Appeal has ruled the country can keep its almost complete ban on abortions. But over in Westminster, to avoid a politically dangerous challenge by an opposition MP, the UK government has announced that women from Northern Ireland can have abortions on the NHS providing they travel to mainland Britain. At the moment a private abortion would cost several hundred pounds. In the rest of the UK, women can have an NHS abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, or later if there are fetal abnormalities or if the woman’s life is in danger. Pro-choice advocates on the mainland may shake their heads over the more conservative stance of Northern Ireland and a similar law in the Republic of Ireland, but there is no room for complacency. In fact, UK law is more reflective of the judgmental sexual mores of the 1960s than the sensible provision of a modern-day medical procedure. When abortion was legalised in 1967 it entailed minor surgery and people assumed it should always happen under a doctor’s watchful eye. While surgical abortions still happen, now just over half are so-called medical abortions, which usually means taking two doses of medicine, one day apart, triggering the embryo to be expelled as in a miscarriage.
6-30-17 Simone Veil: French politician and Holocaust survivor dies
Simone Veil: French politician and Holocaust survivor dies
The French politician, women's rights champion and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil has died at the age of 89. Best known in France for her instrumental role in legalising abortion in the 1970s, she went on to serve as the first president of an elected European Parliament. Ms Veil, a liberal, later re-entered French politics, returning to the cabinet in the 1990s. President Emmanuel Macron described her as "inspiring" and the best of France. She became one of the 40 "immortals" of the Académie Française in 2010 - a great honour in France. Ms Veil was France's minister of health from 1974-79, in which role she made access to contraception easier and fought a long battle to legalise abortion. The law which did so, passed in 1975, is known as "la loi Veil". Simon Veil became an MEP in the 1979 European elections, and she was elected as president of the parliament. She later went on to become the leader of the liberal grouping within the parliament, and stood down as an MEP in 1993. She again became a French minister, before being appointed to the constitutional council of France. Born in Nice in 1927 as Simone Jacob, her whole family was arrested by the Germans in 1944. Her father and brother were transported to eastern Europe and were never heard from again. The teenaged Simone was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and then Bergen-Belsen with her mother and oldest sister. Her mother died shortly before liberation. Her other sister, Denise, had joined the French Resistance and was imprisoned at Ravensbrück concentration camp. (Webmaster's comment: Heroic Women Every One!)
6-13-17 'Handmaid's tale' protest at US Ohio abortion bill
'Handmaid's tale' protest at US Ohio abortion bill
Activists in the US state of Ohio have been inspired by The Handmaid's Tale in their protest against a bill placing more restrictions on abortion. Several women held a silent protest in red robes and white bonnets - like the characters in the dystopian novel and TV series where fertile women are captured and forced to have children. The proposed state legislation would ban a method of abortion commonly carried out in the second trimester. Critics call the bill unconstitutional. Senate Bill 145 is sponsored by members of Ohio's Republican party who say they want to end what they describe as inhumane and brutal dismemberment abortions. The bill makes an exception where the mother's life is in danger. However, opponents say the ban against dilation and evacuation is an attempt to block access to a common and safe abortion method. They also argue it would particularly affect women who already struggle to obtain access to an abortion.
6-9-17 US Abortion Attitudes Stable; No Consensus on Legality
US Abortion Attitudes Stable; No Consensus on Legality
Stability remains the name of the game in U.S. abortion attitudes. Half of Americans say abortion should be "legal only under certain circumstances," identical to a year ago, while 29% still say it should be legal in all circumstances. The smallest proportion -- 18% this year vs. 19% in 2016 -- say it should be illegal in all circumstances. The dispersion of abortion views today, with the largest segment of Americans favoring the middle position, is broadly similar to what Gallup has found in four decades of measurement.
- Most Americans favor legal abortion, but many of these want limits
- Public closely split over whether abortion is morally acceptable
- Record percentage of Democrats, 71%, identify as "pro-choice"
6-9-17 Birth control: Ending the Obamacare mandate
Birth control: Ending the Obamacare mandate
If your boss takes away your birth control, “blame President Trump,” said Jamie Peck in The Guardian.com. The Trump administration has drafted a new Health and Human Services regulation, leaked to Vox.com, that rolls back the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive care mandate—allowing any employer to opt out of covering the cost of birth control by citing either a moral or religious objection. Obamacare already exempts houses of worship, said Amanda Marcotte in Salon.com, and even provides a work-around for religiously affiliated nonprofits and closely held for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby. Not content with those accommodations, the Trump administration would give bosses of any company, from huge public corporations to secular universities, “unprecedented” power over their female workers’ intimate lives on a whim. “If an employer thinks only sluts use birth control, he can simply refuse to let a woman’s insurance plan cover it.”
5-16-17 India doctors allow 10-year-old rape victim to abort
India doctors allow 10-year-old rape victim to abort
A panel of doctors has accepted a 10-year-old rape victim's plea for an abortion in the northern Indian state of Haryana. Dr Ashok Chauhan told the BBC the termination would be carried out "anytime now". The girl became pregnant about five months ago. She alleges rape by her stepfather, who has been arrested. Indian law does not allow terminations after 20 weeks unless doctors confirm the woman's life is in danger. The decision to allow the child to abort was taken after a local court told doctors at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in the town of Rohtak that it would accept their recommendation. Sexual abuse against children is rampant in India, as it is in America!
5-15-17 India child rape victim in abortion plea
India child rape victim in abortion plea
A panel of doctors is meeting in India to decide if a 10-year-old rape victim can be allowed to undergo an abortion. The girl was repeatedly raped by her stepfather and is due to give birth in four months, police in the northern town of Rohtak told the BBC. He has been arrested and detained pending a full police investigation. Indian law does not allow terminations after 20 weeks unless doctors certify that the pregnant woman's life is in danger. The tough law was introduced to fight India's skewed gender ratio. A deep-seated cultural preference for sons has led to millions of female foetuses being aborted over the years by pregnant women after undergoing foetal gender testing. In recent months India's Supreme Court has received several petitions, some from women who were raped, wanting to terminate pregnancies after 20 weeks. The court has always referred the matter to medical experts. In the latest case in Rohtak town in Haryana state, doctors from the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences are meeting to decide on the family's request to allow the child to have an abortion. The pregnancy came to light last week when the 10-year-old girl's mother, who works as a domestic helper, suspected her child was pregnant and took her to see a doctor. Reports said the girl was often left at home when her mother went to work. She told her mother that she had been repeatedly raped by her stepfather, who had warned her not to say anything. (Webmaster's comment: A classic case of child sex abuse the same as we have here in America, but do not report in the news!)
5-14-17 Let's talk about why I had to terminate my baby's life
Let's talk about why I had to terminate my baby's life
Last year, stand-up comedian Lou Conran had to end her pregnancy at 22 weeks - five-and-a-half months. She is now preparing a show about the experience for the Edinburgh festival, hoping this will encourage people to talk about a subject that is often covered in a blanket of silence. Last year I had to end my pregnancy because my little girl was too ill go full term. It was devastating and there's not a day goes by that I don't think about her. One thing I have learned over the past year, is just how many people go through an experience like this, and yet it's simply not spoken about. Is it because people don't know what to say? Is it because people are frightened of upsetting you, or is it simply because it's just too tragic a situation to even comprehend. That it's easier to say nothing? Who knows? Half the battle with baby loss is dealing with other people's reaction to it One thing you do have to deal with is the well-intended people who panic so much about saying the right thing that nine times out of 10 they get it completely wrong, much to my amusement. Half the battle with baby loss is dealing with other people's reaction to it, and to you, and not only have you got all that going on but of course there's the admin to deal with.
5-5-17 When women are jailed for abortions
When women are jailed for abortions
If abortion becomes totally illegal or strictly limited in half the country, said Irin Carmon, women won’t need to get the back-alley or coat hanger abortions of the 1950s. They’ll be likely to turn to the easily available drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to “end a pregnancy by their own hands.” That means ambitious local prosecutors in red states could hold only one person—the woman—legally accountable, and “there is little doubt that states would delight in prosecuting her.” For public relations purposes, the anti-abortion movement has long insisted on a logical inconsistency: “Abortion is murder, but women shouldn’t be held accountable.” Yet at least 17 women have been arrested since 2005 and accused of self-inducing abortions. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, or states restrict abortion to the point where it’s unavailable, tens of thousands of desperate women will obtain abortion pills from pro-choice activists or online pharmacies. (That phenomenon is already occurring.) The women most likely to be caught and prosecuted, of course, will be poor women of color. “Supporters of abortion rights should get ready for what illegal abortion in America will look like.” Abortion will go underground, and women will be sent to prison.
5-2-17 Ivanka Trump proposed dividing Planned Parenthood so one arm provides abortions, another other health services
Ivanka Trump proposed dividing Planned Parenthood so one arm provides abortions, another other health services
During the campaign, Ms. Trump successfully pushed her father to praise Planned Parenthood from a Republican debate stage, a moment that created a stir at the time because of the party's broad opposition to the organization's abortion services. But more recently, with congressional Republicans threatening to cut all funding to Planned Parenthood (even though the women's health organization says it receives no federal funding for abortions), Ms. Trump approached its president, Cecile Richards, to start a broader dialogue. She also had a proposal: Planned Parenthood should split in two, Ms. Trump suggested, with a smaller arm to provide abortions and a larger one devoted to women's health services. White House officials said Ms. Trump was trying to find a common-sense solution amid the roar of abortion politics. But Planned Parenthood officials said they thought Ms. Trump's advice was naïve, failing to understand how central reproductive choice was to the group's mission. Ms. Richards sharply criticized Ms. Trump for not publicly objecting to the Republican health-care bill that failed in March, and Ms. Trump felt stung. (Webmaster's comment: Ivanka is no friend of women!)
4-28-17 New website helps US women self-induce abortions
New website helps US women self-induce abortions
An international advocacy group has launched a website in the US to help women self-induce abortions due to concerns about restrictive laws. Women Help Women, a Netherlands-based group, wants to provide guidance for American women who may have obtained abortion pills illegally. Abortion is legal in the US, but more recently several Republican states have passed stringent abortion laws. Some US women have voiced concerns that their abortion rights could be revoked. "There is a lot of fear and worry that, with the current administration and restrictions that are to the enormous disadvantage of girls and women, that access to clinical care might further diminish," Kinga Jelinska, the group's executive director, told the Washington Post. Women Help Women already advises women around the world on how to take mifepristone, which blocks pregnancy development, and misoprostol, which induces miscarriage. The two drugs, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, are used in combination until the 10th week of pregnancy, but must be administered by a health care clinician. On Thursday, the group launched a new section called Self-Managed Abortions; Safe and Supported (SASS), which features counsellors who can provide support in real-time and make sure that self-induced abortions are "medically and legally safe as possible", according to the website.
4-7-17 Anti-abortion videos: A partisan prosecution?
Anti-abortion videos: A partisan prosecution?
This wasn’t journalism, said The Sacramento Bee. The videos were “far-right fake news” deceptively edited to make it look like Planned Parenthood illegally sells fetal tissue for profit. Several subsequent investigations have found no evidence that this is true. As a result of Daleiden and Merritt’s lies, Planned Parenthood clinics were firebombed, and at a Colorado clinic, three people were killed “by a gunman raving about ‘baby parts.’” The crusading filmmakers may have also violated a California criminal statute, said Mark Joseph Stern in Slate.com. They used hidden cameras in a state that prohibits recording “confidential” conversations without both participants’ permission.
3-21-17 US TV host Tomi Lahren 'suspended over pro-choice comments'
US TV host Tomi Lahren 'suspended over pro-choice comments'
US conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren has reportedly been suspended from her talk show after saying she holds pro-choice views on abortion. The 24-year-old pundit hosts Tomi on the conservative US network TheBlaze. She rose to prominence during the 2016 US election for her provocative and energetic online political monologues. Ms Lahren has faced a huge online backlash since speaking on ABC's The View last week. Ms Lahren said: "I'm someone that is for limited government, so I can't sit here and be a hypocrite and say I'm for limited government, but I think that the government should decide what women do with their bodies. "Stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well." Anti-abortion views are seen as fundamental to the US Republican Party platform and conservative political views in the US.
3-13-17 Texas lawmaker Jessica Farrar wants men fined for masturbating
Texas lawmaker Jessica Farrar wants men fined for masturbating
A female politician in Texas is taking an unusual swipe at what she sees as restrictive abortion laws by targeting men - more precisely male masturbation. Her unlikely draft law has a simple aim, she says - to protect unborn children everywhere. Which is why it wants all "emissions outside of a woman's vagina, or created outside of a health or medical facility" to carry a $100 (£81) fine. If a man made such an emission it would "be considered an act against an unborn child". If it sounds like something out of a dystopian novel, that is because it is meant to. Jessica Farrar, a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives, submitted House Bill number 4260 last week. She knows it will never become law. Indeed, it is unlikely to make it far at all. But she argues it is no more extreme than the restrictions put on women by the state of Texas when it comes to choosing whether or not to end their pregnancy. The last straw for her came with the most recent in a string of proposed bills, which she saw as chipping away at women's rights. The latest wanted to force women to choose whether to bury or cremate the embryonic remains of either a miscarriage or abortion. During a hearing for the bill last August, state Senator Don Huffines said: "For far too long, Texas has allowed the most innocent among us to be thrown out with the daily waste." Ms Farrar decided to put a different spin on this belief.
3-10-17 Bill that would allow doctors to lie to pregnant women
Bill that would allow doctors to lie to pregnant women
Texas lawmakers have advanced a bill that would allow doctors to lie to pregnant women about fetal abnormalities if they feel the truth might lead to an abortion. Supporters say the law, which the state Senate passed unanimously, would protect the rights of doctors and unborn disabled children. Opponents say the law would interfere with a woman’s right to make “an informed decision,” and allow doctors to “impose religious beliefs” on their patients.
3-10-17 Boyfriend vetoes abortion
Boyfriend vetoes abortion
Uruguay is enmeshed in a fierce debate over abortion after a court forbade a 24-year-old woman from having an abortion because her ex-boyfriend said he wants to raise the child. Judge Pura Concepción Book ruled that the woman’s decision to terminate her 10-week pregnancy against her ex-partner’s wishes ran counter to international child-protection treaties and the Uruguayan constitution. The woman is appealing, but she faces a looming deadline. Abortion was legalized in Uruguay in 2012, but only up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is illegal in all other South American countries.
3-8-17 Millions raised for women’s health after Trump’s abortion gag
Millions raised for women’s health after Trump’s abortion gag
More than $191 million has been pledged to help fill the $600 million shortfall in women’s health funding created by reinstatement in the US of the global gag rule. The Trump administration’s efforts to restrict the availability of abortions around the world have been dented – but not defeated – by international pledges of funding for organisations promoting women’s health. On 2 March, representatives of more than 50 countries met in Brussels at the invitation of She Decides, an initiative launched by Dutch minister Lilianne Ploumen to push back against the so-called global gag rule, which denies US federal funding for non-governmental organisations that provide abortions or discuss the procedure. Around $600 million of funding a year will be lost. So far, just over $190 million has been pledged, which will be directed to international aid groups whose funding is threatened. Of the 12 countries who offered donations, Finland and Sweden pledged the most with around $21 million each. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $20 million over four years and an anonymous US donor pledged $50 million. Since its inception in 1984, the gag rule – officially called the Mexico City policy – has been alternately imposed and repealed as control of the White House changes hands. The Trump administration reinstated it in January, and further expanded it to include all global health programmes funded through US government agencies. (Webmaster's comment: The blatant anti-women hostility of Trump, his administration and followers is appalling!)
3-8-17 Abortion in Ireland: The fight for choice
Abortion in Ireland: The fight for choice
Ireland has a near-total ban on abortion, pushing thousands of women every year to travel abroad for a termination and others to break the law by taking abortion pills. On International Women's Day on Wednesday, women across Ireland will protest for a change in the law. Sarah didn't know where to turn when she found out she was pregnant. It was May last year, she was 23, finishing her final year at university, and working in a cafe to save for a move from her small Irish hometown to Dublin. Waiting for her in the city were her boyfriend and a traineeship. She wasn't ready to be a mother, but her birth control had failed. Sat in her bedroom at home, she started to panic. "I felt so alone," she said tearfully, over tea in Dublin last week. "You want to take it a step at a time but I had no idea what the next step was." Downstairs at home were her parents, who would have forced her to have the baby, she said. When she tried to raise the issue of abortion, hypothetically, they told her it was murder. "Murder, they said, and that was that." Ireland has a near-total ban on abortion, including in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormalities, and a 14-year prison sentence hangs over anyone who has one. In the early 1980s, fearing that it could be legalised via the courts, the country's Catholic hierarchy pushed for an amendment to be added to the constitution. The Eighth Amendment passed in 1983 and granted a foetus equal right to life as its mother, effectively outlawing abortion in all circumstances.
3-6-17 India abortion: Police find 19 female foetuses
India abortion: Police find 19 female foetuses
Police in the western Indian state of Maharashtra have found 19 aborted female foetuses near a hospital. Senior police officials in Sangli district said the remains were "buried with the intention of disposing them". The police told the BBC that they found the foetuses while they were investigating the death of a woman who had undergone an illegal abortion. Activists say the incident proves yet again that female foeticide is rampant in India despite awareness campaigns. The police said that the woman had died in a "botched abortion", and they were looking for the foetus near a local hospital when they made the grisly discovery. "It appears to be an abortion racket. We have arrested the husband of the woman, and have launched a manhunt for the doctor who has gone missing," Dattatray Shinde, superintendent of police, told the BBC. Similar cases have come to light in the past. Eight female foetuses were found in 2012 in a plastic bag near a lake in Indore city in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. In June 2009, 15 female foetuses were found in drains in Maharashtra's Beed district.
2-22-17 Planned Parenthood: Judge blocks Texas funding cut
Planned Parenthood: Judge blocks Texas funding cut
Texas has been temporarily blocked from cutting funding to Planned Parenthood over secret videos made by anti-abortion activists in 2015. US District Judge Sam Sparks issued an injunction to prevent the cash cut, which Republicans have championed. It means the women's healthcare group, which is America's biggest abortion provider, will still get funding for its non-abortion services. These include cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment. The move preserves health services for roughly 11,000 low-income women at 30 clinics in the state.
2-17-17 House votes to enable states to defund Planned Parenthood
House votes to enable states to defund Planned Parenthood
Republicans have overwhelmingly approved a resolution allowing states to withhold funds from abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. The House of Representatives passed HJ Res 43 on Thursday by a mainly party line vote of 230 to 188. The repeal proposal is expected to pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Donald Trump. A number of measures to curtail access to abortion have been introduced by US state legislatures already this year. Republicans have vowed to "defund" Planned Parenthood, a women's reproductive health organisation that provides birth control, STD testing, cancer screenings, breast examinations and pregnancy terminations. HJ Res 43 would overturn a rule instituted two days before Mr Trump came into office. The Obama administration measure banned states from withholding federal dollars from groups that provide abortions. The rule was instituted after more than a dozen conservative states denied funds to Planned Parenthood through a Nixon-era family-planning programme known as Title X. Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of millions of dollars a year in funding from the federal government, but it is banned by law from using any of that money to fund abortions. (Webmaster's comment: Sorry ladies, you're going back to back alleys and coat hangers! And if you're caught, being tried for murder! Even if you're pregnant from rape and incest. A man must not be denied the fruit of his seed! Women are nothing but breed stock in the new white ayran American world.)
2-14-17 Oklahoma abortions: Women may need partners' permission
Oklahoma abortions: Women may need partners' permission
Oklahoma's latest bill is being seen as another sign of an emboldened anti-abortion movement under Donald Trump. A proposal which would force women to get permission from their sexual partner to allow them to have an abortion has passed the first hurdle in Oklahoma. The bill would mean women needed written consent from a man for a doctor to carry out a termination. The bill's author, state legislator Justin Humphrey, who has described pregnant women as "hosts", said it would give the father a "say-so". Critics say it degrades women. The fact Oklahoma lawmakers decided to move the measure toward a full vote by the legislature comes at a time the anti-abortion movement is growing bolder under President Donald Trump. Mr Trump at one point suggested women should be punished for having abortions, and promised to elect an anti-abortion judge to the Supreme Court. The position of his nominee, Neil Gorsuch, on abortion is unclear. (Webmaster's comment: It's begun! Women are to become breed stock to be controlled by their owners, MEN!)
2-3-17 Pro-life march: A growing optimism
Pro-life march: A growing optimism
After four decades on the defensive, “pro-life activists are finally feeling a sense of hope,” said Emma Green in TheAtlantic.com. Last week, several hundred thousand anti-abortion demonstrators amassed in Washington, D.C., for the March for Life, held annually since the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision upheld abortion rights. This year’s march was more celebratory than ever—thanks to the election of Donald Trump, who vows to defund Planned Parenthood and nominate pro-life conservatives to the court. The staunchly pro-life Vice President Mike Pence told cheering marchers that “life is winning in America,” and evangelicals present described Trump as “the most pro-life president in the history of the republic.” Trump is “the religious right’s Trojan horse,” said Michelle Goldberg in The New York Times. Failing to nominate one of their own, Christian conservatives gambled on a “profane, thrice-married Manhattan sybarite”: Trump won 81 percent of white evangelicals, “more than born-again George W. Bush” ever did. Trump is making good on his promises to them, filling his administration with culture warriors like Health and Human Services nominee Tom Price, who co-sponsored House bills granting personhood status to zygotes at the moment of conception. “Sometimes a deal with the devil pays off, big league.” If these marchers really cared about life, said Liz Plank in Vox.com, they would march against the Obamacare repeal, which will deprive millions of lifesaving health care, or looming cuts to CHIP, a federal insurance program that serves 8 million low-income kids. Why don’t pro-lifers ever show concern for “children who are already living”? (Webmaster's comment: Let's turn women back into breeding stock like they used to be, and punish them if they dare be anything else!)
2-2-17 Fake news has been targeting women's reproductive rights for years
Fake news has been targeting women's reproductive rights for years
"I can't think of any other form of medicine where we are told to make things up." These days, nearly everyone is crying "fake news!" Not least of all President Trump, who may have been the beneficiary of certain untrue news stories during the campaign, but has perhaps awoken to the potential nightmare of living in a world in which baseless claims, unhinged from facts, or demonstrable reality, can pass for truth. But for many in the medical and scientific communities, the preponderance of fake news predates not only Golden Shower Gate, but the 2016 election itself. Bad information about women's health — especially around sexual health, abortion, and reproductive care — has been making the world worse for women for years. While I was reporting a recent feature on reproductive health care access in the United States under Trump, several of the doctors and historians I spoke to talked about about the damage done by the pervasive anti-scientific attitude that has worked its way not just into conversation but into law and medical policy. Five states require that doctors give patients information suggesting a link between abortion and the occurrence of breast cancer, a link that the American Cancer Society and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have refuted. In other states, physicians are forced to offer other medical information that they know to be false about abortion potentially causing infertility, depression, suicidal thoughts, and PTSD. If they do not offer this false information, doctors risk losing their licenses. "I can't think of any other form of medicine where we are told to make things up," said Adam Jacobs, head of the family-planning division at Mt. Sinai in New York. "It's okay to do this only with regard to women's reproductive health."
1-28-17 How Trump abortion funding cuts could affect Africa
How Trump abortion funding cuts could affect Africa
Donald Trump's pro-abortion funding ban has infuriated many global health organisations as they say it will unintentionally lead to more abortions and more deaths in Africa. The US president signed the executive order to stop federal money going to international groups which perform or provide information on abortions during his first week in office. Known as the "Mexico City Policy", or global gag rule by critics, it was no surprise that he reinstated it. First introduced by Ronald Reagan in 1984, it has been become a game of policy ping pong between Republican and Democrat presidents. Supporters of the ban say it protects the fundamental right to life. But some health workers in Africa say when it was last put in place under George W Bush in 2001, it had far-reaching consequences. "Women could not have access to contraceptive services and so they were getting unintended pregnancies and that increased the number of unwanted pregnancies and as such they went to the backstreet to do unsafe abortions," says Kenyan gynaecologist Dr John Nyamu. The policy blocks US funding to overseas organisations that "support or participate in the management of a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation". It even affects countries like Kenya - where abortion is illegal unless a mother's life is at risk - as some family planning clinics or organisations get their funding from US pro-abortion groups.
1-28-17 US anti-abortion activists rally in DC
US anti-abortion activists rally in DC
Anti-abortion activists are gathering in Washington to join the annual March for Life protest that has the support of President Donald Trump. Thousands of people joined the event, held each year to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalising abortion. Vice-President Mike Pence told them: "Life is winning again in America". It comes less than a week after a large protest against Mr Trump was held in the nation's capital city. An estimated 500,000 people protested for women's rights last Saturday - including many supporters of abortion rights - at the Women's March. Mr Pence is the first president or vice-president ever to attend the rally. Former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W Bush have also addressed the crowds in the past, but over the phone. Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, says that 58 million abortions have been performed in the US since the Supreme Court legalised the practice in 1973. "We don't want to judge them. We want to help them," said Joi Hulecki, 63, a nurse practitioner from Orlando, Florida."We consider ourselves pro-women too," she added.
1-25-17 Netherlands government to counter Trump abortion funding ban
Netherlands government to counter Trump abortion funding ban
The Netherlands is to set up an international fund to support abortion services hit by President Donald Trump's order to cut US foreign aid. Lilianne Ploumen, a Dutch minister, said it would set up "a well-financed fund" to allow other governments, businesses and charities to donate. The Netherlands would do everything in its power to help women "remain in control of their own bodies", she said. President Trump ordered a ban on US aid to support abortion services overseas. For decades, it has been the case that no US money can be spent on overseas abortions. But on Monday, the president signed an executive order - known as the global gag rule - which takes that a step further, prohibiting organisations that receive US family planning assistance from using non-US funding to provide abortion services, information, counselling or referrals.
1-23-17 Trump's order on abortion policy: What does it mean?
Trump's order on abortion policy: What does it mean?
A group of men standing around a desk: it is not the typical image that goes viral online. The photograph in question was taken on US President Donald Trump's first day in the Oval Office on Monday, when he signed a ban on federal money going to international groups that perform or provide information on abortions. "Men making decisions about women's bodies" was a much-repeated phrase on Twitter, as it was shared hundreds of thousands of times, including by author JK Rowling. The concern over lack of women at the table comes as Mr Trump's cabinet attracts attention for the high proportion of white, male nominations. And while some people welcomed the move on abortion, others on social media expressed alarm and confusion over what its impact could be. Viral images and headlines do not always tell the whole story. So here is an at-a-glance look at what President Trump's executive order means. Is this a step towards banning abortion in the US? Not in itself. This particular executive order is relevant outside of US borders. The policy requires non-governmental organisations receiving federal funding to agree to "neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations". This particularly worries women's rights campaigners in developing countries, where funds or facilities are already limited. (Webmaster's comment: Many men consider women to just be breed stock! Preserving their progeny is more important to them than even saving a women's life once she has been impregated. Rape and incest does not matter either. An impregnation must be carried to term regardless of circumstances. We don't agree with this view of course. A woman ALWAYS has the right to choose!)
1-19-17 Abortion rate halves if women have to go extra 100 miles
Abortion rate halves if women have to go extra 100 miles
A law that closed many abortion clinics in Texas has led to a drop in the rate of abortions. On average, the nearest clinic is now 80 kilometres further away. If abortion clinics close and women have to travel further to get to one, abortion rates decline. These are the findings of a study that investigated the effects of a law introduced in Texas. The 2013 Texas House Bill 2 required facilities that perform abortions to meet hospital-like building standards, as well as stipulating that doctors at these facilities must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 48 kilometres of an abortion clinic. These provisions were ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 2016, but in the three years the law was in place, many clinics were forced to close. In 2012, there were 41 facilities offering abortions in Texas, but by 2014, that number had fallen to 21. Before the law, 17 of Texas’s 254 counties had at least one clinic capable of performing abortions. By 2014, only six counties had such clinics. Across the state, the distance a woman would need to travel to get an abortion increased by an average of 80 kilometres.
1-17-17 Resisting Trump: How women can protect reproductive rights
Resisting Trump: How women can protect reproductive rights
Under Trump, the right to contraception and abortion could suffer irreversible damage. But there are ways for women to keep the state from meddling with their bodies. AT THE very top of the hit list for the resurgent Republican party is the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. The ACA has extended health insurance coverage to an extra 7 per cent of Americans since 2014, but Republicans, with Donald Trump’s support, have already started the complex job of repealing it. While it is not clear what will replace the ACA, it is likely that one area of healthcare will see major changes. Contraception and abortion are hot-button issues for the conservative and evangelical voters who make up a large part of the Republican base, if not necessarily the American public at large. Obamacare made contraception completely free under most insurance schemes. Its rule that people under 26 could stay on their parents’ policies helped younger women – who might not previously have had insurance – get access to contraception. Both the provision of contraception and the under-26 rule are now in doubt, although Trump has signalled his desire to preserve the latter in any successor to the ACA. Republicans are also trying to crowbar in a measure to pull federal funds from Planned Parenthood, a charity that provides free or subsidised family planning services to people on low incomes. Republicans have been gunning for Planned Parenthood for years, because it provides abortions as well as contraception. A push to raise donations is gathering pace, but it’s doubtful if this can replace the entire federal budget contribution of over half a billion dollars, some 40 per cent of the charity’s income. A shortfall is likely to force the charity to close clinics or restrict services.
1-11-17 Tennessee woman freed after coat hanger abortion attempt
Tennessee woman freed after coat hanger abortion attempt
A Tennessee woman who had faced murder charges for trying to end her own pregnancy with a coat hanger has been released from jail. Anna Yocca, 32, was released on Monday after spending more than a year in jail after the incident, which led to charges of attempted murder. She was released after pleading guilty to a lesser charge of attempting to procure a miscarriage. The 2015 attempt led to complaints about access from pro-choice groups. Tennessee is one of the US states where no abortion provider offers the procedure after the foetus reaches 16 weeks. Under state law, the medical procedure must be performed by a licensed doctor, and a 48-hour waiting period is required. Yocca's child survived after her husband rushed her to the hospital when she began to bleed. The baby boy, who was born at 24 weeks, will require life-long medical attention, sheriff officials say. (Webmaster's comment: It's just beginning. A woman's right to choose is going to be completely taken away. Women will soon be treated as breed stock under the the new President just as they were in Nazi Germany. Coat hanger sales will be going up!)
1-4-17 How the GOP could basically outlaw abortion — even in blue states
How the GOP could basically outlaw abortion — even in blue states
e new Congress was sworn in on Tuesday, eager to enact a long list of policy changes they hope will move the country as far and quickly to the right as possible. The first battles will probably be fought over repealing the Affordable Care Act and cutting taxes for the wealthy. But before long, they'll get around to abortion — and Americans may not be prepared for the sweeping changes they have in store. This discussion inevitably centers around Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that guaranteed American women's access to abortion. But it goes beyond that, because even if Roe isn't overturned — which it well might be — Republicans will still wage a war on reproductive rights. Let's start with Roe's status. Right now there are five votes on the Court in favor of keeping it, and at least two and probably three — depending on what Chief Justice John Roberts does — who would like to overturn it. Since Senate Republicans successfully stopped Barack Obama from filling the seat of the late Antonin Scalia, Donald Trump will be appointing a justice as soon as he takes office — and he has promised to appoint a judge who would overturn Roe. Unlike many of his promises, this is one he'll absolutely keep, because conservative activists will make sure he does. That would maintain the status quo, meaning that Trump only needs one of the five pro-choice justices to retire to get an anti-Roe majority. Three of them are getting on in years: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 83, Stephen Breyer is 78, and Anthony Kennedy is 80. Assume they remain healthy. While Ginsburg and Breyer would almost certainly wait until a Democratic presidency to retire, we can't necessarily say the same for Kennedy, who is conservative on most legal issues even if he remains a supporter of Roe. (Webmaster's comment: Let's face it. Your right to make your own decisions regarding having a child is a soon going to be a thing of the past. You will end up strapped down in a bed for 9 months if there's even a hint that you might try to get an abortion. You'll have no rights! You exist only for breeding!)