‘Personhood’ Film Shows the Cost of the Push for Fetal Rights
“If [the personhood movement] succeeds, the people who get pregnant are going to lose their fundamental rights… to privacy, to equality, to due process of law.”
Nov 7, 2019
Elizabeth Dawes Gay
Premiering this week, Personhood is the latest film highlighting the state of reproductive rights in the United States and how efforts to undermine the constitutional right to abortion cause unnecessary harm. In addition to exposing how fetal “personhood”—or the anti-abortion idea of legal protection for fetuses—immediately threatens the lives and well-being of pregnant people, the documentary film covers important issues concerning what the future could hold if state and federal policy continues in this trajectory. Personhood serves as a reminder that more organizing and political activism are needed to meet the challenges ahead.
The sorry state of abortion access in Saskatchewan
Sask Dispatch, by Sara Birrell
Sep 5, 2019
It has been more than 30 years since the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Morgentaler found Canada’s anti-abortion laws to be such an egregious overreach of state power that they violate Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the right to “life, liberty, and security of the person.” Since then, under the law, abortion has been treated as what it is: a morally and ethically neutral medical treatment. But while the decision ostensibly means that any pregnant person should be able to access medical (that is, induced by a drug) or surgical abortions at any time, the nature of the Canadian health-care system, which puts control of services in the hands of the provinces, means that abortion care is a patchwork that leaves many pregnant Canadians – especially those who are poor, Indigenous, young, or in rural and remote communities – to endure unwanted pregnancies.
The US right’s concern for the foetus doesn’t survive the trip down the birth canal
Women face jail for miscarriage while migrant children are held in unsafe conditions. Hypocrisy is thrown into sharp relief
Mon 1 Jul 2019
In Alabama, a woman who was shot in the stomach five times and lost her pregnancy as a result has been charged with the manslaughter of her foetus. Marshae Jones allegedly instigated a fight that resulted in the shooting, and, thus, according to a local police source, the “only true victim” was the “unborn baby”. Lieutenant Danny Reid further explained that the foetus is “dependent on its mother to keep it from harm, and she shouldn’t seek out unnecessary physical altercations”.
If Jones can be tried for manslaughter, what other types of pregnancy loss can be treated as serious crimes? If a pregnant woman is hit by a car while jaywalking, is this manslaughter? How about if – despite knowing of the tiny risk – she chooses to eat soft blue cheese and miscarries due to listeria? What if she changes the cat litter and contracts toxoplasmosis?
Alabama woman loses unborn child after being shot, gets arrested; shooter goes free
Posted Jun 26, 2019
By Carol Robinson
A woman whose unborn baby was killed in a 2018 Pleasant Grove shooting has now been indicted in the death.
Marshae Jones, a 27-year-old Birmingham woman, was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on a manslaughter charge. She was taken into custody on Wednesday.
Using Anti-Choice Law to Criminalize Pregnancy Is Nothing New
Six states have laws on the books making it a crime to self-induce an abortion or obtain one without the involvement of a medical professional.
May 14, 2019
For many years, my organization, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, has warned that anti-abortion measures and related fetal “personhood” laws would be used to criminalize pregnant women—and, indeed, they already are.
Those who had abortions have been targeted for criminal investigations, interrogations, arrests, convictions, and incarceration both before and after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade. Nevertheless, for many people, the new abortion law passed in Georgia, which may open the door to arresting women, came as a surprise.
I Am an Abortion Rights Activist. I Hope the Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade.
By ROBIN MARTY
March 20, 2019
On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 that the ability to terminate a pregnancy was a constitutional right. Now, less than five decades later, with a number of lower-court abortion decisions advancing and the most conservative Supreme Court since the 1930s, abortion opponents could be close to getting what they have wanted ever since Roe v. Wade: the decision’s reversal.
I am an abortion rights activist, and frankly, I couldn’t be happier.
Here Are the Worst Abortion Restrictions Conservative State Lawmakers Passed This Year
If you think the attacks on reproductive rights this year were a mess, just wait until 2019.
Dec 29, 2018
Conservative state lawmakers passed a surge of unconstitutional pre-viability abortion bans this year in an effort to tee up a challenge to Roe v. Wade. These included everything from bans on the safest, most common form of second-trimester abortion to laws that would outright re-criminalize abortion. So far, the federal courts have proven to be the necessary firewall preventing conservatives from enshrining these restrictions into law. But Republicans spent most of 2018 vigorously packing the federal courts with judges they believe to be ready and willing to roll back abortion rights as far as possible—so that barrier might not hold in 2019.
Here’s a sample of some of the worst anti-choice restrictions passed in the states this year.
How these state-level abortion laws could have widespread impact on people across the country
By Charlotte West
Nov. 13, 2018
The 2018 midterm elections paved the way for a slew of state-level legislation related to abortion on both sides of the issue. Alabamian and West Virginian voters approved anti-abortion rights amendments to their state constitutions, while Oregonians voted down a similar ballot initiative. With Democrats now in control of the governor’s mansion and both legislative chambers, New York is poised to become the first state to enact legislation that would enshrine Roe v. Wade abortion protections since Brett Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court.
States across the country are gearing up in case the 1973 landmark decision guaranteeing the constitutional right to an abortion is overturned. If that were to happen, access to abortion would become even more uneven than it already is with the existing patchwork of state legislation.
What Does the Future of Abortion Rights Look Like?
With Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, there’s a great deal of uncertainty about how a reconfigured Supreme Court will react to future cases.
July 2, 2018
In the summer of 1988, abortion-rights attorneys debated whether to appeal a major abortion case involving minors, Hodgson v. Minnesota, to the Supreme Court. Anti-abortion lawyers working with Americans United for Life knew exactly why the opposition hesitated: Anthony Kennedy, a 52-year-old Catholic appointed by Ronald Reagan, had recently taken his place on the Supreme Court.
But instead of steadfastly opposing abortion, Kennedy quickly established his role as the Court’s swing vote on reproductive rights. With him gone, the future of legal abortion—and the activist movements surrounding it—is more uncertain than it has been in recent memory.
USA Health of pregnant women being jeopardized by punitive laws
23 May 2017
A set of US laws which claim to promote maternal and infant health are in fact driving pregnant women away from vital health services, jeopardizing their wellbeing and violating their right to health, according to a new report published by Amnesty International today.
Criminalizing Pregnancy: Policing Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs in the USA, highlights the impact of pregnancy criminalization laws, especially those which are used to arrest and prosecute women who use drugs based on a belief that they are harming their fetuses. Fear of these laws is deterring pregnant women from accessing healthcare, prenatal care and even drug treatment.
“Across the USA, the heavy-handed policing of pregnant women’s behaviour is shattering patient trust in health services with devastating consequences. These laws put pregnant women in a double bind, forcing them to choose between risking their health and risking punishment,” said Carrie Eisert, Policy Adviser at Amnesty International, who authored the report.
Continued at source: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/05/usa-health-of-pregnant-women-being-jeopardized-by-punitive-laws/