Why Can Canadian Doctors Still Deny Access To Abortion—And Other Healthcare?

The practice of conscientious objection means doctors can refuse or deflect requests for a variety of services, including abortion—and in many provinces, they're not even obligated to provide a referral.

Tracey Lindeman
Updated July 22, 2021

Chantal had already performed all the mental gymnastics.

About eight years ago, the then-23-year-old woman from southern Alberta had accidentally become pregnant, and weighed her options. She settled on having an abortion, the best choice for her in that moment of her life. She booked an appointment with her doctor, one of only a small handful in her community, to request a referral—a requirement in Alberta then. When the time came to meet, she sat in his office and laid her cards out.

Continued: https://www.chatelaine.com/opinion/canadian-doctors-deny-access-to-abortion/


Federal judge blocks Arkansas law banning nearly all abortions

Law, which was set to take effect on Friday, was approved by Republican-led legislature and signed by Asa Hutchinson

Maya Yang and agencies

Wed 21 Jul 2021

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a law passed in Arkansas that would ban
nearly all abortions.

The law, which was set to take effect on Friday, had been approved by
Arkansas’s Republican-led legislature and signed by the state’s Republican
governor, Asa Hutchinson.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/21/arkansas-abortion-ban-federal-judge-blocks


In Texas, vigilantism replaces the rule of law

Ruth Marcus, Deputy editorial page editor
July 16, 2021

Leave it to Texas to come up with a way to violate women’s constitutional rights with a modern twist on vigilante justice.

At least eight states have passed laws that purport to prohibit abortions early in pregnancy — so-called fetal heartbeat laws that would bar abortion as early as six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant. “Purport to” is the operative phrase here, however. Because these laws are clearly unconstitutional — at least until the Supreme Court says differently — federal judges have stepped in to block them from taking effect.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/16/texas-vigilantism-replaces-rule-law/


An Abortion Provider Discusses His Biggest Fears Over Texas’ Abortion ‘Bounty’ Law

Will other states follow Texas’ lead? Will clinics be able to withstand the potential onslaught of lawsuits? “We have no idea what this is going to look like,” says Dr. Bhavik Kumar.

JULY 16, 2021
By TESSA STUART

Dr. Bhavik Kumar has been a Texas abortion provider for six years, with the last two at the Planned Parenthood Center for Choice in Houston, Texas. He started practicing shortly after House Bill 2 — the last Texas abortion law to go all the way to the Supreme Court before it was struck down as unconstitutional — went into effect. In the three years between the law’s passage and the Supreme Court’s decision, HB2 forced roughly half of Texas’ abortion providers to shut their doors.

A new bill, passed by the Texas State Legislature in May and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in June, has the potential to be even more disruptive. Instead of outlawing abortion outright, the new law empowers private citizens to sue doctors like Kumar, nurses, members of his staff, as well as anyone else who “aids and abets” an abortion — family members who drive patients to the clinic, faith leaders who provide counseling, abortion funds — for $10,000 each. The ban applies to abortions that take place after heart activity can be detected in the embryo — six weeks gestation, or roughly two weeks after a woman’s missed period, when many women don’t even know they are pregnant yet.

continued: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/sb-8-texas-abortion-law-10000-dollar-bounty-1194953/


We Need a Left Strategy for Confronting the Anti-Abortion Movement

The anti-abortion movement has grown increasingly militant in recent years — and increasingly successful. The liberal pushback isn’t cutting it. We need a leftist strategy to defend abortion rights.

BY ANNE RUMBERGER
July 14, 2021

Abortion access has been uneven and inadequate for decades. But with the recent announcement that the Supreme Court will hear a major abortion case next term concerning a Mississippi state law that would ban almost all abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy, the threat has reached new levels.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization strikes at the heart of the precedent set in Roe v. Wade in 1973 that abortion is permitted until fetus viability, generally at around twenty-four weeks. As it hears the case, the Supreme Court will consider one clearly delineated question: whether or not “all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” Mary Ziegler, author of Abortion and the Law in America, said recently that the court taking up the case could result in overturning Roe, but it could also get rid of viability as the point at which states can ban abortion.

Continued: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/07/anti-abortion-movement-choice-reproductive-justice


USA – Banning Abortion Doesn’t Protect Women’s Health

July 9, 2021
By Michele Goodwin
New York Times

During its coming term, the United States Supreme Court will review the constitutionality of a Mississippi anti-abortion law that criminalizes abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Already in Mississippi, only one abortion clinic remains to serve the entire state. This new law, one of the most restrictive anti-abortion measures yet, provides no exemptions in cases of rape or incest. Many see it as the gravest threat to Roe v. Wade ever taken up by the Supreme Court. They are not wrong.

But this effort to dismantle Roe is not new, nor is it isolated. More than 550 anti-abortion restrictions have been put in place across the country since 2011. Each is part of a concerted, sweeping effort across Republican-dominated state legislatures to dismantle reproductive rights — often presented in the name of protecting women. Take Mississippi’s Attorney General Lynn Fitch, who argued that “the Mississippi Legislature enacted this law … to promote women’s health and preserve the dignity and sanctity of life.”

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/09/opinion/roe-abortion-supreme-court.html


Citizens, Not the State, Will Enforce New Abortion Law in Texas


The measure bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. And it effectively deputizes ordinary citizens to sue people involved in the process.

By Sabrina Tavernise
July 9, 2021

People across the country may soon be able to sue abortion clinics, doctors and anyone helping a woman get an abortion in Texas, under a new state law that contains a legal innovation with broad implications for the American court system.

The provision passed the State Legislature
this spring as part of a bill that bans abortion after a doctor detects a fetal
heartbeat, usually at about six weeks of pregnancy. Many states have passed
such bans, but the law in Texas is different.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/09/us/abortion-law-regulations-texas.html


USA – More Abortion Restrictions Have Been Enacted In The U.S. This Year Than In Any Other

By EMMA BOWMAN
July 9, 2021

More abortion restrictions have been enacted across the U.S. this year than in any previous year, according to an analysis by a group that supports abortion rights.

State legislatures have passed at least 90 laws restricting the procedure in 2021 so far, finds a report released this month from the Guttmacher Institute.

Continued: https://www.wvtf.org/post/new-record-states-have-enacted-90-abortion-restrictions-so-far-year#stream/0


UK – Disabilities activists are waging war on women’s freedom

Heidi Carter's attempt to change the Abortion Act threatens women's reproductive rights.

Ella Whelan, Spiked
7th July 2021

Heidi Carter is a 24-year-old woman with Down’s syndrome. She is currently taking the UK health secretary Sajid Javid to court in an effort to change the 1967 Abortion Act.

Carter and her team want to take away the option women currently have to abort a pregnancy after 24 weeks in cases of non-fatal disabilities. Her supporters are framing this as a battle for the rights of disabled people. This is misleading. It should be understood as an attempt to limit the choice and freedoms of 34million women.

Continued: https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/07/07/disabilities-activists-are-waging-war-on-womens-freedom/


State Policy Trends at Midyear 2021: Already the Worst Legislative Year Ever for U.S. Abortion Rights

Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
Sophia Naide, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: July 1, 2021

In the first six months of the year, many state legislatures engaged in an assault on many civil rights, including abortion, voting and transgender rights. More abortion restrictions—90—have already been enacted in 2021 than in any year since the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down in 1973. Many of these actions took place in the beginning of the year, despite the need for state legislatures to address critical issues ranging from racial equity to the COVID-19 response and pandemic-related health care.

In addition to their relentless attacks on abortion, several state legislatures have focused on measures that target transgender youth by banning gender-affirming care or restricting their participation in sports. These laws are part of a new wave of restrictions that build on transphobic legislation from previous years, including “bathroom bills” that require individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds to their sex as assigned at birth and bills to ban puberty blockers, which give young people time to make a decision about transitioning.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2021/07/state-policy-trends-midyear-2021-already-worst-legislative-year-ever-us-abortion