USA: The House just passed a 20-week abortion ban. Opponents say it’s “basically relying on junk science.”

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The House just passed a 20-week abortion ban. Opponents say it's “basically relying on junk science.”
The bill is based on claims about fetal pain that aren’t supported by research.
Updated by Anna North Oct 3, 2017

The House voted on Tuesday to pass a bill that would make abortion after 20 weeks illegal in every state in the country. Called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, it’s based on the idea that a fetus at 20 weeks’ gestation can feel pain.

“The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will protect the voiceless, the vulnerable, and the marginalized," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House majority leader, in a statement last month. "It will protect those children who science has proven can feel pain.” President Donald Trump has promised to sign the bill if it passes; during the campaign, he said such a bill “would end painful late-term abortions nationwide.”

Continued at source: https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/10/3/16401826/abortion-ban-pain-capable-unborn-child-protection-act

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On the warpath: the young women leading Ireland’s campaign against abortion

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On the warpath: the young women leading Ireland’s campaign against abortion
Lara Whyte, 27 September 2017

Next year Ireland will hold a referendum on its controversial eighth amendment. Articulate, millennial “pro-life feminists” are leading the charge against reproductive rights.

Irish politicians have been deaf to the clamour of women’s voices calling for abortion rights for decades. Despite being the first country to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote (in 2015), the republic of Ireland still maintains an abortion regime stricter than Saudi Arabia’s.

Abortion is legal in Ireland only when the mother’s life is at risk. The country’s constitutional misogyny has baffled fellow European states and earned it the censure of international groups including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and Amnesty International.

Continued at source: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/lara-whyte/young-women-leading-ireland-campaign-against-abortion

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Australia: Women considering abortion are being dissuaded by supposedly objective counselling groups

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Women considering abortion are being dissuaded by supposedly objective counselling groups
Cathy O’Leary, Medical Editor
Monday, 18 September 2017

The WA Government is reviewing its advice on abortions amid claims some counselling services claiming to be objective are actually trying to talk women out of terminations.

WA Labor is also considering banning protests near clinics to prevent pro-life groups harassing or pressuring women considering an abortion.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the Women and Newborn Health Service was using an expert clinical advisory group to ensure it was providing evidence-based, accurate information about terminations.

Continued at source: https://thewest.com.au/news/health/women-considering-abortion-are-being-dissuaded-by-supposedly-objective-counselling-groups-ng-b88598792z

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USA – Abortion ‘reversal’: the latest sham from anti-choice activists trying to end women’s rights

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USA – Abortion ‘reversal’: the latest sham from anti-choice activists trying to end women’s rights

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 18, 2017

For years, the US anti-abortion movement has promoted various falsehoods, e.g. that women regret their abortions. Now, some of them are claiming that an unproven treatment can counter the effect of mifepristone, the first pill used in the two-drug regimen of medical abortion, thereby giving women a “second chance” to keep their baby. Despite the hype, there is no evidence that flooding the body with progesterone – a hormone pregnant patients already have a lot of – increases the chance of continuing the pregnancy. In fact, in the extremely rare case that a patient changes their mind before taking the second pill, watchful waiting and inaction appears to be just as effective.

Use of medical abortion pills has steadily risen in the US, now representing almost half of all abortions. Medical abortion has the potential to radically transform the way patients access and experience abortion by moving it out of a clinic and more directly into the hands of the user. It also challenges the anti-abortion movement’s long-standing strategy of demonizing clinicians who do surgical abortions and the instruments they use.

In an independent clinic in North Carolina, a woman who counsels 20-40 patients a week on medical abortion, said that over the past five years since she has been working at the clinic, she has seen only one patient express remorse immediately after swallowing the mifepristone pill. She and the clinic staff helped the young woman to vomit the medication and counselled her on what to do if she began to abort. They did hear from the woman again: one week later when she came back to the clinic for a surgical abortion.

This article  was written in response to an article in the New York Times about so-called abortion pill reversal. The NY Times article is a long, detailed history of the changes in anti-abortion tactics in the USA over a long period of time, opening with the story of a very religious woman who got pregnant with someone who was not the partner she wanted, sought an abortion though it was against her beliefs, and after taking mifepristone, decided it was a mistake. Through a web search she came across an anti-abortion group who oppose the use of medical abortion pills and claimed the effect can be cancelled out by taking progesterone. This claim is based on the experience of only four women whose pregnancies might well have continued anyway. But that has not stopped several anti-abortion state legislatures in the US from passing laws requiring that women be told that “reversal” is possible.

Women who take the mifepristone pill, regret the decision and seek “reversal” are in fact very few and far between. But the anti-abortion view, as explained by Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University, is that peddling “reversal” is worth it “even if the laws are eventually struck down or the protocol turns out to be ineffective. Just raising the question of uncertainty and regret affects the abortion pill’s reputation. You’re changing… what people think about this kind of abortion. You can do that regardless of what the research ultimately shows.’’

In other words, if you tell people the same lie often enough, they may believe you.

SOURCES: The Guardian, by Renee Bracey Sherman, Daniel Grossman, 2 August 2017 ; New York Times, by Ruth Graham, 18 July 2017 ; VISUAL

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/usa-abortion-reversal-the-latest-sham-from-anti-choice/

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US: Abortion ‘reversal’: the latest sham from anti-choice activists trying to end women’s rights

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Abortion 'reversal': the latest sham from anti-choice activists trying to end women's rights

Talking about abortion reversal, which is not evidence-based, could sow more confusion – exactly the intended effect by anti-abortion forces

Renee Bracey Sherman and Daniel Grossman
Wednesday 2 August 2017

For years, the anti-abortion movement has popularized the myth that patients regret their abortion, or are somehow coerced into having the procedure before they are ready. This falsehood forms the foundation for many restrictive laws that states have enacted in recent years, including requirements to make an extra visit to the clinic before the procedure, or wait up to 72 hours after receiving counseling before the abortion can be performed.

The latest tactic to advance this argument is the so-called abortion reversal – an unproven treatment that supposedly counters the effect of mifepristone, the first pill used in the two-drug regimen of medication abortion. “Reversal” advocates claim this therapy can give patients a “second chance” to keep their baby.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/02/abortion-pill-reversal-anti-choice-activism

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U.S.: Two Years Later, What Has Come of David Daleiden’s Accusation That Planned Parenthood ‘Sells Baby Parts’?

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Two Years Later, What Has Come of David Daleiden’s Accusation That Planned Parenthood ‘Sells Baby Parts’?

Jul 19, 2017, 12:24pm Imani Gandy & Jessica Mason Pieklo

It has been two years this week since the anti-choice activist David Daleiden and his front group, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), first burst onto the scene to accuse Planned Parenthood affiliates of illegally profiting from fetal tissue donations—or as Daleiden put it, “baby parts.”

The allegations were, and are, absurd. In fact, they are so absurd—and Daleiden’s conduct in editing and releasing the videos is so egregious—that amidst a flurry of lawsuits, a federal court just ordered him in contempt of court and handed him a bill for more than $130,000.

Continued at source: Rewire: https://rewire.news/ablc/2017/07/19/two-years-later-come-david-daleidens-accusation-planned-parenthood-sells-baby-parts/

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Life and death in Texas: abortion frontline of America – video

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Life and death in Texas: abortion frontline of America – video

Monday 17 July 2017
Leah Green, Tom Silverstone, Richard Sprenger and Jess Gormley, theguardian.com

New Texan anti-abortion laws are putting women’s lives at risk, according to pro-choice campaigners. But pro-life activists claim they are protecting women from an out-of-control abortion industry. Leah Green visits the state as the battle over women’s bodies intensifies

Source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2017/jul/17/life-death-texas-abortion-frontline-america-video

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UK: Charlie Gard and the pro-life lobbyists

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Charlie Gard and the pro-life lobbyists

The US right has elbowed its way to a British baby’s bedside and it has a troubling agenda

Janice Turner
July 12 2017

In February the group Abort67 set up a Facebook live-stream opposite the BPAS abortion clinic in Hastings. Any woman going inside that day, past the protesters waving placards showing magnified photos of bloody foetuses, risked being exposed on social media.

At another BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) clinic, a woman was called by her violent partner who opposed the abortion. He had given both their mobile numbers to the Good Counsel Network, which regularly protested outside. When the protesters saw her going in alone, they let him know and later texted her, demanding she cancel the abortion.

Continued at source: The Times: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/charlie-gard-and-the-pro-life-lobbyists-svsfhtvxv

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U.S.: Catholic bishops’ agenda hurts families

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Catholic bishops' agenda hurts families

Jon O'Brien
June 20, 2017

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is kicking off its annual Fortnight for Freedom in Baltimore tomorrow in a celebratory mood. Every year, the bishops present this event as an effort to defend religious liberty. But we’ve seen over five years its real intent: to galvanize the Catholic hierarchy around an agenda to discriminate against and impose their beliefs on Catholics and non-Catholics alike. And their persistence has paid off, despite very little support or attention from everyday Catholics.

Why? Because they found a benefactor unlike any other. President Trump has rewarded the bishops handily for their loyalty during the elections...

Continued at source: Baltimore Sun: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-0621-bishops-fortnight-20170619-story.html

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U.S.: Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

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Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

R. Alta Charo, J.D.
June 14, 2017
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1707107

Human reproduction has become the victim of alternative science, rife with alternative definitions of well-understood medical conditions and characterized by rejection of the scientific method as the standard for generating and evaluating evidence. Alternative science begins with alternative facts of the sort propounded by the Trump administration and its appointees, including Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, who has claimed that “there’s not one” woman who can’t afford birth control on her own (despite the high up-front cost of the most reliable contraceptives). Alternative science is similarly embraced by recent executive-branch appointees Valerie Huber, Teresa Manning, Charmaine Yoest, and Katy Talento.

Continued at source: New England Journal of Medicine: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1707107#t=article

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