USA – Bulwark Against an Abortion Ban? Medical Advances


Bulwark Against an Abortion Ban? Medical Advances

By Pam Belluck and Jan Hoffman
July 1, 2018

As partisans on both sides of the abortion divide contemplate a Supreme Court with two Trump appointees, one thing is certain: America even without legal abortion would be very different from America before abortion was legal.

The moment Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced his retirement, speculation swirled that Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion, would be overturned. Most legal experts say that day is years away, if it arrives at all. A more likely scenario, they predict, is that a rightward-shifting court would uphold efforts to restrict abortion, which would encourage some states to further limit access.


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It may still be legal, but women’s access to abortion is under attack in America


It may still be legal, but women's access to abortion is under attack in America

The restrictive measures put on clinics under the Trap laws are designed to make access to abortion not only more complicated, but also more traumatic, in order to make women think again about their reproductive choices

Reena Aggarwal
June 3, 2018

In the US, the pivotal legal case of Roe v Wade in 1973 legalised abortion, establishing that the decision to terminate a pregnancy was between a woman and her doctor, and was protected under the constitutional right to privacy. Since its inception, there have been over 1000 restrictive state laws to limit these rights afforded to women to make the process of acquiring an abortion more painful, challenging, and in some cases, impossible. There is no murkiness here – women have a right to have an abortion if they wish. Yet, in the US, a woman’s access to abortion is very much decided by where she lives alongside her financial resources and physical capacity.


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USA: ‘Trapped’ is a realistic game about how hard it is get an abortion


‘Trapped’ is a realistic game about how hard it is get an abortion
Yes, even a legal abortion.

Samantha Grasso

Nearly every day we could turn on the news and watch politicians and anti-abortion activists attempt to curb women’s right to an abortion. However, in reality, getting the procedure is much more difficult than just having legal access.

In Trapped, a browser-based video game, these roadblocks become much more clear, particularly for those of us who’ve never had to examine the barriers before.

Continued at source:

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USA: Don’t be fooled: the latest abortion bill is about one thing – hurting women


Don't be fooled: the latest abortion bill is about one thing – hurting women
Jessica Valenti

There is no scientific basis for the proposed ban on abortions after 20 weeks. Rather, it is a naked attempt to challenge Roe v Wade and end all abortions

Thursday 5 October 2017

On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed a ban that would criminalize all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with punishment that would include fines and up to five years in prison.

The Majority leader, Kevin McCarthy, said that the goal of the bill was “ending suffering and helping people live”, an ironic sentiment just three days after Republicans let a health program expire that could leave millions of children without insurance and two days after a massacre in Las Vegas that the GOP insists has nothing to do with the shocking availability of guns.

Continued at source:

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U.S.: Nationwide Offensive Devastates Independent Abortion Clinics


Nationwide Offensive Devastates Independent Abortion Clinics

Aug 26, 2017
Emily Wells

A new report by the Abortion Care Network shows that in the past five years, almost one-third of independent abortion clinics have been forced to close.

Independent clinics traditionally provide the majority of U.S. abortion care. “Anti-abortion politicians and extremists are forcing these clinics to close at an alarming rate,” said Nikki Madsen, executive director of the Abortion Care Network.

Continued at source: Truthdig:

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U.S.: Many Abortion Restrictions Have No Rigorous Scientific Basis


Many Abortion Restrictions Have No Rigorous Scientific Basis
May 9, 2017, News Release
Texas and Kansas Stand Out as the States with the Largest Number of Scientifically Unfounded Restrictions

At least 10 major categories of abortion restrictions are premised on assertions not supported by rigorous scientific evidence, according to a new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review. These restrictions include unnecessary regulations on abortion facilities and providers, counseling and waiting period requirements rooted in misinformation, and laws based on false assertions about when fetuses can feel pain.

The authors, Guttmacher Institute experts Rachel Benson Gold and Elizabeth Nash, document that over half of U.S. women of reproductive age live in states where abortion restrictions are in effect that have either moderate or major conflicts with the science. The worst offenders are Kansas and Texas (with laws in effect in eight out of the 10 categories) and Louisiana, Oklahoma and South Dakota (seven such laws each). A table with information for all states is included in the full analysis.

Continued at link: Guttmacher Institute:

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U.S.: Abortion Rights Groups Sue 3 More States As Trump Inauguration Nears


“This is the biggest threat we have seen, to be frank.”

Laura Bassett Senior Politics Reporter, The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON ― As they prepare for a potentially massive threat to abortion access under the Donald Trump administration, Planned Parenthood and two of its allies on Wednesday announced a slew of new legal battles against abortion restrictions in Missouri, Alaska and North Carolina.

[continued at link]
Source: Huffington Post

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U.S. – Liberals ready assault on abortion laws after Supreme Court verdict

Getty Images


By Sarah Ferris - 07/03/16 10:30 AM EDT

Abortion rights groups are gearing up for a major assault against dozens — and ultimately hundreds — of state laws after their biggest legal victory in a generation this week.

Lawyers for groups such as Planned Parenthood say the Supreme Court’s historic ruling Monday is opening a new front in the decades-old war over abortion access.

“We’ve reached a tipping point,” Helene Krasnoff, senior director of public policy litigation and law at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, told reporters Thursday as she announced a campaign to repeal anti-abortion laws in eight states.

In its 5-3 decision, the court not only struck down two major provisions in Texas, but also set a legal precedent that will likely make it tougher for states to defend existing anti-abortion laws.

Abortion rights advocates, who have been on the defensive in state legislatures for the last half-decade, now say the courts will be on their side as they try to regain lost ground.

Planned Parenthood announced Thursday it would actively lobby in eight states with laws on the books resembling those struck down in Texas on Monday. It also promised “many more states will follow in the coming weeks.”

Krasnoff said they will first push for legislatures to repeal laws on their own — a far cheaper option for both Planned Parenthood and those state leaders. If that fails, however, it would require legal action.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, the group behind the most recent Texas case, also filed the first of what will likely be many lawsuits on Thursday. This one is a direct challenge of all seven abortion laws passed in Louisiana this year.

Janet Crepps, senior counsel for that group, said the ruling was “an important, literally once-in-a-generation opinion” that will have a ripple effect over several years.

“Now that we have this clearer standard and protection, I think there is an opportunity to go back and take a look at what the states have on the books,” Crepps said in an interview Friday.

Even without action from outside groups, the court’s ruling had an immediate impact this week.

The day of the decision, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said the state would drop its appeal of an abortion law because “there is no good faith argument that Alabama's law remains constitutional in light of the Supreme Court ruling.”

A day later, the Supreme Court rejected appeals from Mississippi and Wisconsin to preserve abortion restrictions that had been struck down in lower courts.

Judges in several other states — including Indiana and Florida — have also temporarily or permanently wiped out anti-abortion laws this week in light of the ruling.

Texas’s sweeping law, passed in 2013, had required doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and required clinics to meet the same standards as surgical centers.

A total of 22 states have laws on the books requiring clinics to meet those standards, even in typically liberal states like Connecticut and Rhode Island, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit research group.

Five states have admitting privileges requirements, though many were already being challenged in court.

Overall, states have passed a total of 288 laws restricting access to abortion in the last five years, four times as many laws aimed at protecting access, according to Guttmacher.

The court’s decision on Monday does not directly apply to laws already in place, but it creates new reasons for groups to challenge them.

Lobbying efforts by Planned Parenthood and its allies will be concentrated on a handful of red states that have pushed the most anti-abortion laws. Ten states — led by Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Arizona — account for 60 percent of all new anti-abortion laws passed since 2011.

The attempts to roll back anti-abortion laws could also blur into separate plans to build a ground game to help elect presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton this fall. Four of the states where Planned Parenthood plans to challenge abortion laws are expected to be swing states in 2016: Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The now-voided provisions in Texas had been part of a broad legislative strategy by anti-abortion activists. The approach revolved around the promotion of what have been dubbed TRAP laws, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.

Many were passed for the first time in Texas but have since spread across much of the southern half of the U.S.

A major force behind the proliferation of these laws is Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion advocacy group that has crafted model legislation to distribute to dozens of states.

The powerful group has led a state-by-state strategy — mostly out of the public eye — that is now starting to be mirrored by its counterparts who support abortion rights.

For the first time, a progressive group called the Public Leadership Institute will host hundreds of state legislators from 40 states in D.C. next week for a strategy session about “pro-active” laws to protect abortion access.

That state policy summit will be headlined by Amy Hagstrom Miller, owner of Whole Woman’s Health, whose abortion clinics were at the center of the Supreme Court’s Texas case.

“We feel like it’s long overdue,” the group’s founder and president, Gloria Totten, said in an interview Friday, referring to the new energy in her movement created by the Whole Woman’s Health ruling.

The Public Leadership Institute hopes it can deliver something of a counterpunch to the growing influence of the anti-abortion movement since 2010. Totten added that the court’s decision “creates a major opportunity for us” — one that she hopes can become clearer after next week’s policy summit.

Legal advocates for abortion rights also say the court’s decision makes it tougher for states to enact new restrictions in the future.

In the nearly 40-page decision by the four liberal justices and perennial “swing vote” Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court made clear that states would have to prove a “legitimate interest in protecting women’s health.”

The court’s opinion placed a strong emphasis on medical “benefits” from each law and what could be described as “necessary” protections — and decided that neither part of the Texas law passed those tests.

Even before the Texas case reached the Supreme Court, abortion rights groups had been aggressive in challenging restrictive laws.

But many of those challenges ended in deadlock in one particular place: the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the federal court with jurisdiction over large swaths of the South.

“It’s not that we weren’t going after the laws. It’s just that we couldn’t seem to win,” Crepps said. “We would get good decision from federal district courts, then the Fifth Circuit would overturn.”

That could change now, she said: “We do think this is going to make a difference.”

- This post was updated July 5, 2016 at 11:56 a.m.


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