Abortion access and funding have always been a struggle in U.S. territories

Access to abortion in U.S. territories post-Dobbs is just as difficult as before, and those concerns aren’t even a discussion within the mainstream reproductive rights movement

by Cecille Joan Avila
November 7th, 2022

In June, the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturned Roe v. Wade, effectively eliminating the federal right to abortion, but in Guam, it’s been four years since the last surgical abortion provider retired, leaving the small island territory without anyone who can perform the procedure. Pregnant people seeking an abortion can either receive abortifacients by mail, or, if they are beyond the timeframe where it’s possible to have a medication abortion, they have to travel to Hawai‘i. That is only feasible if they have the means to—and many do not.

For many in U.S. territories, getting an abortion hasn’t just depended on the procedure being legal. People have had to rely on community networks and whatever resources were available to get or pay for an abortion. The common factor is that in U.S. territories, they need to know the right people to ask for assistance, information, and resources, which is ultimately an unsustainable way to access a key component of reproductive health.

Continued: https://prismreports.org/2022/11/07/abortion-access-us-territories-struggle/


USA – The Catholic Church Is Bankrolling a Nationwide Assault on Women’s Rights

A majority of Catholics support a woman's right to choose, but dioceses are funding campaigns for state-level abortion bans across the country

BY TESSA STUART
SEPTEMBER 12, 2022

THERE WAS NO winner in last month’s vote on abortion rights in Kansas. Technically, nothing changed after voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure intended to strip abortion protections out of the state’s constitution. When the race was called on the evening of August 2, every Kansan retained the same set of rights they’d woken up with that morning. But there was a loser: the ballot initiative’s largest financial backer by a long shot, the Catholic Church, whose dioceses squandered millions of dollars on the failed effort.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City contributed $3.18 million, the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, $652,355; $175,000 came from the Diocese of Salina; tens of thousands more from smaller churches scattered around the state. The Kansas Catholic Conference threw in $275,000. Together, the donations amounted to well over half of the Value Them Both Association’s total haul — an “absolutely stunning” amount of money, says Jamie Manson, the president of the advocacy group Catholics for Choice.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/catholic-church-roe-wade-abortion-kansas-michigan-1234589927/


‘Theocratic’ US abortion bans will violate religious liberty, faith leaders say

The anti-abortion side has monopolized arguments based on religion. But some say their faith supports the right to choose

Melody Schreiber
Thu 2 Jun 2022

Misha Sanders was starting over. She had just left an abusive relationship, and she was in her first semester of seminary, all while caring for her child, a teenager with a pressing health problem.

That’s when she found out she was pregnant. Sanders took misoprostol and mifepristone, the two drugs known collectively as the abortion pill, to end the pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/02/abortion-bans-violate-religious-liberty


‘We’re not backing down’: the Texas church fighting for abortion rights

In the face of a draconian abortion ban in effect for more than three months, the mission has only grown stronger for a progressive congregation

Mary Tuma in Austin
Mon 20 Dec 2021

In the late 60s, the burgeoning movement to legalize US abortion state by state found an unlikely yet loyal ally – a contingent of women at the First Unitarian Universalist church in Dallas, Texas.

In lieu of knitting sessions and bake sales, the church’s Women’s Alliance advocated for abortion rights and even had a hand in legally supporting Roe v Wade, the pivotal US supreme court case that protects abortion care in the US as a constitutional right.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/dec/20/texas-church-fighting-abortion-rights


USA – Religious abortion rights supporters fight for access

Holly Meyer, Associated Press
Nov. 28, 2021

On the day the Supreme Court hears arguments in a Mississippi abortion ban case, Sheila Katz plans to be at a nearby church.

It is where the Jewish organization she leads is helping to host a morning interfaith service in support of abortion rights. That gathering, and a planned rally outside the court, are among the ways the National Council of Jewish Women and like-minded faith groups are challenging the erosion of abortion access in the U.S.

Continued: https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2021/11/28/religious-abortion-rights-supporters/8786118002/


A question of faith: Biden, Catholicism and the presidency

Some bishops think America's second Catholic president should be denied the Eucharist. Are Biden's faith and job title an unworkable mix?

By Tara McKelvey, BBC White House reporter
July 13, 2021

On the matter of faith, President Joe Biden is not shy.

Each weekend that he is in town, he goes to
Mass in Washington. A motorcade takes him on Saturday evenings or Sunday
mornings to Holy Trinity, the church where President Kennedy, the only other
Catholic US president, used to attend services. He makes the sign of the cross
at public events, and his Catholicism is woven into his speeches and policies.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57825309


“Religious leaders should be asking for your forgiveness” on abortion – not the other way around

Church leaders are challenging Biden's stance on abortion, but people of faith say his views jibe with religion

By Kylie Cheung, Salon
June 30, 2021

CoWanda Rusk was weeks away from graduating from her Texas high school, and preparing for college, when she learned she was pregnant. "I immediately knew I didn't want to be pregnant," she recounted to Salon.

Rusk had grown up a part of the church where her father was a youth pastor, and she remains a person of faith to this day. "I always rely on my faith for everything, even small decisions — what colors to wear today, what will align with the universe today," she said.

Continued: https://www.salon.com/2021/06/30/religion-abortion-biden-catholic-church/


The Catholic Church’s Reproductive Fight Is About Controlling Women’s Freedom

May 27, 2021
By Jamie Manson

Last summer, after years of excruciating menstrual pain and anemia caused by excessive bleeding, I saw a gynecological specialist. He ordered an M.R.I., suspecting the cause was endometriosis. I instinctively grab my rosary when I’m anxious. For days after the test, I moved bead to bead, praying that the radiologist would find signs of disease so that I could find appropriate treatment. But the test showed a perfectly healthy uterus.

Normal or not, my symptoms continued to worsen, to the point that the doctor agreed that the answer to ending my pain was a hysterectomy. I was 43 years old. As a longtime advocate for women’s equality and reproductive freedom, I was surprised not to encounter the resistance so many women face from the medical community and society when I made this choice. Women are often told that they will regret losing their ability to have children. My doctor understood I knew what was right for my life, my body and my health. It felt like a miracle.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/27/opinion/catholic-church-abortion.html


Reproductive Rights Advocates Call for Biden to Curb Foreign Abortion Restrictions

5/5/2021
by MICHELLE ONELLO, Ms. Magazine

A coalition of over 140 reproductive rights and health care advocates is calling on President Biden to mitigate the harm caused by the over-implementation of U.S. foreign aid restrictions, especially the 50-year-old Helms Amendment, which has limited access to and information about abortion overseas.

In the April 29 letter, advocates highlighted
the direct harm these restrictions cause women, especially victims of
conflict-related sexual violence, and their violation of the U.S.’s human
rights obligations to ensure gender equality and non-discriminatory,
comprehensive health care. While these restrictions were enacted by Congress,
the coalition is advocating for the Biden administration to curb their impact
and support efforts currently underway to repeal them—both to fulfill his
stated policy of support for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
and to provide the same bold leadership on abortion that he has shown in other
areas such as climate change, jobs and infrastructure.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2021/05/05/reproductive-rights-biden-foreign-abortion-restrictions-helms-hyde/


Biden to drop Trump’s antiabortion ‘global gag rule.’ Here’s what that means for abortion access worldwide.

By Miriam Berger
Jan. 28, 2021

Soon after he took office, President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded a policy known by its critics as the “global gag rule,” which bars U.S. funding for organizations abroad that perform abortions — or offer information about them.

On Thursday, a week into his presidency, Biden is expected to issue an executive order rescinding the policy.

Continued:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/01/28/biden-trump-abortion-global-gag-rule-faq/