USA – Everything You Need to Know About the Helms Amendment’s Restriction on Abortion Funding

Everything You Need to Know About the Helms Amendment’s Restriction on Abortion Funding
Reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates say the Helms Amendment's ban on using foreign assistance funds for abortion deserves more attention.

Aug 23, 2019
Ally Boguhn

Abortion rights are a high-profile issue for Democrats on the 2020 presidential campaign trail. Candidates have stated their opposition to abortion funding restrictions like the Hyde Amendment and the Trump administration’s expanded global “gag rule.” But little attention has been paid in the race or the media to the Helms Amendment, a ban on foreign assistance funding for abortion.

Rewire.News asked the 2020 candidates about their stance on the anti-choice policy; ten thus far say they oppose it. The Helms Amendment—named for its sponsor, the late-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC)—states, “No foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” The abortion funding ban was passed as part of the Foreign Assistance Act in 1973 in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion in the United States.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2019/08/23/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-helms-amendments-restriction-on-abortion-funding/

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USA – Why anti-abortion groups are backing away from abortion bans

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.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/2019/8/22/20826982/abortion-tennessee-laws-2019-alabama-georgia-ohio

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What explains Donald Trump’s war on late-term abortions?

What explains Donald Trump’s war on late-term abortions?
Attacks on the rare but controversial procedures are designed to please more than evangelicals

Aug 22nd 2019

WHILE LEROY CARHART, a doctor who specialises in late-term abortions, was finishing his most recent termination, the manager of his clinic in Bethesda, Maryland, outlined the procedure. Abortions in the second half of pregnancy take between two and four days, said Christine Spiegoski, a nurse wearing a T-shirt that read: “Don’t like abortion? Prevent pregnancy by f**king yourself!” First, the doctor injects potassium chloride or digoxin into the fetus’s heart, killing it within minutes. If he is unable to reach the heart and instead pumps the drug into the amniotic sac, death can take up to 24 hours. Dr Carhart euthanises the fetus at the beginning of the procedure because its tissue and skull then soften and contract, easing removal. At 25 weeks a fetus weighs around a pound and a half and is over a foot long; some of those Dr Carhart aborts are older.

Continued: https://www.economist.com/united-states/2019/08/22/what-explains-donald-trumps-war-on-late-term-abortions

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How comedy is speaking up about abortion

How comedy is speaking up about abortion
It remains a contentious and emotive issue – but, despite opposition, comedians are determined to break taboos and speak their minds, writes Alice Jones.

By Alice Jones
22 August 2019

Comedy has a long and noble history of busting taboos but is every subject fair game for humour or are some too serious to joke about? What about abortion, for example?

In 2019, it remains a contentious and emotive issue: a YouGov-Cambridge Globalism survey in May found that 46 per cent of US citizens thought abortion was unacceptable (in the same poll, only 17% of British people said abortion was unacceptable). Beliefs aside, it has the potential to be a traumatic topic for some who have undergone the procedure.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20190821-how-comedy-is-speaking-up-about-abortion

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How the US right-to-life movement is influencing the abortion debate in Australia

How the US right-to-life movement is influencing the abortion debate in Australia

August 21, 2019
Prudence Flowers

As the abortion decriminalisation bill gradually makes its way through the NSW parliament, opponents have been increasingly drawing on their long relationship with the right-to-life movement in the United States to lobby against the measure and try to push for more restrictive amendments.

This has been a trend in the anti-abortion movement in Australia for a while now. Activists have adopted some of the most successful elements of the US movement’s rhetoric and tactics in recent years in an effort to influence the debate in Australia.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/how-the-us-right-to-life-movement-is-influencing-the-abortion-debate-in-australia-121974

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USA – Abortion Is Our Right To Strike

Abortion Is Our Right To Strike
Abortion isn’t a “cultural” issue. The production of children, and who will pay for it, is a key economic battlefront.

By Jenny Brown
08.18.2019

For decades, we’ve been told that abortion is merely a wedge issue used by Republicans to split working-class Catholics from the Democratic Party and excite a Protestant evangelical base. “Starting in the 1970s,” feminist law professor Joan C. Williams writes, “Republicans have offered support for working-class anti-abortion views in exchange for working-class support for pro-business positions.”

According to this view, politicians and the one percent really don’t care one way or the other about abortion — they’re just using the issue to get votes. This reading of US politics is so common that if you ask a group of feminists today why abortion is under attack, someone will explain that it is a political ploy to capture the support of conservative “values” voters. Thomas Frank even argues that banning abortion would be against the interests of these political forces because they would lose an issue to mobilize around.

Continued: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/08/abortion-rights-strike-economic-battlefront-birth-rates

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Abortion in the south: The ‘escorts’ who ward off protesters at Mississippi’s lone clinic

Abortion in the south: The 'escorts' who ward off protesters at Mississippi's lone clinic
‘Clinic escorts’ create a buffer between protesters and women arriving at the clinic as its role becomes ever more important

by Khushbu Shah in Jackson, Mississippi
Tue 13 Aug 2019

Kim Gibson wore a pastel rainbow-striped vest with the words “clinic escort” in bold, black letters as she glanced over at the arriving white van. She was irritated by the sudden appearance in Jackson of more Christian anti-abortion protesters in front of Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic.

She watched as the vehicle pulled up, letting out two sisters. They dropped picket signs onto the Jackson sidewalk before their mother drove off to park. When she walked back with her teenage son, Gibson yelled: “Shame what you do to these children. Shame, shame, shame.”

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/13/mississippi-lone-abortion-clinic

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‘We should be terrified’: What Michigan women should know if abortion becomes illegal

'We should be terrified': What Michigan women should know if abortion becomes illegal
If the Supreme Court overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, Michigan and other states could see a patchwork of abortion laws in the nation.

Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press
Aug. 8, 2019

Renee Chelian remembers keeping her head bowed and counting the pairs of shoes of the women sitting around her.

Chelian was 15 and too frightened to take in her surroundings or look at the faces of the many women who sat with her, waiting for an abortion at the Detroit warehouse where the floor was covered in grease stains, and folding chairs and card tables served as the only furniture.

Continued: https://www.freep.com/in-depth/news/politics/2019/08/08/abortion-illegal-michigan-roe-wade-overturned/1790907001/

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USA – Pro-Choice Groups Are Changing Their Strategy for a New Era of Attacks on Abortion

Pro-Choice Groups Are Changing Their Strategy for a New Era of Attacks on Abortion
NARAL is shifting its strategy to embrace the term "reproductive freedom," which polls well with moderates and independents.

by Marie Solis
Aug 8 2019

NARAL Pro-Choice America, one of the largest pro-choice organizations in the country, is changing its communications strategy amid mounting attacks on abortion rights. In an exclusive interview, the group said it will place a greater emphasis on “reproductive freedom,” a framework its leadership believes will bring together a wider swath of the population in support of safe and legal abortion. Though NARAL has used the term in its messaging before, the group has relied more heavily on terms like “reproductive rights,” and "abortion access” to talk about their cause.

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/a35zkp/a-huge-pro-choice-group-is-changing-its-messaging-to-appeal-to-moderates

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USA – Abortion Rights in Peril — What Clinicians Need to Know

Abortion Rights in Peril — What Clinicians Need to Know

Elizabeth Nash, M.P.P.
August 8, 2019
N Engl J Med 2019; 381:497-499
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1906972

This year, 2019, has become a critical time for abortion rights, with an unprecedented surge of abortion bans sweeping across the United States. Through June 1, some 26 abortion bans have been enacted in 12 states, and many more have been introduced by state legislators.

Yet state efforts to undermine abortion rights and access have been under way since the 1973 decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton affirmed the constitutional right to abortion. During that time, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed the right to abortion while also modifying the legal framework that shapes access to care.

Continued: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1906972

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