Lifesaving treatment for babies born at 22 weeks doesn’t mean abortion law should change
October 25, 2019
Dominic Wilkinson, Consultant Neonatologist and Professor of Ethics, University of Oxford
When new guidance relating to the outcome and medical care of babies born extremely prematurely was recently released, it led some to call for UK abortion law to be revised.
This was because one of the new recommendations from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine is that it is sometimes appropriate to provide resuscitation and active medical treatment for babies born at 22 weeks gestation (four and a half months before their due date). This is a week earlier than was recommended in the last version of the framework, published in 2008.
Why anti-abortion groups are backing away from abortion bans
Debate around a Tennessee bill shows a big shift in anti-abortion strategy.
By Anna North
Aug 22, 2019
When legislators in Tennessee debated a bill earlier this month that would ban abortion as soon as a pregnancy can be detected, opposition came from a surprising place: anti-abortion groups.
Though the groups National Right to Life and Tennessee Right to Life oppose abortion, they also oppose the Tennessee ban, because they believe it would never stand up in court. If such a ban were to make it to the Supreme Court, the groups worry it would fail: “There is no objective evidence that we have more than one vote to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said James Bopp, general counsel of the National Right to Life Committee, which describes itself as “the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization,” in testimony against the bill.
How Six-Week Abortion Bans Are Fueling a 'Radical' Year for Abortion Law
The bans mark an unprecedented year for abortion legislation—and a potential political turning point.
Apr 12, 2019
The projected political reckoning of abortion rights has arrived. Abortion bills, as expected, dominated state legislatures in early 2019, pushing the issue ever closer to the United States Supreme Court.
Among the 28 states considering abortion bans in the first four months of the year, a handful of the most conservative are aiming to ban abortion at just six weeks' gestation—when an embryonic "heartbeat" (doctors use the term cardiac activity, and embryos don't have hearts so much as tissues that will become the heart) can be detected. Abortion rights groups say the measures are so extreme that they effectively amount to outright abortion bans, since few women who want abortions would be able to access them before the cut-off, or perhaps even know they're pregnant.
I Wish I’d Had A ‘Late-Term Abortion’ Instead Of Having My Daughter
By Dina Zirlott, Guest Writer
Warning: Details in this story could be triggering to some readers.
I was raped when I was 17 years old. I had a baby when I was 18 years old. My baby died when I was 19 years old.
I cannot recall the color of the sky when I woke up the morning I was raped, or what I did in the hours leading up to the assault. I think of it in terms of Before and After, and I’m caught right in between the two.
New York puts in measures to protect access to abortion even if Roe v. Wade is overturned
by Tony Marco, CNN
Wed January 23, 2019
New York (CNN)On the 46th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, New York state passed a law to protect women's access to abortion if the historic case is overturned.
"Today we are taking a giant step forward in the hard-fought battle to ensure a woman's right to make her own decisions about her own personal health, including the ability to access an abortion. With the signing of this bill, we are sending a clear message that whatever happens in Washington, women in New York will always have the fundamental right to control their own body," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo after signing New York's Reproductive Health Act on Tuesday night.\
Not only will the law preserve access to abortions, it also removes abortion from the state's criminal code. This would protect doctors or medical professionals who perform abortions from criminal prosecution. The law also now allows medical professionals who are not doctors to perform abortions in New York.
The Abortion Wars Have Become a Fight Over Science
Forty-six years after Roe, the two camps increasingly disagree on basic facts about abortion — and who has the authority to determine them.
By Mary Ziegler
Jan. 22, 2019
It was perhaps, at first glance, an unusual feature of the 2019 March for Life that it downplayed what many have come to think of as the central claim of the anti-abortion movement: that the unborn have a constitutional right to life.
Instead, march organizers focused on proclaiming that science was on their side. They circulated material on “when human life begins,” whether abortions are ever medically necessary and when fetal life becomes viable. They praised legal restrictions based on what science supposedly says about fetal pain.
How anti-abortion activists use cutting edge science to justify ever stricter laws
As neonatal science advances, anti-abortion activists are looking to these new techniques to push for more restrictions
Fri 13 Jul 2018
Dr Edward Bell treats the tiniest babies at University of Iowa children’s hospital, pre-term infants who weigh one pound or less, and whose chances of survival are minute.
One of his pet projects is tracking the smallest in the world, which sometimes attracts attention from abortion opponents. But the visitors he received in August 2016 still surprised him.
Joni Ernst, the fiercely anti-abortion Republican US senator from Iowa, sent her staffers to interview Bell. Of interest was an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which reignited debate about whether infants as young as 22 weeks old may survive if aggressively treated.
How to Talk About Abortion
THE STONE MARCH 19, 2018
When moral philosophers and others take up an issue that is at the center of public debate, we tend to frame it as a matter of individual ethics. Is it morally permissible to eat meat? To offer money for sex? To have an abortion? Yet, such questions often fail to focus on the issues that are important and relevant for public policy and, as a result, can derail productive public debate.
The problem is that questions like these oversimplify the issues. Consider, for instance, that “abortion” is really an umbrella term for a number of different medical procedures — appropriate for different stages of pregnancy — each with significantly different health risks. Abortion is first and foremost a medical service or procedure, not an individual action, and thus a more important and relevant question for public policy is, Under what circumstances, or for what reasons, should a government prohibit properly trained medical professionals from performing an abortion? This is a question that fellow citizens can productively debate, and that may lead to a consensus.