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
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.
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
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.
Planned Parenthood faces critical decision after abortion-referral restriction upheld
By Caroline Kelly, CNN
August 17, 2019
(CNN)The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday denied Planned Parenthood's request to reverse its order allowing the Trump administration's Title X abortion clinic-referral restriction to go into effect -- a blow for abortion rights activists after the organization threatened to pull out of the federal family-planning program over the rule.
Last month, an en banc panel of 11 judges on the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the court's prior ruling to temporarily allow the Department of Health and Human Services rule to go into effect. The rule would prohibit taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from discussing abortion with patients or referring patients to abortion providers.
The pro-choice movement will defeat any threats to abortion rights
August 8, 2019
Canada's pro-choice movement is in good fighting form, and stronger than ever. That's the undeniable conclusion after living through the roller-coaster ride of anti-choice activity over the last three months.
First, we saw the annual March for Life on Ottawa's Parliament Hill on May 9, as well as anti-choice rallies in cities across Canada including Toronto for the first time. Many anti-choice Parliamentarians attended these events and some spoke out, including Ontario MPP Sam Oosterhoff, with his infamous comment, "We pledge to make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime."
Ontario, New Brunswick violating Canada Health Act by forcing patients to pay for abortions: National Abortion Federation
Carly Weeks, Health Reporter
Updated July 16, 2019
New Brunswick and Ontario are violating a federal health law by forcing patients to pay for their abortions, and Ottawa must act to remove those barriers, according to the head of the National Abortion Federation.
The New Brunswick government doesn’t pay for surgical abortions performed outside of hospitals, meaning patients at a private clinic in Fredericton must pay $700 to $850, according to the clinic website. The only other abortion clinics in New Brunswick are in Bathurst and Moncton. They are in hospitals and receive public funds, but are several hours from Fredericton by car. Many parts of the province have no abortion clinic nearby.
A boom in at-home abortions is coming
Advocates say “self-managed abortions” are safe — and in the current political environment, interest is rising.
By Anna North
Jul 9, 2019
After Marie decided to take medication to end her pregnancy, it took several days for the pills to work.
When the uterine contractions started, Marie recalled, she experienced “a lot of bleeding, a lot of pain, a lot of cramps. Just like a bad cycle.” (Marie asked that her last name not be used because of legal concerns.)
I Shouldn’t Be Forced to Give Birth to a Baby Who Won’t Live
Our baby had a fatal birth defect. My federal health insurance plan refused to cover the abortion.
By Sarah E. Levin
July 3, 2019
When I was 20 weeks pregnant, I and my husband learned during a routine ultrasound that our baby had not developed a major portion of her brain and never would. The condition, anencephaly, a type of neural tube defect that also stunts the growth of the skull, is terminal. If carried to term, our baby would be very unlikely to survive for more than a few hours.
One in 1,000 fetuses have this condition. We had no warning signs. No indications. No idea this was coming. This was a baby we had planned for. Just three weeks earlier we had told our 5-year-old daughter that she would soon have a baby sister. We returned home from the hospital that day and had to tell her that her sister was not coming any more. It was the first time she saw me sobbing, unable to speak.
Trump's foreign aid policies endanger women, experts say
“If it was done at the end of a gun, it would be denounced before the International Criminal Court,” the U.N. human rights commissioner said.
July 2, 2019
By Linda Givetash
LONDON — Caroline Nyandat will never forget the day she watched a 14-year-old girl die due to complications from an unsafe abortion.
Nyandat, 36, was then completing her training as a nurse midwife in Kisumu, Kenya, when the teen was in need of surgery but suffered from sepsis before doctors in the hospital could react.
States Lead the Way in Promoting Coverage of Abortion in Medicaid and Private Insurance
Adam Sonfield, Guttmacher Institute
Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: June 24, 2019
Advocates and policymakers working to ensure that everyone can afford an abortion scored a number of important victories within just a few days of each other: On June 13, Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a law expanding abortion coverage in private insurance and Medicaid. Just one day earlier, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker had signed a law expanding private insurance coverage of abortion as part of a broader abortion rights law. The same week, New York City allocated $250,000 to a nonprofit abortion fund to directly assist patients, including patients traveling from other states.
This burst of action builds on a nationwide push to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which currently bans abortion coverage under Medicaid and other federal health coverage programs. Expanding coverage will help people overcome one substantial barrier to abortion—the cost of abortion services—and will be particularly important for people with low incomes, people of color and people with disabilities.
Trump can block funding to clinics that make abortion referrals, appeals court rules
By Maura Dolan
Jun 20, 2019
A federal appeals court decided unanimously Thursday to lift three injunctions that barred the Trump administration from denying funds to family planning clinics that refer clients for abortions.
The decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was a significant setback for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.