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

Read more

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/

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

How comedy is speaking up about abortion

How comedy is speaking up about abortion
It remains a contentious and emotive issue – but, despite opposition, comedians are determined to break taboos and speak their minds, writes Alice Jones.

By Alice Jones
22 August 2019

Comedy has a long and noble history of busting taboos but is every subject fair game for humour or are some too serious to joke about? What about abortion, for example?

In 2019, it remains a contentious and emotive issue: a YouGov-Cambridge Globalism survey in May found that 46 per cent of US citizens thought abortion was unacceptable (in the same poll, only 17% of British people said abortion was unacceptable). Beliefs aside, it has the potential to be a traumatic topic for some who have undergone the procedure.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20190821-how-comedy-is-speaking-up-about-abortion

Read more

Abortion Bans Based on So-Called “Science” Are Fraudulent

Abortion Bans Based on So-Called “Science” Are Fraudulent
Our silence in the face of new anti-choice laws across the U.S. is deafening

By Nicole M. Baran, Gretchen Goldman, Jane Zelikova
on August 21, 2019

We are scientists, and we believe that evidence, not ideology, should inform health care decisions. The wave of anti-abortion laws across the U.S. is the latest in a long string of attempts to falsely use the language and authority of science to justify denying people their basic human rights and inflict lasting harm. Although abortion is still legal in every state, recent legislation in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio threatens the future of abortion rights in the country. Scientists should, first and foremost, value evidence, and the evidence is clear: abortion bans cause harm. They make abortions less safe and especially harm historically marginalized communities.

Continued: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/abortion-bans-based-on-so-called-science-are-fraudulent/

Read more

How the US right-to-life movement is influencing the abortion debate in Australia

How the US right-to-life movement is influencing the abortion debate in Australia

August 21, 2019
Prudence Flowers

As the abortion decriminalisation bill gradually makes its way through the NSW parliament, opponents have been increasingly drawing on their long relationship with the right-to-life movement in the United States to lobby against the measure and try to push for more restrictive amendments.

This has been a trend in the anti-abortion movement in Australia for a while now. Activists have adopted some of the most successful elements of the US movement’s rhetoric and tactics in recent years in an effort to influence the debate in Australia.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/how-the-us-right-to-life-movement-is-influencing-the-abortion-debate-in-australia-121974

Read more

USA – Restrictions On Abortion Medication Deserve A Second Look, Says A Former FDA Head

Restrictions On Abortion Medication Deserve A Second Look, Says A Former FDA Head

August 20, 2019
Luisa Torres

Mifepristone is one of a regimen of two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to end an early pregnancy. It's also prescribed to help reduce the severity of miscarriage symptoms. But it is heavily regulated in ways that can make it hard for women to obtain. Along with its approval in 2000, the FDA restricted its use because of safety concerns.

In a perspective article published this summer in the New England Journal of Medicine, former FDA Commissioner Dr. Jane Henney and co-author Dr. Helene Gayle argue that the agency should reevaluate whether such measures are still necessary and take into consideration recent studies that show mifepristone is both effective and safe.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/08/20/740809772/restrictions-on-abortion-medication-deserve-a-second-look-says-a-former-fda-head

Read more

USA – Prosecution of Unauthorized Abortion Pill Websites Begins

Prosecution of Unauthorized Abortion Pill Websites Begins
Ursula Wing sold abortion drugs to U.S. customers and is now charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown
8.20.2019

The first wave of prosecutions of abortion pill sellers is upon us. A federal court last week arraigned pill purveyor Ursula Wing on charges of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce and of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Wing, who lives in New York, is accused of running a website that sold foreign-sourced pharmaceuticals to U.S. customers. The drugs Wing supposedly sold—mifepristone and misoprostol—can be taken in a two-step process to induce an abortion. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved this pill regimen for prescription use, under the brand name Mifeprex.

Continued: https://reason.com/2019/08/20/prosecution-of-unauthorized-abortion-pill-websites-begins/

Read more