In the News

Supreme Court Refuses To Limit Abortion Drug’s Use

December 18, 2014

RU-486The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked enforcement of an Arizona law aimed at limiting use of the increasingly popular abortion pill. In 2012 nearly half of the abortions in the state were via the pill, known as RU-486.

The pill was approved by the FDA in 2000 for the first seven weeks of pregnancy. Since then, scientists have developed safer and smaller doses that allow the drug to be used through the ninth week.

The medication is increasingly popular as a cheaper and safer alternative to intrusive surgery, and it makes abortion available in areas where abortion clinics have had to close down under public pressure or new state laws.


Contraception Is Not Abortion, But Right Wing Has Plan to Convince You Otherwise

December 17, 2014

Anti-abortion groups routinely—yet selectively and strategically—conflate contraception and abortion as part of more wide-reaching agenda to curtail reproductive rights overall,according to a new policy analysis by Joerg Dreweke for the New York-based Guttmacher Institute.

The article, “Contraception Is Not Abortion: The Strategic Campaign of Antiabortion Groups to Persuade the Public Otherwise” (pdf) appears in the fall issue of the Guttmacher Policy Review, issued quarterly by the research and public education firm.

The analysis suggests that a coordinated misinformation campaign, spearheaded by conservative groups like the Susan B. Anthony List, Americans United for Life, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Heritage Foundation, is part of an underlying right-wing attempt to chip away at access to commonly used contraceptives such as Plan B or IUDs.

Read the entire article from Deirdre Fulton of Common Dreams…

Federal judge rules car dealership can legally exclude birth control for employees

December 16, 2014

Another huge loss for women and women’s healthcare. Yesterday a federal judge ruled a car dealership in Minnesota no longer has to cover women’s contraceptives:

U.S. District Judge Frank Magnuson issued an injunction against the federal government, enabling Hastings Automotive’s primary owner Doug Erickson to remove contraceptives from his company’s plan without facing penalties.

“It’s long been by conviction to run these businesses according to my faith, and I really believe I’m stewarding these businesses and operating them as God would have me operate them,” Erickson told KARE.

Chalk up another win for religious zealots and another loss for women. No word on whether the car dealership forbids wearing fabric blends, tattoos, eating shellfish or the many other things the bible forbids.

More from the Daily Kos …

What Americans Have Forgotten About The Era Before Roe v. Wade

December 15, 2014

Dr. David Grimes, who has been providing abortion care for four decades, is worried that the time period before abortion was legalized in the United States is becoming a distant memory.

“I’m 67 now, and people younger than me don’t remember what the bad old days were like. That’s why people seem so complacent about allowing those days to return,” he said in an interview with ThinkProgress.

Grimes, who currently works as a clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, was in his final year of medical school when Roe v. Wade was handed down. When he was a young doctor, he treated some of the women who were injured by the unsafe abortions that were still being performed in the 1970s.

Read more from Think Progress here …

The coming wave of anti-abortion laws

The big Republican gains in the November elections strengthened and enlarged the anti-abortion forces in the House and the Senate. But it’s the GOP victories in the statehouses and governor’s mansions that are priming the ground for another round of legal restrictions on abortion.

Abortion rights advocates have had setbacks in the states for several years, with a surge of legislative activity since 2011. Women seeking abortions may face mandatory waiting periods or ultrasound requirements. Clinics may face stricter building codes or hospital admitting privilege rules they can’t satisfy. Dozens of clinics have shut down in multiple states. Texas, for instance, has fewer than 10 abortion clinics now. A year ago, it had 40.

Republicans now hold two-thirds of the state legislative bodies, after winning control of 11 more chambers. They completely control the legislature in more than half the states, adding Nevada, New Hampshire and West Virginia to that list earlier this month. And they gained two more governor’s seats, so they will hold 31 next year.

Read the full article from Politico:

Activists Help Pay for Patients’ Travel to Shrinking Number of Abortion Clinics

Like an entrepreneur meeting a new market demand, Lenzi Sheible, among others, has stepped up as women are finding it increasingly difficult to get abortions across large areas of the United States. In just over three years, according to the Guttmacher Institute, states have passed 231 laws restricting abortion. Although longtime groups like Planned Parenthood remain active, and other organizations subsidize poor women’s costs for abortion procedures, Ms. Sheible is filling what she calls a new need in Texas for help with lodging and transportation — bus or plane tickets, gas money, taxi fare.

Read the full article from the New York Times.

Alabama Anti-Choicers Want to Regulate Abortion Clinics Like Sex Predators

If you ever want a full eyeball of the nosiness and sexualized hysteria that characterizes anti-choice attitudes about abortion, look no further than what’s going on right now in Huntsville, Alabama. There, anti-choicers evidently treat the local abortion clinic with an almost mystical fear that the supposed sexual perversion of the place will somehow leak out and infect the rest of the community by osmosis.

Read the rest of the story

GOP Majority in New Mexico Legislature Leaves Reproductive Rights in Doubt

Republicans hold a majority of seats in the New Mexico state house for the first time in 60 years. This change in the political landscape could threaten abortion access not just in the state, but throughout the Southwest, where anti-choice policymakers have severely limited abortion rights.

Get the full story from RH Reality Check…