USA – States Flout Abortion Coverage Requirements, Federal Investigators Say

States Flout Abortion Coverage Requirements, Federal Investigators Say

By Robert Pear
Feb. 17, 2019

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials are not enforcing requirements for Medicaid coverage of abortion in the limited circumstances where it is legal, congressional investigators have found.

At least 13 states are flouting a requirement to cover abortion-inducing pills, and one state, South Dakota, has for 25 years failed to provide the required coverage for abortion in cases of rape or incest, the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, said in a report made public this month.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/17/us/politics/states-abortion-coverage-medicaid.html

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USA – What Brett Kavanaugh’s Dishonest Anti-Abortion Dissent Reveals About His Supreme Court Agenda

What Brett Kavanaugh’s Dishonest Anti-Abortion Dissent Reveals About His Supreme Court Agenda

Jordan Smith
February 17 2019

The most obvious thing about the Supreme Court’s decision to stay a Louisiana law that would have shuttered two of the state’s three remaining abortion clinics is that it was Chief Justice John Roberts who stopped that from happening. Roberts joined the court’s four more liberal justices to deliver a 5-4 majority that maintains the status quo, for now, and keeps the clinics open.

What is perhaps less obvious, at least at first glance, is the level of intellectual dishonesty baked into a four-page dissent penned by the court’s newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh.

Continued: https://theintercept.com/2019/02/17/louisiana-abortion-law-brett-kavanaugh-dissent/

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USA – At least 20 abortion cases are in the pipeline to the Supreme Court. Any one could gut Roe v. Wade.

At least 20 abortion cases are in the pipeline to the Supreme Court. Any one could gut Roe v. Wade.
Today’s emotional rhetoric has parallels to another politically volatile period in the early 1990s.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha
February 15, 2019

The Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 vote this month to block a restrictive Louisiana abortion law from taking effect provided some measure of consolation to reproductive rights advocates who feared the court’s new conservative majority would act immediately to restrict access to the procedure.

But that relief is likely to be short lived. In the pipeline are at least 20 lawsuits, in various stages of judicial review, that have the potential to be decided in ways that could significantly change the rights laid out in the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, and refined almost two decades later in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The 1992 decision said a state may place restrictions on abortion as long as it does not create an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to abortion.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/02/15/least-abortion-cases-are-steps-us-supreme-court-any-one-could-gut-roe-v-wade/

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USA – When Judges Defy the Supreme Court

When Judges Defy the Supreme Court
The chief justice faces a time of great testing, both of himself and of the institution he heads, as the lower courts move rapidly even to his right.
Linda Greenhouse

By Linda Greenhouse, Contributing Opinion Writer
Feb. 14, 2019

No, I wasn’t surprised last week, as most people apparently were, when Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding fifth vote to preserve access to abortion in Louisiana for at least a little while longer. In fact, I had predicted it (and I have witnesses).

Why? Not because I think the chief justice has developed a soft spot in his heart for the right to abortion. He has not. Not because he wants to minimize the Supreme Court’s role as a combatant in the culture wars. I think he does, but that’s not the point.

Rather, circumstances compelled the chief justice to stand up to a stunning act of judicial defiance.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/opinion/abortion-supreme-court-louisiana.html

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Why Abortion Rights Groups Are Fighting Their Battles At The State Level In 2019

Why Abortion Rights Groups Are Fighting Their Battles At The State Level In 2019

By Monica Busch
Feb 13, 2019

Abortion rights advocates are upfront about the fact that they believe there are currently very real, tangible threats to Roe v. Wade, especially given the Supreme Court's conservative majority. With this in mind, some organizations say they are spending more time advocating for state-level abortion laws in order to protect access in as many places as possible, should the landmark ruling one day be overturned.

"The truth is, it begins and ends in the state. Even our best [rulings], like Roe v. Wade, came from a challenge to a restrictive Texas law that criminalized abortion," Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the NIRH Action Fund, tells Bustle. "The reality is that states have long been the arbiters of whether or not women are able to access reproductive health care, and whether their rights are going to be protected."

Continued: https://www.bustle.com/p/why-abortion-rights-groups-are-fighting-their-battles-at-the-state-level-in-2019-15904800

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USA – John Roberts plays a waiting game on ‘Roe v. Wade’

John Roberts plays a waiting game on ‘Roe v. Wade’

By Harry Litman, Contributing columnist
February 13, 2019

The Supreme Court last week suspended a Louisiana abortion law, the justices' first significant action in an abortion case since the appointment of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. What does the decision portend for the future of Roe v. Wade in particular and reproductive rights in general?

The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, centers on a challenge to a provision in the Louisiana law (named, tellingly, “the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act”) requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the clinic where they perform abortions. The ostensible idea is to have quick access to a hospital in the event something goes awry, threatening the health of the mother. Critics argued that the effect of the law would be to reduce to one (from the current four) the number of doctors who can perform abortions at the state’s three operating clinics.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/02/13/john-roberts-plays-waiting-game-roe-v-wade/?utm_term=.86f409a981e2

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There’s a backlash against sex education in ‘Feminist Canada’

There’s a backlash against sex education in ‘Feminist Canada’
Canada appears progressive on the world stage. But under pressure from the Christian right, Ontario’s premier scrapped modern sex education.

Nandini Archer
13 February 2019

The recent decision in the Canadian province of Ontario, to scrap its modern sex education curriculum, is “a significant retrogressive step” and “part of the backlash” against sexual and reproductive rights, said Sandeep Prasad, executive director of the NGO Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights.

Last year, the 2015 sex education curriculum for pre-teens, which addressed issues from consent to LGBT rights, was replaced with that from 1998. The provincial government also introduced a hotline – dubbed the “snitch line” by critics – for parents to report on teachers who continue to teach these topics.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/nandini-archer/backlash-against-sex-education-feminist-canada

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I Wish I’d Had A ‘Late-Term Abortion’ Instead Of Having My Daughter

I Wish I’d Had A ‘Late-Term Abortion’ Instead Of Having My Daughter

By Dina Zirlott, Guest Writer
2/13/2019

Warning: Details in this story could be triggering to some readers.

I was raped when I was 17 years old. I had a baby when I was 18 years old. My baby died when I was 19 years old.

I cannot recall the color of the sky when I woke up the morning I was raped, or what I did in the hours leading up to the assault. I think of it in terms of Before and After, and I’m caught right in between the two.

Continued: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/late-term-abortion-rape_us_5c630b8de4b0a8731aeabbd6

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USA – Legislative Lowlights: Lawmakers in Ten States Have Introduced ‘Heartbeat’ Bans This Yea

Legislative Lowlights: Lawmakers in Ten States Have Introduced ‘Heartbeat’ Bans This Year

Feb 11, 2019
Brie Shea

Rewire.News tracks anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ legislation as it works its way through state legislatures. Here’s an overview of the bills we’re watching.

Arkansas and Tennessee lawmakers are planning for the fall of Roe v. Wade, Republicans in multiple states are still obsessed with bathrooms, and legislators in at least ten states have introduced measures this year to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected.

continued: https://rewire.news/article/2019/02/11/legislative-lowlights-ten-states-introduced-heartbeat-bans/

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International Law Demands the U.S. Do Better on Abortion Policy

International Law Demands the U.S. Do Better on Abortion Policy

February 11, 2019
by Danielle Hites

Within days of assuming office in 2017, President Trump re-instated and expanded the Global Gag Rule, which restricts funding for international organizations that provide or “promote” abortions. Two years later, feminist lawmakers serving in the now Democratic-led House kicked off their own terms by attempting to roll it back.

Pending legislation to establish a budget and keep the government open beyond the three week negotiation period includes a provision that would protect NGOs from being categorically defunded, effectively rescinding the Global Gag Rule. The House spending bill would render health and medical services of such organizations, including counseling and referral services, as insufficient for the sole basis for ineligibility for U.S. funding, and allow NGOs to use non-U.S. funding with fewer regulations.

Continued: http://msmagazine.com/blog/2019/02/11/international-law-demands-u-s-better-abortion-policy/

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