Landmark measure to repeal ‘racist,’ anti-choice Jesse Helms amendment hailed as step to a ‘more equitable world’

July 30, 2020
By Common Dreams

“Abortion care is healthcare and healthcare is a fundamental human right.”

Reproductive rights advocates on Wednesday cheered the introduction of the first-ever legislation to repeal the Helms Amendment, which has prevented millions of women across the globe from accessing safe abortion care.

Introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), the “Abortion Is Health Care Everywhere Act” would rescind the 1973 amendment that blocks U.S. foreign aid funding for abortion and would help support comprehensive reproductive healthcare for women worldwide.

Continued: https://www.rawstory.com/2020/07/landmark-measure-to-repeal-racist-anti-choice-jesse-helms-amendment-hailed-as-step-to-a-more-equitable-world/


Abortion rates don’t drop when the procedure is outlawed. But it does make it more dangerous

Though abortion restrictions are incredibly harmful and coercive in the U.S., they aren't a primary driver in the national decline in pregnancy terminations.

July 29, 2020
By Zara Ahmed, associate director of federal issues for the Guttmacher Institute

Anti-abortion advocates working to criminalize abortion in the United States and abroad will always be stymied by a crucial fact: People everywhere want, need and find ways to get abortions.

I observed this firsthand while working as a public health adviser in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and now new research from the Guttmacher Institute demonstrates just how misguided and dangerous it is to try to limit abortion access. The data shows that abortion rates are roughly the same in countries where abortion is broadly legal and in countries where it isn't. And abortion rates are actually four times higher in low-income countries where abortion is prohibited than in high-income countries where it is broadly legal.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/abortion-rates-don-t-drop-when-procedure-outlawed-it-does-ncna1235174


U.S. appeals court upholds Trump administration’s abortion rules

U.S. appeals court upholds Trump administration’s abortion rules

By Gene Johnson, The Associated Press
Posted February 24, 2020

SEATTLE — A U.S. appeals court on Monday upheld Trump administration changes that include additional hurdles for those seeking abortions through a federal program that helps low-income women.

The 7-4 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned decisions issued by judges in Washington, Oregon and California. The court had already allowed the administration’s changes to begin taking effect while the government appealed those rulings

Continued: https://globalnews.ca/news/6589509/trump-abortion-us-appeals-court/


Canada – Federal Health Minister tells all provinces to fund abortion care

Federal Health Minister tells all provinces to fund abortion care

Carly Weeks Health Reporter
Laura Stone Queen's Park Reporter
Published July 25, 2019

Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor is asking all provinces to remove abortion access barriers, saying she is concerned about policies and fees that are “out of step” with federal law.

However, her provincial counterparts in Ontario and New Brunswick – where some patients must pay to access abortion services, in a practice that abortion advocates have flagged as breaching federal health law – have swiftly rebuffed Ms. Petitpas Taylor’s request.

Continued: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-federal-health-minister-asking-all-provinces-to-remove-abortion-access/


Trump Administration Expands Assault on Global Abortion Access

Trump Administration Expands Assault on Global Abortion Access

April 18, 2019
Nina Besser Doorley

In March, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced two significant escalations in the Trump administration’s attacks on sexual and reproductive rights globally: a new expansion to the already-devastating Global Gag Rule and the unprecedented use of the Siljander Amendment to attack funding for a multilateral organization, the Organization of American States.

While the latest expansion to the Global Gag Rule has been well publicized, the use of the Siljander Amendment—an obscure legislative provision that prohibits the use of US funds for abortion-related lobbying—to cut more than $200,000 in US funding to the Organization of American States (OAS) has received less attention. Nonetheless, the use of this provision sets a dangerous precedent by attempting to force global human rights bodies to bow to US political pressure.

Continued: https://iwhc.org/2019/04/trump-administration-expands-assault-on-global-abortion-access/


USA – Members of Congress Take Bold Step Towards Ending Discriminatory Bans on Abortion Coverage

Members of Congress Take Bold Step Towards Ending Discriminatory Bans on Abortion Coverage

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Legislative Counsel
March 12, 2019

Members of Congress on Tuesday took a bold step toward making the right to abortion a reality for everyone. The EACH Woman Act was reintroduced in the House — and introduced in the Senate for the first time ever.

This trailblazing legislation would end the Hyde Amendment and related bans on insurance coverage of abortion, which for over four decades have pushed abortion care out of reach for those enrolled in Medicaid and other government health insurance plans and programs.

Continued: https://www.aclu.org/blog/reproductive-freedom/abortion/members-congress-take-bold-step-towards-ending-discriminatory


Trump’s reinstatement and expansion of the global gag rule has harmful effects for women, men, and children

Trump’s reinstatement and expansion of the global gag rule has harmful effects for women, men, and children

Jan 11, 2019
Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Ernestina Coast, and Nicky Armstrong

Two years ago this month, President Trump reinstated and expanded the global gag rule – the perennial Republican policy which cuts US funding for any organisation worldwide which offers abortion services or counselling. Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Ernestina Coast and Nicky Armstrong argue that not only will the measure – which covers a pot of nearly $10 billion in funding for NGOs – be ineffective in reducing the number of abortions, it will also harm women’s’ reproductive health as well as making other crucial health services less available to women, men, and children around the world.

Who influences whether women in poorer countries can access abortions and other sexual health services? It may surprise you, but the US president has an important part to play. This is because of the so called “global gag rule”(GGR), a US foreign policy that cuts family planning and reproductive health assistance to any healthcare provider overseas which offers and provides abortions.

Continued: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2019/01/11/trumps-reinstatement-and-expansion-of-the-global-gag-rule-has-harmful-effects-for-women-men-and-children/


USA – Nowhere to “Hyde”: Congressional Democrats target restriction on federal abortion funding

Nowhere to “Hyde”: Congressional Democrats target restriction on federal abortion funding

By Gabriela Resto-Montero
Aug. 4, 2018

For over 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has barred any federal money from being used to pay for abortions, except for in some cases involving rape, incest or instances where the mother may lose her life. Although the amendment is just a rider on the annual appropriation bill to fund the Health and Human Services Department, in every year since 1976, Congress has approved the measure. Those days may now be over.

In response to President Donald Trump endorsing making the Hyde Amendment a permanent law during his campaign, Democratic Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and former New York representative Louise Slaughter, who has since died, introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act, or EACH Woman Act, in January 2017 to allow any woman who has health insurance through the federal government to have access to all reproductive care services, including abortion.

Continued: https://mic.com/articles/190582/nowhere-to-hyde-congressional-democrats-target-restriction-on-federal-abortion-funding#.onUZKQx0V


Restrictions on Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion: A Danger to Abortion Access and Better U.S. Health Coverage

Restrictions on Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion: A Danger to Abortion Access and Better U.S. Health Coverage

Adam Sonfield
Guttmacher Institute
First published online: June 6, 2018

HIGHLIGHTS

- Antiabortion conservatives have long sought to eliminate private insurance coverage of abortion, and their main tactic in Congress has been to push for barring health plans from covering abortion if any part of the plan is paid for with federal dollars.
- Abortion coverage is already severely restricted and difficult to obtain in many parts of the United States, and further federal restrictions will make things worse for patients who need abortion care.
- The obsession with banning abortion coverage threatens broader efforts to expand and improve U.S. health insurance coverage and to make it more affordable.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2018/06/restrictions-private-insurance-coverage-abortion-danger-abortion-access-and-better-us


USA – The new Trump plan to defund Planned Parenthood, explained

New rules could leave low-income women without access to affordable birth control.
By Sarah Kliff
May 18, 2018

Women’s health clinics that provide abortions or refer patients for the procedure will be cut off from a key source of federal funding under new Trump administration rules expected to be released Friday.

Both the New York Times and Modern Healthcare report that the White House plans to issue new guidelines for Title X, the only federal program dedicated to paying for birth control. The new rule is expected to require a “physical as well as financial separation” between entities that receive Title X funds and those that provide abortions.

continued: https://www.vox.com/2018/5/18/17367964/trump-abortion-planned-parenthood-defund