USA – Anti-Choice Activists Fighting a Losing Battle Against Medication Abortion

Anti-Choice Activists Fighting a Losing Battle Against Medication Abortion
Medication abortion is a gamechanger for pregnant people, particularly when other forms of abortion are difficult to access or even unavailable.

Oct 1, 2019
Carole Joffe & David S. Cohen

With the recent news that almost 40 percent of the abortions in this country in 2017 were by pill rather than surgical procedure, now is a great time to appreciate the seemingly unstoppable revolution this medical advance has brought about.

Abortion providers all over the country have witnessed this revolution firsthand. As the director of a network of clinics in a large Western state told us, “We’re doing medication abortions with nurse practitioners all over the state, and it’s particularly important in the mountains.” She explained that before medication abortion, in a particularly remote area, “if the doc was there on Tuesday and you came in on Wednesday, you had to wait another week or two.” This pushed some patients too late in pregnancy to have an abortion. But now, patients in the region “can come in on the day the nurse practitioner is there, which is almost every day, and be taken care of.”


Doctors Say Federal Rules On Discussing Abortions Inhibit Relationships With Patients

Doctors Say Federal Rules On Discussing Abortions Inhibit Relationships With Patients

September 9, 2019
Mara Gordon

Clinics that take federal Title X family planning funding are adjusting to a new set of rules that limit what health care providers can say to their patients about abortion.

Though Planned Parenthood pulled out of the program in August rather than comply with the rules, thousands of other clinics continue to use grants from the federal program for family planning and sexual health services. These clinics are now under pressure to make sure their staff comply.


‘St. George’ Tiller: Abortion With Compassion

‘St. George’ Tiller: Abortion With Compassion
An obstetrics professor fondly recalls Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered a decade ago.

May 29, 2019

Re “Doctors Who Risk Their Lives” (editorial, May 26):

In your acknowledgment of the 10th anniversary of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, you rightly point to his courage in the face of relentless attacks by his opponents. But there is another element of Dr. Tiller’s legacy that bears mention.

In the close-knit world of the abortion-providing community in the United States, Dr. Tiller was routinely referred to, without irony, as “St. George.” This was because of his generosity and compassion. Providers from all over the country would routinely refer their most difficult cases to him — women who discovered that their pregnancies had gone horribly wrong late in pregnancy, 11-year-old girls who had been raped by a relative and barely understood that they were pregnant.

These colleagues knew that these patients would be cared for with the utmost kindness and sensitivity, and often without charge.

Carole Joffe
Berkeley, Calif.
The writer is a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.


USA – Supporters of abortion rights should be energized, not demoralized

Supporters of abortion rights should be energized, not demoralized

By David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe
April 29, 2019

For supporters of abortion rights, these are anxious times. President Trump has filled the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, with judges thought to be hostile to legal abortion. And this year, state legislatures have passed a seemingly endless stream of anti-abortion laws. Yet abortion rights supporters shouldn’t feel defeated. In fact, even in the age of Trump, there are many reasons for celebration, as the abortion rights movement is working just as hard — and succeeding at times — to increase abortion access and protect reproductive rights. These promising developments should galvanize supporters and offer important lessons about how to preserve and even expand access to abortion.


USA – The Struggle to Save Abortion Care

The Struggle to Save Abortion Care

Carole Joffe
First Published August 1, 2018

Abstract: Resisting both physical attacks and widespread policy proscriptions, mission-driven abortion care providers continue working to help their patients.

“Some will rob you with a six gun, some with a fountain pen.” This line from an old Woody Guthrie song is an apt description of the vulnerability of abortion providers in the United States. Clinics have long been subject to physical attacks: eleven individuals have been murdered by anti-abortion extremists, thousands more have been terrorized at their homes and offices, and numerous clinics have been vandalized, even destroyed by fire-bombings. More recently, a harsh new regulatory regime—Guthrie’s “pen”—comprising onerous restrictions passed by state legislatures and hostile inspections by health departments threaten the ability of providers to keep their facilities open and to sustain their vision of “woman-centered” care. As a longtime abortion clinic administrator told me, “Regulatory interference is the new frontier of the anti-abortion movement.”


USA – ‘I Didn’t Tell a Soul’: Illegal Abortion Then and Now

‘I Didn’t Tell a Soul’: Illegal Abortion Then and Now

Jul 31, 2018
Lauren Holter

Jo Baxter had an illegal abortion in 1965. Now she fears the country is reverting back to a time when women couldn’t legally end a pregnancy.

Terror: That was the only emotion Jo Baxter remembers feeling as she drove from Nebraska to Kansas. It was a Saturday morning in 1965—eight years before abortion was legalized in the United States—when the college junior got into a car with her boyfriend and another friend who agreed to drive the six hours so Baxter could get an illegal abortion from a man she’d never met.


USA – With the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, Roe v. Wade is likely dead

With the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, Roe v. Wade is likely dead
How post-Roe America will look different from pre-Roe America

by Carole Joffe July 10, 2018

Much of the debate over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court will center on the fate of Roe v. Wade and the future of abortion rights in America. Nervous champions of the right to choose recall President Trump’s promise to only nominate “pro-life” judges to the court and marked Kavanaugh’s selection with a protest in front of the court.

If Roe is overturned, the legality of abortion will be decided by individual states. How soon this might happen, and how many states would ban abortion, is not clear.


USA – Title X facilities are already over-regulated

Title X facilities are already over-regulated

By David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe, Opinion Contributors
June 12, 2018

The Trump administration’s plan to impose a so-called “domestic gag rule”—a prohibition on providing, referring and counseling about abortion—on facilities receiving Title X funding for family planning services has unleashed a storm of criticism. The public comment period is now open, and the backlash promises to be fierce.

Medical groups state that withholding information about medical procedures is a violation of medical ethics. Numerous political observers note that the real intent of this measure is to deliver on Trump’s promise to defund Planned Parenthood, a major recipient of Title X funding. But largely overlooked in these responses to the domestic gag rule is that the current rules governing Title X grantees represent terrible public policy. As the public now weighs in on the proposed regulations, we should not forget that not only is the new gag rule harmful, but that the existing restrictions governing Title X and abortion care should be lifted as well because they are bad for patients and bad for public health.


USA – Volunteers Are The Unsung Heroes Of Abortion Care

Volunteers Are The Unsung Heroes Of Abortion Care

By Carole Joffe and David S. Cohen
Feb 6, 2018

Abortion is many things in America. Divisive. Politicized. A fact of life. It is also, in the world of health care, unique.

Part of what makes abortion provision unique is that it happens amid relentless efforts to create as many obstacles to it as possible. The preternatural determination of abortion providers overcomes most of these obstacles, but for too many women, there’s something else that makes their abortion possible: volunteers.


U.S.: Why Did Contraception Stop Being Common Ground In The Abortion Wars?

Why Did Contraception Stop Being Common Ground In The Abortion Wars?
An administration firmly opposed to abortion is taking steps that will only assure more unintended pregnancies.

Carole Joffe, Contributor Professor, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California, San Francisco
June 27, 2017

Many Americans are puzzled by the all-out attacks by the Trump administration on contraceptive services: the administration has signaled its intention to take contraception out of the list of no co-pay preventive services authorized by Obamacare; it has made clear its eagerness to defund Planned Parenthood; and it has appointed longtime ideological opponents of contraception to positions of power in the federal bureaucracy, including direct oversight of family planning programs. The question becomes, why is an administration firmly opposed to abortion taking steps that will only assure more unintended pregnancies, some of which in turn will lead to an increased demand for abortions? What became of that short-lived moment in American politics when contraception was viewed as the main point of “common ground” between supporters and opponents of abortion? The answer, simply put, lies in the ascendancy of the religious right as a dominant force in the Republican party.

Continued at source: Huffington Post: