How openDemocracy is tracking anti-abortion misinformation around the world
Nine months ago, we began following the money of two US religious right groups. Then, we deployed our own global network – of feminist investigative journalists.
Claire Provost and Nandini Archer
12 February 2020
US religious right activists with links to Trump’s White House have supported the spread of what are called ‘crisis pregnancy centres’ around the world, openDemocracy’s Tracking the Backlash project revealed this week.
There are thousands of these centres in the US where some have been previously criticised for presenting themselves as neutral health facilities while hiding their anti-abortion and religious agendas from women who are looking for help. But the global scale of these activities has not been mapped until now.
Priest says ‘pedophilia doesn’t kill anyone’ but abortion does, in defense of denying communion to lawmakers
By Kim Bellware
Feb. 11, 2020
A Rhode Island priest is doubling down on his recent call to deny Communion to lawmakers who voted in favor of an abortion rights bill.
After the Rev. Richard Bucci of Sacred Heart Church in West Warwick, R.I., drew a backlash with his initial announcement two weeks ago, the 72-year-old priest dug in, telling Rhode Island’s NBC 10 in an interview over the weekend, “We are not talking about any other moral issue, where some may make it a comparison between pedophilia and abortion."
The Trump Administration Wants Health Insurance Companies to Drop Abortion Coverage from Your Insurance Plan
The administration passed a new rule that would impose more than $1 billion in unnecessary costs in an effort to coerce insurance companies to stop offering coverage for abortion.
Meagan Burrows , Staff Attorney, ACLU
February 11, 2020
From denying access to abortion for unaccompanied immigrant minors, to gutting the Title X family planning program, to trying to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers and universities cover contraception in their health plans, the Trump administration has spent the last three years waging an unrelenting, targeted campaign against reproductive freedom. And the administration does not appear to be losing steam. Indeed, just last month, Donald Trump became the first president to address the annual anti-abortion march in D.C.
Well, we aren’t losing steam either. We have sued the administration time and time again over its policies, including those detailed above. Today, we filed a lawsuit challenging the administration’s latest (and possibly most under-reported) attempt to undermine reproductive rights to date: a new rule that would push abortion further out of reach for millions of people across the country by coercing insurance companies to drop abortion coverage from individual insurance plans.
EU lawmakers slam abortion 'misinformation' network
Several EU politicians and members of the European Parliament have called for action against abortion "misinformation" clinics. Many of the Christian facilities have been accused of spreading fear among vulnerable women.
Author Keith Walker
On Tuesday, several abortion-rights advocates called for action against Heartbeat International following the release of a report by the news organization openDemocracy about the anti-abortion network.
Heartbeat International provides anti-abortion pregnancy advice through a network of centers and affiliates. Its policies are consistent with biblical principles and Christian ethics, according to its website.
Exclusive: Trump-linked religious ‘extremists’ target women with disinformation worldwide
Lawmakers demand action as openDemocracy reveals global spread of false and “manipulative” activities, posing “grave risks” to women and democracy.
Claire Provost and Nandini Archer
10 February 2020
A global network of ‘crisis pregnancy centres’, backed by US anti-abortion groups linked to the Trump White House, has been condemned by lawmakers, doctors and rights advocates for targeting vulnerable women with “disinformation, emotional manipulation and outright deceit”.
There are thousands of such centres in the US. Many have been criticised for posing as neutral health facilities for women with crisis pregnancies while hiding their anti-abortion and religious agendas. But the global scale of these controversial activities has not been mapped until now.
Calls for exclusion zones outside UK abortion clinics amid protests
Group of 45 people stopped women as they left centre in Finsbury Park on Saturday
Sat 8 Feb 2020
A leading provider of abortion care has criticised the Home Office for refusing to introduce exclusion zones after a group of anti-abortion activists protested outside a north London clinic on Saturday morning.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) said its clinic in Finsbury Park had never had any problem with demonstrations until Saturday, when staff and clients were met with a group of 45 people protesting outside the centre.
What It’s Like to Get an Abortion in Florida
Florida already makes minors to tell a parent if they're having an abortion. Now lawmakers want to require the parent to come to the clinic with them. Here's one 17-year-old's story.
by Paige Alexandria
Feb 6, 2020
Republican lawmakers in Florida tried and failed to pass a bill in 2019 that would have banned abortion at six weeks. In fact, in the last six years, lawmakers in the state have made more than 50 attempts to limit abortion access, including a ban on a common second-trimester procedure and imposing a 24-hour waiting period for all abortions.
Another bill proposed recently would change the state’s parental involvement law for minors from requiring notification to mandating parental consent. Over half of U.S. states have parental involvement laws. Currently, a minor’s legal guardian or parent must be notified 48 hours before the abortion. But SB 404 would require a parent or guardian to accompany the young person to the clinic on the day of the abortion and provide a government-issued ID along with notarized, written consent. It isn’t the first time lawmakers have tried to pass a law like this, and it’s already been proven that parental involvement laws delay care—which is exactly the intent.
The Long History of the Anti-Abortion Movement’s Links to White Supremacists
Racism and xenophobia have been woven into the anti-abortion movement for decades, despite the careful curation of its public image.
By Alex DiBranco
Feb 3, 2020
The anti-abortion movement in the United States has long been complicit with white supremacy. In recent decades, the movement mainstream has been careful to protect its public image by distancing itself from overt white nationalists in its ranks. Last year, anti-abortion leader Kristen Hatten was ousted from her position as vice president of the anti-choice group New Wave Feminists after identifying as an “ethnonationalist” and sharing white supremacist alt-right content. In 2018, when neo-Nazis from the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) sought to join the local March for Life rally organized by Tennessee Right to Life, the anti-abortion organization rejected TWP’s involvement. (The organization’s statement, however, engaged in the same false equivalency between left and right that Trump used in the wake of fatal white supremacist violence at Charlottesville. “Our organization’s march has a single agenda to support the rights of mothers and the unborn, and we don’t agree with the violent agenda of white supremacists or Antifa,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.)
These Anti-Abortion Women Say They're the Real Feminists: ‘Feminism Includes Women Who Aren’t Born Yet’
Many protesters at the March for Life wore a lilac beanie with a defiant slogan: “Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.”
by Carter Sherman
Jan 31 2020
WASHINGTON — When tens of thousands of people poured through the streets of Washington D.C. last week at the nation’s largest annual anti-abortion gathering, numerous protesters wore a lilac beanie with a defiant slogan: “Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.”
Many outside the American anti-abortion movement still associate it with bloody images of supposedly aborted fetuses, or with people calling women who walk into abortion clinics “baby killers.” But in recent years, many of the movement’s leaders and youngest followers have increasingly adopted the imagery and lingo of progressive social justice, focusing not only on the supposed rights of the fetus but also on the woman who carries it.
Anti-abortion protests anger Cardiff students
University has been targeted after students’ union adopted official pro-choice stance
Sally Weale, Education correspondent
Thu 30 Jan 2020
Students at Cardiff University have expressed anger after anti-abortion activists returned on the first day of the new term to protest outside the students’ union.
It was the fourth demonstration to be held at the university in recent weeks and again featured large-scale graphic images, which students say cause “undue distress and trauma”.