USA – Patients face higher fees and longer waits after Planned Parenthood quits federal program

Patients face higher fees and longer waits after Planned Parenthood quits federal program
The agency forfeited millions after refusing to comply with what it calls a Trump administration ‘gag rule’ regarding abortion referrals.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Sheila Regan
August 24, 2019

In Cleveland, a Planned Parenthood mobile clinic that tests for sexually transmitted diseases has reduced its hours and may shut down. In Minneapolis, women and girls used to free check-ups are now billed as much as $200 per visit on a sliding fee scale. And in Vienna, West Va., Planned Parenthood employees are marking boxes of birth control pills with “Do not use” signs because they were paid for with federal grants the organization can no longer accept.

Planned Parenthood’s decision this week to quit a $260 million federal family planning program rather than comply with what it calls a “gag rule” imposed by the Trump administration on abortion referrals is creating turmoil in many low-income communities across the United States.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/08/24/patients-face-higher-fees-longer-waits-after-planned-parenthood-quits-federal-program/

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UK / SPAIN – The Court of Appeal upholds the legality of a buffer zone around a London abortion clinic

UK / SPAIN – The Court of Appeal upholds the legality of a buffer zone around a London abortion clinic

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 23, 2019

The buffer zone around the clinic was imposed by the London council of Ealing in April 2018, but the call to impose national buffer zones around all clinics was rejected by the Conservative government’s Home Secretary in September 2018, in spite of the existence of strong evidence presented to him for imposing them.

This new judgment, handed down by Lady Justice Eleanor King and Lady Justice Nicola Davies is the first at appeal court level and provides solid case law for backing for other Public Spaces Protection Orders in the future.

Continued: https://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/uk-spain-the-court-of-appeal-upholds-the-legality-of-a-buffer-zone-around-a-london-abortion-clinic/

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Canada – High school screening of controversial anti-abortion film draws anger

High school screening of controversial anti-abortion film draws anger

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, August 23, 2019

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- A screening of the controversial American anti-abortion film "Unplanned" scheduled for Friday evening at Saint John High School in New Brunswick has stirred up debate about the use of public spaces as a forum for contentious subject matter.

Saint John Coun. David Hickey and the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada were among those who voiced opposition to the screening booked for the school's theatre, arguing it's inappropriate to show such a film in a public institution funded by the government.

Continued: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/high-school-screening-of-controversial-anti-abortion-film-draws-anger-1.4562652

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Curb high rate of unintended pregnancies in Africa

Curb high rate of unintended pregnancies in Africa

23/08/19
By: Royal Uche

[LAGOS] Consistent political will from governments of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa could help curb the 14 million unintended pregnancies recorded annually in the region, a study says.

Pregnancies occurring when children are unexpected could lead to problems such as unsafe abortion, mental illness and negative quality of women’s lives, researchers from Ghana say, adding that in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) few studies have explored such pregnancies.

Continued: https://www.scidev.net/sub-saharan-africa/health/news/curb-high-rate-of-unintended-pregnancies-in-africa.html

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USA – Everything You Need to Know About the Helms Amendment’s Restriction on Abortion Funding

Everything You Need to Know About the Helms Amendment’s Restriction on Abortion Funding
Reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates say the Helms Amendment's ban on using foreign assistance funds for abortion deserves more attention.

Aug 23, 2019
Ally Boguhn

Abortion rights are a high-profile issue for Democrats on the 2020 presidential campaign trail. Candidates have stated their opposition to abortion funding restrictions like the Hyde Amendment and the Trump administration’s expanded global “gag rule.” But little attention has been paid in the race or the media to the Helms Amendment, a ban on foreign assistance funding for abortion.

Rewire.News asked the 2020 candidates about their stance on the anti-choice policy; ten thus far say they oppose it. The Helms Amendment—named for its sponsor, the late-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC)—states, “No foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” The abortion funding ban was passed as part of the Foreign Assistance Act in 1973 in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion in the United States.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2019/08/23/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-helms-amendments-restriction-on-abortion-funding/

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USA – Why anti-abortion groups are backing away from abortion bans

Why anti-abortion groups are backing away from abortion bans
Debate around a Tennessee bill shows a big shift in anti-abortion strategy.

By Anna North
Aug 22, 2019

When legislators in Tennessee debated a bill earlier this month that would ban abortion as soon as a pregnancy can be detected, opposition came from a surprising place: anti-abortion groups.

Though the groups National Right to Life and Tennessee Right to Life oppose abortion, they also oppose the Tennessee ban, because they believe it would never stand up in court. If such a ban were to make it to the Supreme Court, the groups worry it would fail: “There is no objective evidence that we have more than one vote to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said James Bopp, general counsel of the National Right to Life Committee, which describes itself as “the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization,” in testimony against the bill.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/2019/8/22/20826982/abortion-tennessee-laws-2019-alabama-georgia-ohio

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Tennessee man arrested for threatening to “shoot up” a Planned Parenthood

Tennessee man arrested for threatening to "shoot up" a Planned Parenthood

By Kate Smith
August 22, 2019

A Tennessee man was arrested yesterday for allegedly threatening a mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C. The suspect is the third person to be charged for threatening violence against the abortion provider this month alone.

Authorities say that on August 13, Jacob Cooper, 20, used the website iFunny to post a message that said, "Make sure you tell them about how I plan to shoot up a planned parenthood facility in Washington D.C., on August 19th at 3pm."

Continued: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/planned-parenthood-threat-man-arrested-for-threatening-to-shoot-up-a-planned-parenthood-in-washington-dc-2019-08-22/

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USA – I Volunteered For Abortion Rights In Missouri & It Made Me Rethink My Entire Life

I Volunteered For Abortion Rights In Missouri & It Made Me Rethink My Entire Life

By Kara Lewis
August 22, 2019

In this op-ed, writer Kara Lewis explains how volunteering at a Planned Parenthood clinic changed what feminism meant to her.

Imagine living in a place where legislators banned abortion after eight weeks, with no exceptions for rape, human trafficking, incest, or fatal abnormalities. Then, if someone manages to confirm a pregnancy within this period — often, it takes people up to 12 weeks to verify that they are pregnant — they might have to travel more than 200 miles to the state’s lone, persecuted abortion clinic. Along the way, they can expect to see car license plates emblazoned with “Choose Life,” a campaign that funnels money from these plate sales into anti-abortion organizations. They might also stumble upon one of the state’s estimated 69 tax-funded crisis pregnancy centers, which masquerade as real health clinics but peddle religious sentiments and misinformation.

Continued: https://www.bustle.com/p/i-volunteered-for-abortion-rights-in-missouri-it-made-me-rethink-my-entire-life-18687253

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What explains Donald Trump’s war on late-term abortions?

What explains Donald Trump’s war on late-term abortions?
Attacks on the rare but controversial procedures are designed to please more than evangelicals

Aug 22nd 2019

WHILE LEROY CARHART, a doctor who specialises in late-term abortions, was finishing his most recent termination, the manager of his clinic in Bethesda, Maryland, outlined the procedure. Abortions in the second half of pregnancy take between two and four days, said Christine Spiegoski, a nurse wearing a T-shirt that read: “Don’t like abortion? Prevent pregnancy by f**king yourself!” First, the doctor injects potassium chloride or digoxin into the fetus’s heart, killing it within minutes. If he is unable to reach the heart and instead pumps the drug into the amniotic sac, death can take up to 24 hours. Dr Carhart euthanises the fetus at the beginning of the procedure because its tissue and skull then soften and contract, easing removal. At 25 weeks a fetus weighs around a pound and a half and is over a foot long; some of those Dr Carhart aborts are older.

Continued: https://www.economist.com/united-states/2019/08/22/what-explains-donald-trumps-war-on-late-term-abortions

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Trump abortion ‘gag rule’ leaves poor patients ‘with nowhere to go’ in US

Trump abortion ‘gag rule’ leaves poor patients ‘with nowhere to go’ in US
Impact will vary greatly from state to state after Planned Parenthood withdraws from federal funding program over abortion referral bans

Miranda Bryant
Thu 22 Aug 2019

Last year alone, 37,000 low-income patients in Utah received subsidized family planning under Title X, the federal program which distributes grants to clinics.

But as of Monday, when Planned Parenthood withdrew from the longstanding scheme over new Trump administration rule banning clinics from referring patients for abortions, the US non-profit’s Utah branch must now look elsewhere for the $2m annual grant it used to depend on to provide essential services like birth control, STD and breast and cervical cancer tests to poor women.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/22/planned-parenthood-trump-abortion-gag-rule-harms-patients

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